Fitz column mug

David Fitzsimmons, Tucson’s most beloved ink-stained wretch.

I am going into the holiday season on a diet. “I lost 15 pounds in two months because I gave up wheat.” I can’t believe I said that aloud to a friend. It’s bad enough I have silver hair but now I’m talking like every old man I see out at lunch with his buddies. You’ve overheard us.

“It was awful. Cancer of the you-know-what.”

“His prostate? Size of a melon.”

My friend repeated what I said. “Hmm. You lost 15 pounds in two months. Hmm.” He returned to scanning the menu. He did not say, “Wow! You look like you lost a ton of weight! What happened to Dave? What is Channing Tatum doing in your seat? What have you been doing, Bones? Cartooning? Lifting pens?”

Instead he barely said, “Hmm.”

I’m diving into the sugarplum season on the totally trendy Cave-Man-Pre-agrarian-Wheat-belly diet. I’m so Paleo I’m devolving. I only eat meat, dairy, pterodactyl eggs, vegetables, fruits, olives, nuts, small pebbles, ice age squirrels and random insects.

I don’t eat, I forage. In the yard. At night I run with a herd of javelina. We knock over trash cans and graze in the organic litter. We had some amazing gravel today.

I told everyone I spent last Saturday listening to NPR , snacking on trilobites, and putting my fat pants in storage.

At a fundraiser a sweet, hardworking millennial waitress graciously offered me hors d’oeuvres on a tray. Tiny bread crackers with a dab of cheese.

My “No, thank you” dripped with disgust for the vile abomination she had innocently thrust in front of me, tempting me to fall off my wagon for one brief horrifying moment. Heads up, witches; this Snow White knows his poisoned apples. I hissed, “I’m on a diet.”

Truth is, my diet keeps me healthy with low cholesterol and out of the diabetic range. So I say, “No, no, no” to every Ding Dong and HoHo (ho). I’m strict. If it’s processed I won’t eat it. I eat like a pilgrim, like a woodland bear, only grazing for rocks, leaves and berries. And twigs.

I dream of becoming a nutrition enforcer, wearing an armband featuring a skull over crossed forks.

Our refrigerator looks like Fred Flintstone’s meat locker stocked with a giant pterodactyl-leg on a platter next to a pitcher of coconut milk next to some neolithic corn to shuck, assorted berries, nuts and a chaw of mammoth jerky the size of a Sabino Canyon boulder.

Wilma thinks I can’t see the ice cream in the freezer. Rocky Road all the way to a heart attack. Sugar suicide. I’m on to her. I found her chocolate chip cookies in the dryer! I snapped. I ate every last one. My binge didn’t end until a zoo animal lost the struggle. Straight into the hungry tummy monster. Somehow I woke up in California at a cupcake store in Van Nuys. No recollection how I got there. Joke’s on her. The walk home was fabulous aerobic exercise.

Thanksgiving was the best. I watched my relatives down enough fat, sugar, oil, carcinogens, preservatives and dyes to kill King Kong. Everyone at the Thanksgiving table rolled their eyes when I declared, “Give me that delicious zero-calorie fibrous stalk of mouth-watering celery and I am stuffed!” The truth is I was so starved for vittles that if a fly flew into view my tongue would have reflexively unfurled out of my mouth and reeled that unfortunate buzzing protein pellet with six wiggling legs into the back of my throat in one beautiful move faster than you could say “Lean Cuisine.” I insisted on having the teeniest, tiniest slice of pie it was humanly possible to slice. They all hated me.

By 3 p.m., our guests resembled the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade helium balloons that they had ridiculed that morning on the Samsung. See you at the gym after New Year’s, all you Pillsbury Doughboys.

I’m always trying new vegan paleo raw dishes. For the holidays, I wanted to try something seasonal and festive, something fresh and organic. I was making mistletoe salad yesterday when Ellen pointed out to me that putting mistletoe in your body can cause blurred vision, nausea, blood pressure changes, abdominal pain and diarrhea. My beloved cave wife saw I was crushed. She reached into her secret vault, deep in the heart of her purse, and pulled out a beautiful glistening red and white peppermint candy cane, unwrapped the cellophane and offered it to me.

Pure sugar.

Will my torment ever end?

Contact editorial cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons at