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Self-Destructive (For Angela)

Life is a buffet table.

Pay attention now and don't get distracted. This is important.

There are two kinds of people in the world. The first approaches the buffet table with a caution which borders on trepidation. On their small plate they carry a half-dozen toothpicks. They meander around the room, taking a serpentine path toward the spread, talking to people they both know and don't know in the finest tradition of avoidance. When they finally arrive at the table, they remove a small card from their pocket (most likely a nutritional guide) and then carefully stab one or two of the most unoffending offerings with the previously mentioned toothpicks. When they run out of toothpicks, they scurry away from the table and wipe the sweat from their brow with the corner edge of their carefully folded linen napkin.

Then there's the other kind of person. They fulltiltboogie up to the table, elbow people out of the way (causing many calorie-counting/point/carb index/fat content cards to hit the floor) and grab up fistfulls of whatever looks best, or interesting, or colorful, or greasy or sweet or burnyourtongueoff delicious. They then stuff both fistfulls of food in their mouth, run down the table and grab some more. When they're done, they puke it all up and go back for more.

When the first type of person encounters the second, they invariably have the perfect label for them (as this type usually does): Self-destructive.

Now, in all fairness, the first type of person will probably live longer. They'll get invited to more dinner parties (after all, who wants someone around who'll shove their hands into the food) and they'll lift their chins slightly whenever they talk about a person of the second type. But then again, they'll live longer in the most boring fashion, the dinner parties they attend will be uninteresting, and occassionaly when lifting their chins a bird will shit squarely on their forehead.

I'm the second type of person. So is my incredible daughter. Her mother is the first.

So Angela, next time your mother calls you self-destructive, have a box of toothpicks handy to give her. Then go to the fridge and steal the cheesecake she's got hidden behind the non-fat carton of milk.

Eat life. Don't let it eat you.

And remember, when someone calls you self-destructive, it's usually an expression of jealousy and fear.

Neither one of which you inherited.

Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of the Abyss.

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