My Sister-In-Law Is STILL Ruining The U.S. Economy

Christmas is all about traditions.  Every year we unpack our favorite, old ornaments.  We unearth our Bing Crosby and Manheim Steamroller CDs.  We watch A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th St. and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Around this blog, tradition means dusting off the ghosts of Christmas blog posts past.

This one was my first ever Freshly Pressed.  Back in the WordPress Stone Ages (3 years ago), they didn’t give you advanced notice of Freshly Pressed.   It didn’t take me long to figure out something was going on, however, when I published this and actual strangers showed up at my blog.   At that time the number of readers I had that were not related to me by blood or marriage was approximately zippity-nada.

Hope this helps firm your resolve to do the right thing for our country!


Support your local eggnog farmer!
Support your local eggnog farmer!

My sister-in-law, Lisa, just announced she is starting a diet.  With 3 weeks to go until Christmas.

This is wrong on so many levels.  Besides the masochistic overtones, we have to consider how such a move might affect the nation’s economic recovery.

Lisa just wants to look hot for New Years Eve.   But she may be starting a dangerous trend.  Perhaps I can help her to see the bigger picture – what economists call the unintended consequences.

Seasonal industries have just a small window of opportunity to make sales.  (i.e. yellow marshmallow chickees that can only be sold for 1 week before Easter.)  In December, fattening Christmas food companies are scrambling to make their budget goals.

Take eggnog.   Its rich, creamy goodness is almost synonymous with Christmas.  But where does it come from?  Family farms in the heartland keep herds of  special, eggnog-producing cows just for the Christmas season.  No eggnog, no eggnog farms.

All the farms will be sold for shopping malls, the farm children will have to leave the land for New York to become actor/model/waiters and the cows will be processed into McBurgers.  Do you want to be responsible for the end of the family farm in America, Lisa?

And what about that company that makes those chocolate-covered cherries that you can get for $1 at Big Lots and other fine emporiums?  They do all their sales this month.  Does it occur to you, Lisa, that the firm that makes those has employees?  If health-conscious, get-in-shape people don’t buy those candies, all the chocolate-covered cherry employees and their families, some of whom might have lame children who use crutches, will be out on the streets. Just in time for Christmas, you Scrooge!

These are just a few of the businesses that would be affected. There are anise-flavored cookies, monastery-made bourbon fudge and whisky fruitcake, and candy canes.   I’m sure we could come up with lots of examples.

Sure, tofu sales will go up. But that won’t increase jobs.  There is such a huge surplus of tofu just sitting around on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator case in the grocery store produce section (often right under the Bleu Cheese crumbles, ironically), we could go years without making any more.

And what about after Christmas?  In the natural order of things, you sign up for diet and exercise programs in January.  If nobody is overindulging in December, no one will be repentant and resolved to change in January.

80% of the YMCA’s income is derived from initial membership fees garnered in January.  They can’t rely on the monthly fees, because those dry up in March.  That’s when the new members cancel, although they actually stop working out after only 2 weeks.  (The Y does get residual income from all the new members who forget they signed up to have the dues automatically deducted from their bank account.  They can end up paying for years after their actual 2-week attendance is over.)

Eat, papa, eat!

Do you want to be responsible for closing the doors on a fine, old institution like the Young Men’s Christian Association?  And then what?  Our nation’s young men will be out on the streets, joining gangs, becoming hooligans, and not being Christian.

Nutrisystems will go back to using their food as industrial lubricants, Jenny Craig will have to get a job as a brownie taster and South Beach will be deserted. Dr. Atkins will turn over in his grave!

(“America the Beautiful” starts softly in the background).

We are trying to climb out of a terrible recession right now, Lisa.  Our president, and our congressmen and women, are working hard to get this economy back on track

(for amber waves of grain…)

It is the duty of every American to help in this struggle.  If you think your hot-ness is more important than your country, Lisa, keep up the pre-Christmas diet.  Help put thousands, nay millions of our fellow Americans out of work.

But as for me and mine, we love the U.S. of A., and we will support her!

(music builds to a crescendo, “from sea to shining sea!”, I get up and walk out like that scene in Animal House where Dean Wormer revokes the Delta’s charter because they have been on double-secret probation ).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy some peppermint stick ice cream!


About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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57 Responses to My Sister-In-Law Is STILL Ruining The U.S. Economy

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    You’ve managed to just make me feel better about eating the cookies I’m baking this year. And if an extra chocolate kiss passes my lips? So be it. 😉


    • pegoleg says:

      How nice to see your smiling face, Carrie! I’ve been MIA around the blogosphere lately, but I’m hoping to get back in the saddle soon. I’m enjoying a peanut butter cookie as I type this – just to be a good citizen, of course. 😉


    • jlwilson80 says:

      Given the logic so eloquently and so airtight(ly) laid out above, eating an extra chocolate kiss or, as Pegoleg mentions below, bogarting a peanut butter cookie saved a job somewhere. Pegoleg, you should create a formula that calculates the number of jobs that are saved when a certain food in a particular amount is consumed. For example, a serving of scalloped for potatoes will save the jobs of X Idahoians(?). But then, you would also have to calculate how many Wisconsinites(?) get to keep working making cheese to account for the cheese sauce. It becomes more complicated if/when ham is added – this is too hard. I’m going to leave the economics to you.


  2. Al says:

    Hi Peg! I’ve missed you. Is there a Blog-a-Month club that I don’t know about?

    As for this post, if you will give me your sister’s address I will begin a daily anonymous mailing. I was thinking M & Ms would be a good start, followed closely by chocolate chip cookies, peanut brittle and Reese’s cups. Something has to be done to snap her out of this. It’s bad enough when someone doesn’t gain weight like the rest of us….but losing it? Blasphemous! Do you think Egg Nog would travel well through the mail?


    • pegoleg says:

      Hi Al – sorry I’ve been so remiss. Real life has just been crazy in the last few months. I’m hoping to crawl out from under after the first of the year.

      As to your mailing campaign – pure genius. You can send those shipments to: Pegoleg…..


  3. Elyse says:

    Hello Peg! Nice to see you.

    In the interest of demonstrating that I am a true American, I will top off the chocolate cherries I am eating with a large glass of nog (or maybe two). Besides, Lisa, everything tastes better than “skinny” looks.


  4. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Okay, the real question is what has happened to Lisa’s diet since you first posted this?


  5. lisaspiral says:

    Now I can eat knowing I’m supporting the economy. priceless.


  6. Here&ThereSa says:

    Pat’s just about finished making his candy. Yum…
    I remember when you got FPd with this gem. I was laughing and hooting to anyone who would listen. So much fun. I haven’t done anything for, hmm, 6 months? Pretty sad!
    Maybe now I will be able to settle in and start posting about all the events that have transpired during my hiatus. Hugs (chocolate and non-choco type!)


  7. Still funny. Glad to see you picking up the pieces, and ice cream ( any Chocolate Mint there?)
    It’s very cold and raining – it’s either nap or eat. (with all the snow in so many places, shipping presents ordered on line is questionable even). Couldn’t face a sad cow, so hand over the eggnog


  8. lexiemom says:

    This post has inspired me! I must run out right now and buy another Chick-fil-a peppermint chocolate chip shake…for the good of America!!! Let it never be said that I am un-American!


  9. Shannon says:

    Love it! Thanks for re-sharing. Yeah Lisa!! We are also un-American, scaling way back on economy boosting items during October thru December (do we really need all that stuff anyway?) But scaling back on DIET?? No way, Jose!! This is the beginning of the slow down, face-stuffing (there’s a reason they call it a pie hole), family snuggling time for us. I mean, when it’s cold outside and we can’t get our itch scratched by nature and digging, how about some homemade Reese’s candy instead?

    Have a great end-of-the-year, Peg. I can’t believe that you are at over 5,000 followers. You’re like a WordPress goddess or something. I thought I was seeing things when I made the 100 mark a few months ago. Cheers!!


    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Shannon! I’m surprised all my readers haven’t dried up, I’ve been such a poor correspondent lately. I’m hoping things will slow down after the first of the year so I can goof around on the blog….er, write more.

      Now go eat that homemade Reese’s candy, woman!


  10. Here, Here! Does Lisa have a New Year’s Eve party this year as well? Let’s hope not because the unemployment rate just dropped to a five year low! Her dieting could take us right back up in no time! Yikes. I’ll have to do more eating to make up for her lack of eating! Someone’s gotta do it!


  11. Oh how I loved walking down memory lane with this brilliant post. I missed your writing. It’s just not the same here without you! It’s so cold and lonely and I might have to eat this handful of Reese’s peanut butter Christmas trees to drown my sorrows until you come back to blogging full-time.


    • pegoleg says:

      How’s life in frozen Maine? Every now and then I turn on Northwoods Law (or whatever) and look at all those scofflaws on ATV’s hunting moose illegally…and think of you. I get kinda choked up.

      Hope all is great with you and the family – I’ll be back soon.


  12. Paula's Paradise says:

    Thanks for making this post a holiday tradition — this is how I found your fun blog! Hardly seems like three years since I first saw it … I guess time does fly (with honey-roasted peanuts and snacks!) when you’re cyber-smiling here! 🙂 Merry & Bright wishes and look forward to seeing you back … e-hugs.


    • pegoleg says:

      Don’t think I don’t remember that you’re sitting down there in the warm, bright sunshine, Miss Paula, while we freeze our butts off up north here. No wonder you’re so cheerful! Bah humbug.


  13. rachelocal says:

    Your caption didn’t go unnoticed–Eat, Papa, Eat! One of my favorite lines. (And Mrs. Claus wouldn’t have to tell me twice.)


  14. flyingplatypi says:

    Holy crap!!! She’s going to kill us all! I’ll eat more to make up for it!

    I’m taking this one for the team.




  15. Kylie says:

    Oh yeah, what about the soy nog manufacturers? I’ve got to run to the store to stock up. They don’t make that yummy delicious stuff all year round, you know. Or the Tofurkey dinner kits. I might need to buy an extra freezer to store them.


  16. PinotNinja says:

    It is an honor and a privilege to serve my country by eating this pile of gingerbread cookies for breakfast.


    • pegoleg says:

      Gingerbread cookies are one of the few food groups I can pass right by. Maybe I should be baking those instead of the chocolate=dipped Oreos that are my current downfall.


  17. It seems I am definitely not doing my part. Excuse me while I go out and stock up on eggnog and chocolate covered cherries.


  18. Anything that can justify not dieting is good in my book.


  19. I hadn’t read this one the first time around. I’m glad you reposted.
    We all have to do our part, you know. I mean, if the YMCA closes, then what song will everyone dance to at weddings and retirement parties? The Macarena? Please.


  20. cat9984 says:

    You forgot one additional industry she is hurting – those salons that specialize in saran-wrapping people the last day of the year so they can eat during the holidays and still look hot on New Year’s Eve.


  21. So nice to see you Peg. Your logic is impeccable. I swear on a stack of anything you want, I will never start a diet around any holiday.


  22. One of my coworkers has recently sworn off sweets and carbs…and he joined work’s Biggest Loser contest that starts January 2nd. It’s so confusing. Why start a diet before January 2nd?


  23. Jean says:

    Maybe she can help the economy further by buying a bike and gear…another add-on to her diet.


  24. That’s just perfect. It’s a good thing this time of year that we are a fairly gluttonous nation.


  25. Pleun says:

    3 years old? Wow, it still works, except why stop at America? It’s the global economy that get’s threatened! For instance: Europe has a lot of cheese that they cannot sell, because the ‘Lisa’-likes all go for the skinny stuff. And so on! I’m gonna be a good world’s citizen too, so bring it on 😉


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