I remember, back when I was a kid, that there was a group of people calling themselves Breatharians. They claimed that the human body could absorb all the nutrition it required from breathing fresh air and absorbing energy from light. The leader of this sect appeared on some talk show that my mother watched (I think it was Phil Donohue) and spoke about his lifestyle. He stated that the only "food" he consumed was a little fruit juice and he only needed that because the air where he lived wasn't very pure.
It was a fantastic claim and really made some people consider what the human body was capable of.
Months later that Breatharian was spotted buying and eating a burrito from 7-11. That was maybe the most awesome news story I ever heard. It's one thing to claim that you don't eat food and then get caught nibbling on an apple, but to be so goddamn hungry that you give in and eat a 7-11 burrito, which nutritionally is equivalent to mud but with trans-fats, and tastes about the same, set the standard for humor in news stories that wasn't matched until Elliot Spitzer decided to see what all those defendants had gotten so excited about. Brilliant.
It's been about 20 years since that story came out, and I had mostly forgotten about Breatharians. The burrito story had pretty much shut the lid on the possibility of people existing on air and light.
Or so I thought until I met Daisy's friends.
I took Daisy and one of her friends, Jane, to Great America yesterday, an amusement park in our part of the world. After a couple of hours, we hunkered down for lunch in some crappy cafeteria where the menu was filled with kid-friendly crap like burgers, pizza, chicken strips, etc. I let Jane peruse the menu and then I asked her what she'd like to eat.
"Fruit cup," she said.
I explained that she'd need to eat something hearty in addition to the fruit cup and then I ran through the menu again for her. I asked what else she'd be willing to eat.
"Fruit cup," she answered.
I knew that she wasn't a vegetarian, so I insisted that she eat some sort of protein. I stated that I couldn't in good conscience bring her home after a day in the amusement park having only eaten some fruit, so she'd have to eat SOMETHING besides the fruit cup.
"Just a fruit cup," she repeated.
I ordered her a burger. She ate a couple bites. Good enough.
Jane's not the only kid like this. My niece only eats trace amounts. The boy Daisy has a crush on won't eat when anyone is looking (literally). Another kid only eats bacon. It's bewildering.
I'm left to conclude that Breatharianism is alive and well. Either that or all of Daisy's friends are going to keel over from malnutrition presently.
I'm a crotchety old bastard, but I'm rooting for the former.