America is fat, and Matt Hogan is phat

How does she do it? Look closely.

How does she do it? Look closely.

The skinny on fat
In this nutty American culture of ours, there’s more and more pressure to get into shape and eat well—not because it’s the healthful thing to do, but because here in the good ol’ U.S.A. if you don’t look like Matthew McConaughey or Jessica Alba you get shunned with the rest of the fatties.

And since society tells me that I’m fat, and I buy into the whole image thing, I’ve been trying to scheme up a way to shed a layer or two off the ol’ belly, or muffin top as it’s been affectionately referred to. Hmm … the gym creeps me out. Working out at home is difficult when there are distractions like playing with my Indiana Jones action figures, or listening to Joan Jett records and eating Baby Ruth ice cream out of the carton (guess which one of these I’m making up). The coffee-and-cigarettes diet didn’t work for me either … which sucks, because it looks so cool when they do it in the movies.

The beer necessity
I recently had a revelation: It’s not what you do, but what you don’t do, that leads to a sinewy figure. And to that end I was recently referred to a list put out by Men’s Health magazine, which of course features Matthew McConaughey on the cover every other month.

The 20 Unhealthiest Drinks in America” offers a scathing look at beverages you don’t want to put into your body, or anywhere near you for that matter. One entry hits a little close to home. Coming in at No. 17 is a 12-ounce bottle of Sierra Nevada Stout, which Men’s Health calls the “Worst Beer,” clocking in with 210 calories and 20 grams of carbs.

It goes on to read: “Switching out a sixer a week for a lighter beer would save you 9 pounds of extra flab this year. Cheers to that!”

I didn’t think anyone even drank stout anymore. My recommendation: Try an ice-cold 12-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon—it will set you back only 153 calories and around 12 carbs … although each can will shave .056 years from your life. Guinness, on the other hand, has only 125 calories per 12 ounces, and actually has the power to give life.

So, I was dying—what’s the worst drink in America? A Baskin-Robbins large Heath Bar shake: 2,310 calories and 108 grams of fat. Egads … I think I put on 10 pounds just typing that out.

I don’t!
Another sure way to pack on an extra L-B or three is by simply saying two calorie-free little words: “I do.” A study has shown that in the first five years of marriage a woman will gain an average of 24 pounds; a man, 30 pounds.

I bring this up because my brother will be tying the knot Jan. 14. Don’t do it! Get out now! I kid, of course. I’m heading down to the wonderful metropolis of Copperopolis for the ceremony (yes, there is such a place—with a state prison and a golf course and resort!).

An early congrats to my brother Jason and his wonderful wife-to-be, Christina. The day also marks my parents’ 39th wedding anniversary. Wow, it’s rare they make marriages like that anymore.

The real guitar hero
Upon my return from weddings, revelry and a hot date with the Old 97’s at the Fillmore, I shall squeeze into Duffy’s Tavern Thursday, June 19, to celebrate what would have been Matt Hogan’s 55th birthday. Matt’s family will dedicate one of his guitars to the back wall behind the stage at 8:30 p.m., and there will be live performances by Big Johnsons, Sin Twisters and VibroLucks, the latter of which is made up of members of Matt’s Incredible Diamonds.

Crack a Budweiser for Matt (145 calories and 10.6 grams of carbs), and say a final farewell to everyone’s friend.

Smoke ’em if you got ’em