2013.05.08 Go nuts over paraprosdokians, but not wheat

Written by David Green.


It is only May and I am almost out of pecans. I can’t fathom how that happened so soon, so fast, but it’s true—from the case of twelve I bought in the fall from the Congregational Church Ladies Union fund raiser, I have only two bags left.

We eat a lot of nuts in my house. And we’ve been eating even more since my foray into a world without wheat.

“Eat raw nuts. Raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews are wonderful. And you can eat as much as you want....You can’t overdue nuts, provided they’re raw,” says Dr. William Davis.

I started reading his book, “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health” about a month ago and decided to eliminate wheat from my diet. David had already slowed down his consumption many months ago, suspecting wheat was causing some issues for him.

But, it really didn’t help that I was bringing bread into the house on a regular basis. It’s hard to abstain when it sits on the counter staring you in the face. I figured I could make life easier for him—and maybe lose my middle in the process.

Dr. Davis claims his patients lose a lot of weight when they ditch wheat. I know it’s too soon to expect to see much change, but I haven’t lost a pound since making the vow. My belly isn’t going anywhere. It’s the same old jelly belly as it was a month ago.

Of course, true confession: I can’t really claim to have totally eliminated wheat from my diet. Most recently, there was that chocolate cake calling to me at a restaurant we ate at with friends near Detroit before I took off for a short trip to visit Ryland in Miami.

“You’re on vacation!” our friend John reminded me. And I totally subscribe to that sentiment, but I may need to stop going on vacation.

Yes, I have back-slided some, but I haven’t eaten a slice of bread in my house in nearly a month. No late-night bowls of Cheerios, no grilled cheese or fried potato and onion sandwiches, not even any pasta. It seems like that would count for something.

But I know it doesn’t when I’m eating at a Haitian restaurant in Miami and the waitress plunks down a basket of fragrant rolls, piping hot from the oven.

It’s like that paraprosdokian: “I try to watch what I eat and yet my eyes just aren't quick enough.”

Have you heard that word before? I just learned it Monday morning when my friend Adrienne sent a forwarded email with a list of them. I had no idea there was a word besides “funny” for these one-liners, but now I know it’s “paraprosdokian” and that they are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.

Here are some from Adrienne’s email:

Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

 If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

 To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

You're never too old to learn something stupid.

And some from Wikipedia which provided the source of the paraprosdokians:

There but for the grace of God—goes God." —Winston Churchill

If I am reading this graph correctly — I'd be very surprised." —Stephen Colbert

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." —Groucho Marx

If I could just say a few words… I'd be a better public speaker." —Homer Simpson

I sleep eight hours a day and at least ten at night." —Bill Hicks

I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." —Will Rogers

I love paraprosdokians!

About as much as I love chocolate covered peanuts—I discovered I had two bags left when I searched my Ladies Union nut stash. Well, more disclosure. Make that one bag.

My eyes really aren't quick enough.

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