The other day I was at Holmes Place, the health club that is located not far from my house where my husband and I go to swim three times a week. As I made my way from the pool to the dressing room, I saw a recent English-speaking immigrant looking at this poster on the wall.

Health club poster

She was staring at it and I stopped. She said out loud, “Look at this! What a wonderful country we live in! This lady in the picture was thin, underfed, and with some felafel and some latkes, look at her afterward- she is beautiful. She looks healthy and well nourished. None of that skinny, unhealthy look that Americans crave so much. In Israel they know that people have to eat and look at her! She’s lovely. She’s healthy and content. She doesn’t have that blank look that so many people who watch their diets do. What a country!

Someone looked over at her and said, “You realize of course that the sign is written in Hebrew. The picture on the right is the ‘before’ picture and the one on the left is the ‘after’.”

“Oh!” she said, blinking and looking a bit shaken. Then she continued, “Never mind.”*

*A fictional story, with homage to Emily Litella and Gilda Radner who created her and was taken from us much too soon.