History demonstrates that great societies are invariably overthrown from within and that external forces only succeed in conquering these great nations when they've been sufficiently weakened by their own foolhardiness. Witness Greece and the fall of Rome and a thousand others over the centuries.
History repeats itself. Our country is in the very process of being weakened internally and primed for disaster by a clutch of quack doctors, health food store- owners, manufacturers of sports equipment and wearing apparel, and an unholy alliance of cemetery lot salesmen and undertakers. These charlatans and scoundrels are engaged in a conspiracy to drive vast numbers of Americans into ruined health and early graves and they're succeeding to an alarming degree.
I'm talking, of course, about the exercise craze that's being foisted off on an unsuspecting public by the vested interests mentioned above. It's all well and good for teenagers with their excess energy and exuberance to scamper about on tennis fields, racquetball diamonds, and jogging courts, but such frenzied activities are hardly suitable fare for our older citizens.
Urging middle-aged Americans-anyone over eighteen, that is-to run up and down the landscape in blue jogging togs, play at strenuous games, and live Spartan lives not only goes far beyond the limits of good sense, it also threatens the health of the participants.
Oh, I know they say all this exercise is good for you but that's nonsense. In fact, the exact opposite is true. An astonishing number of middle-aged people are being felled by a variety of strokes, heart attacks, seizures, and miscellaneous traumas that are directly related to violent exercise where none is required.
Read any newspaper and see for yourself. Or let me save you the trouble. I clipped the following stories from papers on each coast.
(NY) Two men jogging on the High Point Road made a wrong turn into a private estate where a pack of vicious Dobermans fell on them and devoured the unfortunate men down to the last scrap.
(CA) Mr. Henry Cling of Walnut Avenue was found lying dead this morning in the street two blocks from his home. The coroner said Mr. Cling tripped and fell and died of a broken heart when his chest struck the curb. He was wearing a jogging suit and sneakers.
Needless to say, these guys would still be alive if they'd stayed home with a good cigar and a cold beer.
Similar stories appear daily in the press all over America and clearly indicate that exercise poses a threat to all of us and that we must ever guard against indulging in it any more than absolutely necessary.
Consider for a moment. When is the last time you ever saw a medical doctor (who didn't already have a history of mental instability) scampering around in a broiling sun in pursuit of a bouncing ball? Or an undertaker? Or even a registered nurse? These guys won't hesitate to advise you to do these things, but they're too smart to do them themselves.
They know that anyone foolish enough to follow this advice will very likely end up a patient and/or customer in the near future. Your knees will turn to mush or your ankles will splinter from trodding on hard cement for fifty or sixty miles a week. Or your pump will give out and the morticians will swarm down on you and bicker over your fallen form like a covey of cousins descending on a relative who died intestate.
Hie yourself to the nearest health salon or exercising chamber and if you linger long enough you're sure to see at least one of the patrons keel over and expire before your very eyes from a popped aorta brought on by over exertion. And the odds are even money he'll be exactly my age and have a record of excellent health right up to the minute he fell dead.
These poor unfortunates would be immeasurably better off if they took care not to exercise. Never run when you can walk, never walk when you can ride; that's the American way and you'll feel better for it. And if you do keel over and die at an early age, at least you won't be all sweaty and out of breath when it happens.
So burn those sneakers and give your racquets to somebody you don't especially like. Change doctors if the old fraud insists on advising you to sprint all over creation in some outlandish costume in pursuit of better health. Get a six-pack or a snifter of brandy and cozy up to a warm TV set, drape the evening paper over your knees and take it easy.
And you may add, as a final touch, the lady of your choice to this scenario, preferably a lithesome, leggy creature with wondrous eyes and a complaisant spirit; that's the only kind of acceptable exercise for a sane and civilized man. Women readers will make the appropriate gender changes, of course, and cozy up to a ruggedly handsome lumberjack or matinee idol.
You may not live longer under my regimen, but you may rest assured you'll live better.