I have decided that I am not going to shred my abs. I was in the supermarket the other day looking for 9-volt batteries, good marshmallows, and frozen berries (a new diet) and I gazed at the magazines on the rack just down from the battery display. Since there were no 9-volt batteries, I took another look at the magazines.

Mostly bikini-clad girls standing next to choppers and hot rods, tattooed athletes with surly facial expressions, and fitness magazines. One of the fitness magazines suggested that I should "Shred" my abs.

I like my abs just fine. They're there, just like yours, and over the decades I have done thousands of crunches, knee-ins, and twists holding barbell plates in my hands. But I have never shredded my abs.

I like my abs just fine. So much so, I have coated them with a comfortable layer of protective padding that keeps them warm and happy.

In keeping with that theme, there was a diet book next to the magazine about the abs (the abs magazine had a man showing off more than his shredded abs with no sense of modesty whatsoever). On the cover of the diet book was the heading, "Eat All Your Favorite Foods and Lose 30 Pounds!"

On the way out, I added a second bag of marshmallows to my little green carry basket. I like my abs just fine.

Sternums Ain't Sexy

Recently, while going through the checkout lane at my favorite supermarket, I scanned the magazines available for purchase while the lady was checking me through.

Two headlines on women's magazines caught my eye. One said, simply, "Suddenly Slender." The other, also simply stated, proclaimed "Instant Bliss."

It's not as if women in this country aren't constantly harassed with lies about how they should look. So "Suddenly Slim" lie didn't surprise me. It just made me angry. You ladies need to understand that red-blooded American males are not turned on by seeing where your ribs attach to your sternum. Please don't wear low-cut dresses that reveal a skeleton if you are interested in attracting Y-chromosome attention.

On the other hand, I identified with the "Instant Bliss" message. I didn't read the article, of course. I already knew. "Instant Bliss" can be attained. It's hot brats and cold beer.

By the way, the lady checking me out had a nice figure. No need for her to be desirous of becoming suddenly slim. I was buying olives for my wife, peanut butter for me, and marshmallows for the dog (that's how she takes her meds). The lady announced the total, then took a look at what I had purchased.

"New diet," I said, attempting to be humorous.

"Oh," she said, genuinely interested, eyebrows going up as she reviewed the items as she bagged them. "Maybe I'll try that."

I smiled and left, striding out into a gray, cold, and drizzly day.