DO YOU KNOW THE MUFFIN MAN? With summer fast approaching I am on my annual kick to lose the extra pounds I packed on in the Winter months. I've been exercising like crazy, running three to five miles a day, almost every day of the week. I've started lifting weights again. Those are the easy parts. I have what you would call a little bit of a junk food addiction. I am a child of a father who lives by the motto "If it tastes good, it must be good for you!" Since I am never really able to kick my junk food habit altogether, I have begun to look for ways to trick my stomach (and brain) into thinking it's getting the fix it needs. One way I've been successful is to eat things that are lower in sugar and fat, but still taste like they should be bad for you. While at the supermarket a few nights ago, I thought I had found something that would fill this requirement, Uncle Wally's Gourmet Fat-Free Muffins. They looked pretty good and at 135 calories a muffin and no fat, I figured I'd give Uncle Wally a chance to become part of my extended family. This morning, as I was enjoying a blueberry muffin, I was very pleased. These muffins were a wonder for 135 calories, almost too good to be true. But wait, not almost too good to be true, they are too good to be true. As I went back for my second muffin of the morning I happened to glance at the serving size. I had assumed the serving size for a muffin would be one muffin, but we all know how the saying about assumptions goes. The actual serving size of one of Uncle Wally's muffins? Half a fucking muffin. Who eats half a muffin? More importantly, what sneaky nutritionist came up with this serving size? I feel dirty Uncle Wally. You're like the creepy molester uncle who plays "good touch/bad touch" and then tries to make it "our little secret" (I have no such molester uncle, although many people do). You molested my trust in baked goods Wally, but I'm not going to keep your secret. Anything can be good for you if you make the serving size something stupid and put a little spin on it. A Big-Mac can only have 100 calories if you make the serving size 1/8 of a Big-Mac. Coca-cola recently made 100 calorie cans of coke but they actually made the cans smaller so one serving size is still one FULL can. They didn't just say Coca-cola now has 100 calories (serving size 1/2 can). I take responsibility for my part in this Wally. I didn't fully read the information on the front of the package. I let me stomach and my brain believe what they wanted to believe. Your muffins are tasty, even at 270 calories. But for making the serving size 1/2 a muffin so you could list the calorie content as 135 calories, you're an ass hole, and I won't ever buy your muffins again, and I hope none of my readers do either. ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA, AS MUCH AS THEY CAN GET IF YOU'RE FLYING Every time I finish bitching about the airlines, their rude staff, shady practices, and horrific delays, they seem to come up with something else for me to complain about. As little as ten years ago when you took a flight you could reserve any seat you wanted, got a hot meal, could watch a movie, get a pillow or blanket if you were cold, or a soda and peanuts when you needed a snack. You could do all of these things for free, they were included in the price of the flight. Those days are over. Airlines are beginning to realize that once you're in the air they can charge you for anything they want. It's not like you can step out for a minute and get a better deal at 30,000 feet. The latest airline outrage? Air Canada has stopped giving passengers those cheap blankets and pillows for free and is beginning to charge two dollars for an inflatable pillow and blanket. Who wants to bet that they will also start lowering the temperature on every flight so everyone onboard needs a blanket? American Airlines no longer even gives out free peanuts. Instead they give passengers the choice to buy a snack pack for four dollars. Are we suddenly in the midst of a peanut famine? This same airline also recently experimented with charging passengers one dollar for a soft drink. Last month, Northwest Airlines began to charge fifteen dollars for an aisle seat. If I'm paying fifteen dollars for an aisle seat, and the guy in the middle needs to get up to go to the bathroom, do I get to charge him three bucks (plus a two dollar re-seating fee)? Almost every airline has changed the maximum checked baggage weight from 75 to 50 pounds, and why not? Now they can charge you $25 for a bag that weighs over 50 pounds. Paper tickets will now cost you $25-30 dollars more than an electronic one. I didn't know paper had gotten so expensive. When did the paper a ticket is printed on start costing more than the piece of paper that had the twenty dollar bill printed on it? Maybe they should just start printing airline tickets on one dollar bills and save everyone some money. Unless they've commissioned an artist to paint my ticket by hand, where do they get off charging the extra $30? Thankfully, I use electronic tickets. If you don't have a computer and you fly a lot, just buy yourself a computer. It'll save you money in the long run. Airlines already charge a fee for every take off and landing. Let me repeat that. Airlines charge a fee for every take off and landing. That's in addition to the price of the ticket. What good is a plane ticket if you can't take off or land? Do they make planes that will just taxi down the highway and take me where I want to go? I guess none of this is really surprising. It will continue and we will continue to be charged more and more. Eventually you will be charged a fee to sit in the seat you paid for (of course sitting is required) and probably to use the restroom. Until people can find a new means of travel and can stand up to the airlines, they will continue to replace customer service, with customer service-fees. SOME MEMBERS OF BUSH'S STAFF TO REMAIN, OTHERS BOLTEN Joshua Bolten, the new White House chief of staff, told top presidential aides Monday to expect changes that "refresh and re-energize the team." He invited anyone who is thinking of leaving before year's end to do so now. What exactly refreshes and re-energizes a team of soulless, blood and oil sucking politicians? They've already sucked the life force out of America. They've already taken control of more middle eastern oil. Every time I see the Bush Regime really energized is when they've figured out a way to use something awful to achieve their agenda. They looked energized after 9/11. They looked energized when we attacked Iraq. So what will energize them now? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? That's right, Iran. Why the shake up in the Bush camp? It's not because the public has gotten sick of Dubya's cabinet. It's because Dubya now wants a war with Iran, and he has to start the new process of surrounding himself with people who will tell him exactly what he wants to hear. "Yes Mr. President, it is crucial that we attack Iran now before they have WMD's." "Yes Mr. President, a nuclear attack on Iran would be the best way to cripple their nuclear program. They can't have nuclear weapons, only we can. Jesus would want it that way." "Yes, Mr. President, I did remember to TiVo the Charlie Brown Christmas special for you." The reason Bolten is telling people who will leave before year's end to leave now is because everyone is Bush's cabinet knows what's coming. He's just giving them a chance to get out now before the have the blood of Iran on their hands. Hands that already have had to wash off the blood of Iraq, Afghanistan, New Orleans, and countless other Bush blunders. With many retired military generals calling for the resignation of Rumsfeld, Bush will either have to ignore them (like he ignores everyone else that disagrees with him) or will have to make Rumsfeld another scapegoat and replace him with someone that is no better. It will be very interesting to see who resigns in the coming weeks, who is let go, and who Bush replaces them with. You know you'll get the truth right here at the Spoon. ONE STORY I PASSED OVER I haven't forgotten my promise to bring you tales from the Passover seder and those will be coming later this week. I am still looking for guest writers so contact me, and share something with the loyal Spoon readership. Check back soon, for more truth, straight from the Spoon.