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Earthworms a difficult pill to swallow


Crimewatch with Walt Candelari

BILL NEVER knows when to quit. He and Candy had their neighbor and her grandkids over and, while the ladies were visiting, Bill took the children out to the garden. The little boy was about two years old at the time and his sister about four. Both were great weed pullers and didn’t mind getting their hands dirty.
Great – but things turned south when the little girl dug up a worm, declared it yucky and stepped on it. Bill acted horrified and told her she had just stepped on a genuine Texas toasty tiger worm, which was extremely rare and considered to be a gourmet item for fish. He then had to explain “gourmet”, which he should have realized was probably going to be his undoing in this saga.
The girl was not convinced. The boy said nothing. Moments later, Bill turned in time to see the last of a Texas toasty tiger worm disappearing down the boy’s throat.
Bill cleaned the kids up, said nothing about said worm and breathed a sigh of relief when they headed down the sidewalk on their way home.
A week or so after the incident, Bill drifted through the kitchen in time to hear his neighbor with the grandkids crying and telling Candy that something was terribly wrong with the boy. Bill paled and listened.
It seemed as though the boy had developed a fondness for worms and that every time he went outside he headed straight to the garden and started digging for them.  The neighbor swore that, whenever he caught one, he would grin and say something that sounded like “tasty” before taking a bite.
Bill never made it to his man cave that day. Candy was on him like stink on a bug and didn’t stop until she found out what he had done. How did she know?
She recognized Bill’s hype, a routine that scammers also use. They can take something that has no business you even considering it and make it sound as though you can’t live without it. Diet pills are an excellent example.
Most diet pills use some form of herbal base either to tout a boost to your metabolism or to block fat and carbohydrates being absorbed by your body. Using a herbal base allows diet-pill companies to avoid FDA regulations and also frees them to make whatever claims they want. “Want to lose 20 pounds in 20 days or more than three or four pounds a week for a month or more? This product has been proven in clinical studies to be safe, non-habit-forming and guaranteed to make us rich. When the sales dip, we slap a new label on it, add another herb and increase the price – after all, this is a new and improved version.”
The truth is they don’t work – I can attest to that myself – and, more importantly, they can result in serious harm, including diarrhea, bloating, gas and a lack of the very nutrients that your body needs to maintain its health and fitness.
Some people will experience success using over-the-counter diet pills but more will experience no more than a weight loss in the wallet. If you need a weight loss plan, go to your doctor for help in developing one. Don’t play Russian roulette with your health.
But back to Bill. Under pressure from Candy, he explained to his neighbor where the worm thing came from and over time was able to substitute gummy worms for their Texas toasty tiger cousins!
Remember: Think, plan and execute crime-prevention design. Don’t be a crime victim.
Walt Candelari is a crime-prevention specialist and community-policing officer with Dickinson police department.

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