Don’t Know What to Eat? I Know, Let’s Ask the Government!


I don’t know about you, but often times I’ll go to my refrigerator and open the door and stand there for days on end trying to decide what to eat.

Not only does this kind of thing waste valuable electricity, it also wastes valuable time that could be better spent checking weather.com for days on end to see if it’s warm enough to go outside.

Well, I’m happy to report, Dear Reader, all this has changed! Changed because of this 1942 American Red Cross Food and Nutrition booklet I chanced upon at the thrift store!

Let’s now turn to any page at random, shall we?

This looks like an interesting page. Let’s take a closer look.

Let’s call this “Man–Moderately Active,” Herbert.  As you can see, Herbert isn’t too happy with his job down at the factory. Well, who can blame him? Drilling holes in a 2×4 for no apparent reason all the live-long day tends to suck the joy out of Herbert’s me time.

Herbert’s only hope for happiness today or any day is that his wife will be cooking him a nutritional supper planned by the American Red Cross in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to insure that Herbert gets a well-balanced meal so that he can live on indefinitely to perform his duties down at the 2×4 hole punching factory!

This Housewife is Herbert’s wife, Herberta. As you can see, she is wiping out a bowl which is her primary duty as Herbert’s wife. Uh Oh! Herberta doesn’t look like she’s planning a supper for her husband that would be deemed appropriate by either the Red Cross OR U.S. Department of Agriculture — let alone in conjunction with!

It isn’t because Herberta hasn’t read . . . no make that memorized The Red Cross Food and Nutrition booklet she was issued at birth back in 1922, it’s just that Herberta will never get this bowl wiped out if she doesn’t keep wiping and wiping and wiping and wiping . . . Plus she really doesn’t give a rip.

This boy–12 is Herbert and Herberta’s son Herbie Jr. As you can see, even though Herbie Jr. is only 12 that doesn’t keep him from looking, acting and dressing like he’s 47.

But just because Herbie Jr. always dresses age inappropriately in a white-dress shirt, tie, sweater vest, sports jacket and — I’m just guessing here — spats, Dear Reader, doesn’t mean that Herbie Jr. is over-compensating for the fact that his parents are losers. He just likes to dress up! God bless his Herbie Jr. soul!

The Chart that DoEsn’t Explain Everything!

This chart represents what the American Red Cross in conjunction with the US Department of Agriculture must insist that Herbert eat if he is to properly punch holes in a 2×4.  The columns in this chart represent “shares.”

As you can see, for example,  if Herbert shares his Vitamin B1 with 20 people and his Calcium with 37 people, he’ll  soon be the picture of health and the apple of the collective eye of the American Red Cross, I’d be willing to bet.

Of course, this means his wife, Herberta, is going to have to cook for upwards of 60 dinner guests every night but a small price to pay for the betterment of  the United States of America’s 2 x 4 hole punching industry.

Ok, but something tells me Herberta ain’t  gonna like it.

Until next time . . . I love you

50 thoughts on “Don’t Know What to Eat? I Know, Let’s Ask the Government!

  1. ok, since we are venturing into the land of the improbable, the impossible and the wholly unexplainable, how is it possible in ANY universe that these two people ever conceived little Herbie Jr…. you know with such poor nutrition?
    That’s all I want to know.
    Thanks for the hilarity Linda, Joy

  2. Herbie Jr looks very happy, he didn’t get this from his morose parents. Just how is he getting his nutrution and tailored suits on his fathers meagre wage?

    Herberta needs to put that plate down and find out what her son is up to.

  3. Lil’ Herbie Jr looks manically happy. It must be all that Calcium and nationally approved food pyramid foods he’s been eating. Mother & Father sees on the verge of suicide.

  4. I had to Google Vitamin G, to which I found out it is now called “Riboflavin” … and that answered zero of my questions.

    I think we can make a good argument that Herbert’s hole punching job is less strenuous than Herberta’s job as a housewife. Even holding that dish to dry is engaging more upper body strength than what Herbert is attempting.

    • Good eye! I completely missed Vitamin G! Ha! I agree whole-heartedly that Herberta’s job is harder. She’s bound to have bursitis in her shoulder. Herbert on the other hand probably only has carpal tunnel syndrome in his wrist!

  5. Hi,
    Great post. You certainly found a gem at the thrift store. 🙂
    I love looking through some of this type of old books, they can certainly bring a smile to your face. 😀
    Something is definitely not right with Herbie Jr. I think good old Herbert and his dish loving wife need to look more closely at their son. 🙂

  6. Ha Ha Linda. Please Please Please, somebody, tell us what to eat. Low fat high carb, low carb, high fat, dairy, no dairy, vitamins, no vitamins, etc. etc.

    By the way, I bet you could have us rolling-in-the-isles with a couple old medical texts. No pressure.

    • oooh! I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for some old medical texts. Preferable ones that still refer to tuberculosis as consumption! Wouldn’t they be hilarious?

      And yes, what in the world are we supposed to be eating? Perhaps more vitamin G?

    • I know. There’s something really sad about the fact that these old booklets are laughably grim. Well there were no antibiotics, polio was rampant, and tuberculosis. They were just coming out of the depression but only because there was a horrible world war! No wonder nobody was smiling! Except Herbie Jr.

  7. OMG! I love that Herbie Jr. is wearing spats!!! I love that he dresses like a 47 year old man! I think we both know that since his moderately active father looks like he’s wearing prison duds Herbie feels that it’s up to him to represent his family. Poor Herbie!! I wonder what became of him? I’m guessing he’s still alive given all that great nutrition that Herberta served him. Haha!

    • Ha! YES that’s it! Herbert is in prison! That would explain everything. Herberta is just trying to keep busy wiping plates until he gets out. It explains it all about Herbie Jr. too — except for the spats! 🙂

  8. But wait they don’t have show the amount of Vitamin S required?! How did they come up with Herbie Jr?

  9. Oh ya. “Consumption”. Years ago I came across a doozy in a library. I can’t remember exactly how old it was, early 20th century I think. The authors talked about menopause, although I cannot remember what it was called in the book. One of the symptoms listed for this dreaded “disease” was a strong urge to set fire to the furniture.

    • Really? Oh that is so funny! I might even consider checking that book out of the library and then “losing it”.

      I can remember looking at some really weird medical books when I was a kid. In one they had little people working inside all the internal organs “doing their jobs” I was absolutely fascinated by that and spent alot of time studying it!

      You’ll have to excuse me now, Lyndi, I must go set some furniture on fire.

      • Really. No joke. I swear. Wish I could remember more about it.

        Hey, I think I have seen the old books you mention. Ya. A whole society of little people scrubbing, sweeping, pumping, rebuilding, hoisting. Maybe its true. I mean, how do we know? Eeh gads. Maybe all of us are part of somebodies liver or anus. We just think we have this separate, individual life, when in fact, we are part of a larger being and all our day-to-day activities are simply functions of a larger reality. Maybe every time you complete a piece, the larger being of whom you are a small part, belches. Could be that is your job. Keep that stuff moving for the big guy.

        • OMG Lyndi! You are so funny!! “Hoisting” made me laugh out loud. I believe with all my heart (and all my little heart workers bless their souls (and all their little soul workers) that your theory is correct. I know personally, I’ve always felt an inexplicible connection with spleens. First I just love the word spleen. And nobody is sure what the spleen does exactly. So I think I work in the BIg Guy’s Spleen.

          • What fun this is. I could just sit here and banter all day. I wish you lived next door.

            Spleen? I would have guessed you for a heart valve. O.K., I can see it…spleens are unassuming, but an integral part of the immune system (energetically speaking). They also have a riotous sense of humor, especially when mangled in a skiing accident.

            Oh, a heads-up with the burning of the furniture. Speaking from experience, don’t do it all at the same time. Pace yourself. One could conceivably run out of chairs before you-know-what runs out.

            O.K. I will leave you alone now. Have a wonderful week!

  10. But- I mean-
    WHERE’S THE FOOD PYRAMID?!?
    I think this “Red Cross” cookbook was issued by communists, bent on undermining the 4×8 holepunching industry.
    “No, comra- I mean neighbor, 2x4s are the future! hehehe”

  11. I’ll bet if Justin Bieber dressed like Herbie, Jr. he’d have more girlfriends and finally get taken seriously.

    I also bet I burned more calories laughing at this inspired nonsense than you did writing it. Very, very funny, you thrift store scrounger, you! : )

  12. (By the way Linda, we’re still having a Karaoke party over at my blog from music monday. There’ll be a winner announced. I’m hoping you get a chance to sing for us before it’s too late.)

  13. Just as I thought Guapo. That Linda is shifty. If you ask me, I think she made that up about not wanting to waste electricity. Yessirree. She lured you in with all that talk about the Red Cross, got you to expose yourself, then lowered the boom. AND YOU FELL FOR IT

  14. (Rats. I am gumming up the works here. Must have done that wrong. Sorry A Gripping Life. Didnt mean to drop an El Guapo comment into your thread. Probably giving everybody whiplash. Hang with me, I’ll learn how to do this right sooner or later.)

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