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By Edie Gross
The only variables are exactly where, when and how many witnesses will be there to laugh.
I've never been especially coordinated, which is a generous way of saying I have all the grace and agility of a blindfolded President Gerald Ford descending the steps of Air Force One on roller skates.
Still, even I was surprised by the frequency of the spills. The first time, I chalked it up to inexperience. There aren't many patches of ice in my home state of Florida on which to practice sticking the landing.
But by the sixth or seventh spill--and by "spill" I mean one of those cartoon-like scenes where your arms and legs pinwheel comically for a few seconds before you finally give up and let gravity have its way with you--I was plenty practiced and still falling on a regular basis.
By that point, it had simply become an annual tradition, like the Return of the Swallows to San Juan Capistrano or the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona--only without all the fanfare and accompanying Wikipedia page.
By all rights, I should've broken my neck years ago in one of those falls. As luck would have it, however, I possess a convenient roll of neck fat that has, like a protoplasmic airbag, protected me from injury upon impact.
For years, I've endured the stares of skinny women who clearly covet my neck roll for its life-saving properties. And thanks to a recent medical study, I don't expect that to end anytime soon.
According to research published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, overweight people live longer.
That's right, lettuce-lovers. You may look better in a bikini, but the nougat-noshing nation--of which I'm a proud member--will inherit the earth.
The results of the study, headed up by a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, come as no surprise to the heavy-set set. After all, it makes perfect sense.
First, if we trip and fall off a cruise ship on our way to the all-you-can-eat midnight buffet, we're a lot less likely to drown than our calorie-counting cousins, thanks to our naturally buoyant physique.
My arm flaps are like built-in water wings--I don't even need to inflate.