IJMC - Liftin' With Your Packwood!
And 1-2-3 and 1-2-3; now lift those weights, I don't see you WORKING!
_Maybe We Can Lift the Peso---With Wired Underpants_
-by Dave Barry
Our topic today is: "The Mexican Peso Crisis-An Ominous Harbinger of
Global Monetary Instability, or What?"
In evaluating the implications of any significant currency fluctuation,
it is essential to consider fully the numerous ramifications of the
incipient transmogrification and consequent decollaterization that
inevitably ensue insofar as such phenomena impact upon the question of
whether any newspaper editor is still reading this column.
I sincerely doubt it. Modern editors spend the bulk of their days
attending mandatory workshops on how to halt the decline in newspaper
readership; this leaves them with very little time to read what they put in
the actual newspaper. So I began this column with a disguise layer of dense
prose, assuming that editors would get just far enough to write a standard
unintelligible Tonto-style headline like "Big Peso Ramifications Seen" and
slap the whole package in the paper without ever discovering the real
topic, which is how much weight a guy in Hong Kong can lift, and what body
part he lifts it with.
I'm hiding this topic because I've learned, over the years, that some
newspapers tend to censor this column when it deals with sensitive issues.
To cite one of many examples, back in 1990 I wrote a column about politics,
and the Portland, Ore., Oregonian cut outa crucial section in which I
explained how snails have sex. Thus, because of one newspaper's
squemishness, Oregon's voters were deprived of information that would have
helped them make informed decisions, which probably explains why Oregon is
the only state in history ever to have elected Bob Packwood.
Which brings us to this guy in Hong Kong, whom I found out about thanks
to alert reader Jeffrey Hantover, who sent me an article written by Alex Lo
for the Feb. 8, 1995, issue of a Hong Kong newspaper, The Eastern Express.
The article concerns an amazing physical feat that this guy performed,
using an explicit part of his anatomy that, in the interest of decency, I
will refer to by a randomly selected alias instead of its real name. Here's
the first sentence of The Eastern Express article, with just that one word
"A Daosit philospher and martial art expert who has spent a lifetime
mastering the art of lifting weights with his Packwood showed his prowess
yesterday by lifting 159 kilograms of metal discs in one burst of masculine
Above the article is a large and-if you are a male-very scary photograph
showing this guy squatting over a massive pile of weights; in the
background is an onlooker who is clearly thinking the Chinese word for
"Ouch." The story (again, I am making tasteful word substitutions) goes on
"Chan Tze-tan, 49, attached a total of 159 kg of weights to several red
ropes which he tied tightly around his Packwood and Newts. He then lifted
the metal discs 12 centimeters off the floor and held on for 10-seconds
before letting go."
The article states that the audience, a dozen men, "applauded after a
And well they should applaud. Do you have any idea how much weight 159
kilograms is? Neither do I. There's no way to tell without multiplying. But
it's definitely a lot of weight, and we know this was not a hoax, because
the article states that "a television personality, Anthony Tang, inspected
Chan's underwear to make sure there was no wiring around his body."
At last: A practical use for television personalities.
The article states that Chan credited his ability to the "breakthrough
insights" he had into Daoist philosophy. He claimed that he had 25
disciples, "and most of them could lift up to 13 kg with their private
parts." There is no mention of a workout video.
I don't know about you, but this story makes me want to know more about
the Daoist philosophy. I took a philosophy course in college, but all we
studied were guys like Aristotle and Socrates, who droned on endlessly
about the meaning of life and other useless topics. Whereas with your
Daoism, you apparently can develop this useful skill that has countless
practical applications. For example, you could use it to ward off armed
FIRST STREET CRIMINAL: Hand over your money!
DAOIST PHILOSOPHER: Oh yeah? (He drops his pants.)
SECOND STREET CRIMINAL: What the heck is he...Wow!
FIRST STREET CRIMINAL: He's lifting a manhole cover without using his hands!
TELEVISION PERSONALITY: And there's no wiring in his underwear!
(The criminals flee.)
Also I believe that top Daoist philosophers would be in real demand as paid
entertainers for weddings, bar mitzvahs, White House dinners, etc. Thus we
see that Daoism, practiced wisely, could provide a vital economic
counterweight to the ramifications of this darned Mexican peso crisis.
Although if you think I"m going to practice it, you're Newts.