The other day, I noticed the Durango Community Recreation Center now sells candy at the check-in counter. Isn’t that contradictory, having a public health and wellness facility offer products that contribute to obesity and tooth decay? – Sign me, Yah I’m An Uppity Gym Rat So What
Is someone on the tail end of a Thanksgiving guilt trip?
It’s easy to do, considering the average holiday meal packs in 3,000-plus calories.
Everyone puts on holiday girth from the ample servings of holiday mirth.
But the ever-vigilant Mrs. Action Line trimmed as much unnecessary sugar and fat from this year’s feast.
Fruit-rich compote took the place of cloying gelled cranberry sauce served as a solid tube with the can lines still visible as guides for easy slicing.
Black rice pilaf filled the good serving bowl (the one without the chip) rather than yams drowned in an overkill of syrup and butter.
Meanwhile, a tasty Brussels spout/dried blueberry salad with lemon zest dressing was served on the side in lieu of “ambrosia salad,” which is neither ambrosia nor a salad.
Not that Mrs. Action Line would ever make an ambrosia salad.
“It just grosses me out,” she said, recalling the time in Fargo, North Dakota, in which her friend’s relatives’ church proudly served a “salad” consisting of sliced Snickers bars, multicolored mini-marshmallows and coconut flakes all tossed with Cool Whip.
So, it’s not all that bad if the rec center proffers Kit Kats and bags of Skittles.
Who doesn’t want to take a break or taste the rainbow?
At least the rec center isn’t selling stuff that’s truly harmful – tobacco products, opioids or music by Kanye West.
And goodness knows, the rec center tried to provide nutritious choices, primarily to the kids who come to hang out after school.
“We had vending machines with healthy snacks, but the kids just didn’t buy them and the products went bad,” lamented our good friend Cathy Metz, director of Durango Parks and Recreation.
“When no one purchases items in a vending machine, it gets taken out.”
After that, a couple of other concessionaires tried to offer healthful alternatives in the game room area, “but they didn’t get enough business and it wasn’t sustainable,” Cathy said.
So it’s a tough call.
There’s the municipal nanny-state approach: “You’ll get nothing and like it!”
Or you could tell the kids the candy is across the street at Walgreens: “While you’re over there, go up to Starbucks for a Frappuccino with extra whipping cream.”
Or offer a modest selection of what kids want and have money to buy: “Let the chips fall where they may.”
Good thing the rec center doesn’t offer chips.
That would be oh-so-bad.
And by “oh,” we mean anything that ends in “o”: Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos, Fritos and other bagged items that can also serve as impromptu fire-starters.
Call Action Line a cynic, but selling confectionaries at the rec center is just plain great marketing.
The more rec center sweets you consume, the greater your need to go to the rec center to work off the calories.
Here’s an idea. Let’s change the rec center’s name to Cross-Purposes Crossfit, where one can pump irony.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if your stationary bike takes you to places you’ve never been.