The  Beat: True Stories From the Streets

Page 8  Stories by Harry Martin Polis
                Artwork by Jaynee Levy-Polis
Living To Eat

 There is an old saying, “Do you eat to live or live to eat?”  In my case, it is mostly that I live to eat.  I must confess I could have been  in that survey about the overfed Philadelphians.  Our eating habits were written about in a major magazine.  We are the chubby crew.  Doctors tell us our extra weight is unhealthy.  We need to eat less fat, and exercise much more.  How do we stop this overeating behavior?  Diets do not work.  Just read what is written about diets and ask some of you heavier friends, if you have any, who might have been on diets in the past.  I have been on diets.  Many years ago, I tried many types of diets.  They do not work and your weight just goes up.  We need to change the way we eat, what we eat, and how much we eat.  That is the hard part.  I came from a house where food was very important.  That has not changed.  My problem is I can cook.  I make all the foods I like.  I experiment and have lots of cookbooks.  Cooking and eating are relaxing for me.     Eating out is a form of recreation for Jayne and me.  Like I said, I do mostly all the cooking at our house.  I enjoy it.  I told Jaynee that perhaps we could try to be more careful during the week.  When we go to restaurants on the weekend, maybe we could try and watch. 

When we socialize with friends, we like to go to nice restaurants.  We are always looking for new ones.  It is very frustrating to veto dishes because they are high fat, or otherwise not healthy for us.  I love certain tastes and I hate to miss eating them.  I don’t know how to manage eating less.  Health demands a better hold on our food intake, not to mention feeling and looking better.  For me, food is a big problem because I love to eat well, and I recognize quality in food.  I have cooked and worked around food all my life.  Béarnaise sauce, seafood, and steaks will always sound good to me.  Like I said, I live to eat.
Copyright 2000 by Harry Martin Polis
Harry is available for lectures and entertainment with stories and poetry.  Contact SCOOP USA, or e-mail Harry.


As I sit writing this article, the city administration has yet to sit down with the various unions to negotiate a new contract.  Every time the union contract ends, it seems that the City pulls out its old ridiculous give back list and refuses to negotiate in good faith.  I have seen it happen over and over for 35 years.  Management hates the workers.  They would rather pay their cronies and drones than civil service workers.  Cronies who owe their jobs directly to Big Brother can be controlled.  Cronies will give their votes and drum up more votes to the people who give them jobs.  It means more money and votes for the officials who can use that money and power any way they choose.  Civil Service workers are beholden to no one for their jobs.  They really work for the good of the city. 
 Philadelphia’s political royalty say the same things year after year.  They chant that they have no money for raises.  It would do them some good for our fair city to experience a total shut down of city services.  Let the public point a finger at who really is to blame.  The mayor’s job is to see that a fair contract is hammered out.  He is supposed to be serious and be a defender of our citizens and their civil servants.  That’s a joke.  His demands were insults.
 It would be my pleasure to see the Mayor and our other elected officials toil under the contract he wanted to give the workers.  It would be a joy to see their bloated salaries and perks decreased.  Wouldn’t it be great to see them next to you on the subway, dealing with the stinky homeless guy in the next seat?  How about having to put back groceries because they haven’t enough money?
 The leaders come and go, yet the new ones spout the same rhetoric.  The phoney balonies who have their hands firmly in our pockets are all the same.  Their looking different is just an illusion. 
 I hope they come to their senses because the AFLCIO, then the Republicans will be here.  Perhaps then they will sit down with the unions and negotiate.   Workers deserve respect.  Treat them like human beings, not garbage, or the streets will be full of it.
Copyright 2000 by Harry Martin Polis
Harry is available for lectures and entertainment with stories and poetry.  Contact SCOOP USA, or e-mail Harry.