My wife and I were planning a trip to Florida to visit Mary Ellen’s old high school friend, but Joy’s husband was unexpectedly called out of town on business. Steven and I usually play golf together, so I was a little disappointed. But a change in scenery and time to read on the beach still sounded enjoyable.
“You’re still welcome to come along,” said Mary Ellen when she heard the news about Steven’s absence.As you’re reading this, please try to say the sentence, “You’re still welcome to come along,” about six different ways, and just try to make it sound like I really was still welcome to come along.
“Well, do you want me to go with you? “ I asked my wife point blank. I had put Mary Ellen in an awkward position.  My wife always tells the truth, which in this case would probably hurt my feelings, but at least we’d save on a plane ticket.
“It’s not that I don’t want you to join me…” she began, “but don’t you think it would be good for our relationship to spend a little time a part?”Now it was me who was in an awkward position. Suppose I said, “Yes, that’s a good idea, Mary Ellen.”
You’ve never mentioned this before, Dick. How long have you felt this way? Maybe we should have taken separate vacations way before this. I thought you liked my friend, Joy.”
Or I could have said: “No, I’d still like to go.”
“And what are you going to do all day while Joy and I are talking about old times? I don’t want you to be grumpy the whole trip and feel ignored. I certainly would be okay if you visited one of your old friends without me.”
“Okay, how about my friend Erik who lives in Paris?” (Heh heh, that was a good one. I wish you’d seen the expression on her face.)
The bottom line is that Mary Ellen is off to Florida and I get to stay home and be a bachelor for a week. That, of course, is one of the dumbest expressions ever uttered by a married man. There’s only one thing I would want to do if I really were a bachelor for a week, and I think you know exactly what I’m talking about: I want to eat my dinner standing up at the sink.
My biggest concern when my wife leaves is that I have no clue how to use our TV remotes. We have one for Apple TV, one for the DVR, one for the VCR and one for regular TV. Mary Ellen told me to gather all the remotes in the house and practice. “How are you doing?” She asked, as I fiddled with each device. “Did you successfully change any channels?”
“No, but I opened and closed the garage door six times.”

I hope Joy and Mary Ellen have a good time together. I also hope Steven and I see each other soon. I sent him a text inviting him to come here to play golf, just the two of us. I also told him he has a standing invitation for dinner. 
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I like to read newspaper articles containing the words “exercise” or “workout” in the headline, hoping that new research will prove the whole thing is a big waste of time or is actually bad for you. They keep changing their minds about the pros and cons of coffee—so you never know.

The first real review of the benefits of exercise was in the early 1900s when a scientist divided people into two groups to compare their relative health.  Half exercised daily or had jobs that required physical exertion. All those people are dead now. So, there you go.

A new study claims that people who drink beer are more apt to exercise on a regular basis.  This seems counterintuitive. I know, because I was sitting at a counter having a brew when I read about it. Maybe this is how people get six-pack abs.

Scientists caution people not to misunderstand these findings. For example, a jogger might assume that a positive correlation between exercising and drinking serves as an excuse to overindulge. This could result in a serious running problem.

The volunteers for this study were asked to install an app on their smart phone so they could document when they imbibed and when they exercised. This generated some false data because after a few drinks a lot of the subjects clicked on the wrong icon and ended up playing a really lousy round of Angry Birds or Pac Man. According to the report, people drank much more than usual on the very day they went to the gym…which may explain why I can’t remember the last time I exercised.

Lab animals have been used to more carefully study the connection between exercising and alcohol. Apparently rodents were much more interested in a little booze after spending the day in a rat race. Sound familiar?

Just as you should carefully select the proper wine with food, I’d suggest careful attention to your choice of libation during your workout routine. If you are jumping rope, opt for a nice, hoppy ale. A cold draft seems appropriate while running a winter marathon. If you are trying to add some bulk to your frame, then enjoy a hearty stout. Attempting to break a world record for push-ups? A Guinness, of course. Okay, that was way too many examples.

In more news, a pub owner in Wisconsin is starting a weekly meet-up called Butts and Beers where he sponsors group aerobic activities, then provides his customers with a wide selection of local brews. His big annual shindig is a 5K run, but it’s only a hundred-yard dash. (The K stands for Keg.)

Finally, a new drink called Lean Machine is currently being marketed in California, touted as a “recovery ale.” It’s supposed to be a substitute for Gatorade or Powerade, but it’s basically beer with a bit less alcohol and some added sodium.  A growing number of fitness buffs in LA are drinking this stuff just to be hip.

Who can resist beer pressure?

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