Monday, January 24, 2011

RIP Lack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne has passed away today at the age of 96.  Early reports from insiders say that his last wish was that his dead body be juiced for its nutrients.

Jack LaLanne has passed away as a result of respiratory failure from pneumonia, caught while towing a boat through the waters of his local YMCA pool.

      Okay, one more.

Jack LaLanne has passed away.  Footage of his memorial service will run on loop on local low-power stations from 12:00 midnight to 5 am.

     Just kidding, although I am serious about Jack LaLanne being dead.  He died yesterday at his home in California of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at the ripe old age of 96.  Not that I am one to mock anyone's death who didn't win a Darwin Award, but the one-liners just started coming to mind when I heard that LaLanne had passed on.  If you don't get them, read on.

Jack LaLanne (1914-2011).
Taken Feb 20, 1980 in his home gym.

     For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jack LaLanne, he was one of the physical fitness pioneers in America.  Long before everyone who was anyone was selling exercise equipment on late-night television, or before everyone else was selling healthy cooking machines, Jack LaLanne was doing it.  He was a major and long-lasting proponent of American physical fitness, and took to television to get America up and moving and eating well.  At age 43 in 1957 he did 1000 pushups on TV in 23 minutes.  I am just impressed he did 1000 pushups. At age 60 he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco (about 2 miles) in 1 hour, 26 minutes.  With his hands shackles.  And his feet shackled.  Towing a 1000 pound rowboat. All while wearing a jaunty cap.  He did the same thing at 70 across Long Beach Harbor.  In 1936 he opened a gym in Oakland that catered to athletes and women, something that was socially forbidden at the time.  He was a pioneer who stuck to his belief through the ages until the world started to come around to his side.  People from Bob Barker to Arnold Schwarzenegger have credited you with helping their health.  And then there was the juicer.
     LaLanne was convinced of the power and benefits of raw fruits and vegetables, and so he developed and marketed the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer so you could make your own V8 I guess.  I don't know.  But he did most of this selling on late-night infomercials.  It has the extra-wide spout so you can toss in the whole radish or carrot or tangerine, and in the end it spits out stuff for your compost pile, which you can use to grow fruits and vegetables, which you can juice, in a big health cosmic cycle of juice. 
     So may you rest in peace, Jack.  You did your best to make America a more healthy place, and I would like to think you succeeded.  Just look at how many gyms there are in the average American city these days, and notice how each has a weight set (another thing that LaLanne touted was lifting weights) or twelve.  And there are ridiculous juice blends that you can get out there.  And yes, even people who don't know your story have more likely heard of your juicer.  Plus, you were still rockin life in your 90s, and that has to speak a lot for itself.  So be proud of your legacy as we prepare to mourn you passing.  Oh, and sorry for the jokes.

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