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Ken Pulls His “Anti-Aging” Secret Formula Off the Market

For the past two decades, I’ve subscribed to the “reverse raisin” theory of fighting old age. It’s a blue-collar home remedy I created that’s many times cheaper than traditional ways of cheating Father Time, such as Botox, liposuction, or plastic surgery. The basic anti-aging theory goes like this: If grapes wrinkle into raisins when they shrink, raisins should look like wrinkle-free grapes if they expand. Very scientific, I know.

Essentially, my working null hypothesis was to prevent wrinkles by putting on five pounds for every five years after age 40. Like any serious science project, I set up my test instruments: bathroom scale, check; mirror, check; TV remote, check; ice cream, check; pizza, check; beer, check.

My science teacher at Shuksan Middle School was wrong. Mr. Bjornson, the laws of nature are not neutral. Gravity is evil. In other words, the experiment was an utter failure. In fact, 20 pounds later, I abruptly terminated the study group of one (me). While working at my laptop at home, I inadvertently hit a button and my puffy, wrinkled face appeared on screen at point-blank range—pre-shower, pre-shave. I couldn’t left-click fast enough. The bubble had burst, taking with it my false sense of scientific smugness. For the first time, I understood my wife’s disappointment that not all body parts get larger with the “reverse raisin” theory. Sorry, sweetheart.

I went instantly into triage mode by committing to cycle with my law school roommate up Haleakala volcano—36 miles and a 10,000 foot elevation gain. To train, I scheduled an orientation at the local gym. Testosterone is not pretty, what can I say. My gosh, if women could know how hard it is to be a decent human being with that stuff coursing through our veins. But I digress, as usual. The executor of my estate will report back in August. Did I mention that gravity is evil?

My gym orientation was an eye-opening experience. It had been quite a while since I’d been to a gym, and a lot had changed. For example: something called Lycra. OMG, is there any doubt that Lycra was invented by a male? I don’t even have to check; some things just don’t need to be Googled. Strangely, my neck was sore the next day, and I couldn’t remember much of what was said. But I was motivated to return. That’s the point, right?

The last time I regularly went to the gym, I lived in the Seattle area, where I was almost censored for my humor. I remember one time, my lifting buddy was resting in the weight room after a workout, shirtless. This is a “no-no” no matter how proud he was of his fitness level—he was just asking for a verbal jab to his male ego. Besides, I am not one to pull a punch(line).

As he flirted with a couple of WILs (women in Lycra), he pretended not to flex and pose just like the WILs pretended that they weren’t wearing Lycra. I remember thinking: “What’s the most ego-deflating thing that I could say right now?” Of course, it came to me. I quickly interrupted the surreal “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment with the lowest of low blows: “Ladies, you’ll need to excuse Mike in a few moments. He’s just about to have his ‘before’ picture taken.”

Yes, gravity and I have much in common.

I promise any gym that I burden with my presence in the coming months: I am rehabilitated. I probably won’t formally join until after the next Groundhog Day, anyway. I have a new null hypothesis to test. If I can’t see my feet on February 2, there will be six more weeks of winter because I have more weight to lose. So, stay in your hole, Phil. I got this. I am “Punxsutawney Ken” until further notice.

Oh, and did I mention that my new fitness trainer is a member of the Raisinettes? She has me on a “glutton free” diet. What are the odds of success? I say “fat chance.”


For more Ken Karlberg, check out our Final Word section.

"Like any serious science project, I set up my test instruments: bathroom scale, check; mirror, check; TV remote, check; ice cream, check; pizza, check; beer, check."