Honolulu Lite

Charles Memminger

Pro-mayo fiends
strike on new front

As Emo Philips, that keen observer of the human condition put it, some mornings it's just not worth chewing off the leather straps.

I felt that way looking at a magazine advertisement an alleged friend of mine gave me claiming that eating mayonnaise can cut the risk of getting Alzheimer's by 80 percent.

As any leader of a righteous movement will tell you, there are always the forces of darkness out there trying to tear you down. Bill Clinton had the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"; George W. Bush has the "Vast Toastmasters Conspiracy Against Incompetent TelePrompTer Readers" and, I, as head of the Worldwide I Hate Mayonnaise Club (, face the Vast Insidious Mayo Conspiracy, whose evil spawn are hell-bent on spreading the devil's condiment on everything we eat.

I have been battling the minions of mayo since 1988 and, I must say, it seemed we were getting the upper hand. The national dietary cry of "No Fat!" drove people away from heart-stoppers like sausages, deep-fried Spam and the dreaded white gunk. Fast-food outlets actually started issuing "healthy" low-fat, mayo-free sandwiches.

LITTLE DID WE know that the forces of mayo had merely been driven underground where they plotted a great disgusting revolution. Apparently, secretly hunkered down with the likes of a certain Dr. Atkins and a staff of corruptible nutritionists, proponents of the pale slime hatched a wicked plan in which the soldiers of good nourishment (bread, rice, Coco Puffs, etc.) would be dethroned in favor of the sworn enemies of the cardiovascular system (chili-cheese-hot dogs, raw bacon and canned corned beef from obscure South American countries). And, yes, my friends, sadly, mayonnaise was lifted on the oily rising tide with the rest of aorta-blockers.

But it apparently was not enough to convince people that they could eat ham- cheese-butter-lard-bologna sandwiches (without buns, of course) and lose weight; they were told this actually was good for them.

So it is not surprising that someone would now say that eating mayo can prevent Alzheimer's. According to the magazine ad, foods with "good fat" can help prevent the disease. That may be true, but to advertise mayo as "good fat" should be a criminal act under the FDA charter. In fact, the word "good" shouldn't be used anywhere in the vicinity of the word "mayo" at any time.

It's clear why such claims can be made. It's because anyone who eats a lot of mayo and still gets Alzheimer's won't remember it. If mayo proponents claimed that eating mayo cured cancer, the ruse would be immediately apparent. I'm just glad Ronald Reagan isn't around to see Alzheimer's outrage.

So, mayo haters, don't lose heart, or even clog it, even. People of good taste know that mayo is bad. This pro-mayo craze, like too much fat in the diet itself, will pass.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. E-mail


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