Mr. Clean2/12/09

Even the casual reader of this column can tell you that I’m full of crap. But just how much crap – well, that is soon to be determined.
As a bartender, there are many glamorous facets to the job of which the layperson may not be aware. In addition to remaining on your feet for up to 12 hours at a time, running around at their whim while snarling drunks throw coins at you, and then having to wipe up every fluid imaginable, I recently spent several quality hours with a plumber as he did his best to clear out our backed up sewer lines.
Looking past the initial and obvious unpleasantness of the task, the result was a system moving as smoothly as I had ever seen. This made me consider the potential benefits of clearing out my own pipes, so to speak.
The way I see it, there’s no better time of the year to detox than the period between The Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day. Unless you’re in Punxsutawney then there’s no real reason to tear it up on Groundhog’s Day, and I’m married now so I can finally start blowing off Valentine’s Day. Plus it’s been a tough sell to get anyone to raise a glass for Presidents’ Day over the past few years, so I may as well take the opportunity to take it easy. As I’ve said in the past, it’s important to hit the brakes every now and then just to make sure they still work.
But matter-of-fact, it’s more than just the odd pint to blame for weighing me down. I often try to eat better, but even in the digital age, I have the phone number for Biggie’s Clam Bar committed to memory ((201) 656-2161), which is a solid indication that I tend to backslide a wee bit.
Well, there’s that and my big fat belly. I’ve got a bad back, a condition no doubt exacerbated by the fact that I carry around a big front. Meanwhile I’m sluggish, listless, and I just plain don’t feel right.
In his effort to get the system running smoothly again, the aforementioned plumber’s method involved snakes, power tools, and, shall we say, “invasive measures” – quite frankly none of which seemed all that appealing to me. But with the help of Nutritionist Inna Topiler at Complete Nutrition and Wellness, 80 Park Ave. in Hoboken, I was able to find a program more suitable to my particular needs.
There are cleansers involved, but it’s not any of the harsh, abrasive Human Drano/Colon Blow/stuff of nightmares you often associate with the process. These are gentle cleansers that won’t have you deathly frightened to venture further than 20 feet from a toilet bowl. The Standard Process Purification Program involves the use of food supplements, water and unprocessed organic foods to gently purge the system of all kinds of toxins over a 21-day period. It’s a lot of fruits, veggies, and poached fish – the sort of bland stuff that Madonna forced Guy Ritchie to eat right up until they got divorced. But it’s only for 21 days, and more importantly it’s good for you, which I guess is the point of this venture.
So I’m off on my journey to a “better me.” Normally I would wait until completing the program to write about it, but I knew if I put myself out there beforehand I’d have no choice but to stick to it. So if you see me sneaking into Five Guys, I invite you to roll up a copy of The Current and smack me over the head with it. Meanwhile I’ll let you know how it goes in 21 days. For more information on nutrition programs, log onto
And regular readers may be happy to know that in addition to weight loss, one of the side-effects of this cleansing program is a supposed mental clarity. So don’t be surprised if my next column is extraordinarily profound. Perhaps I’ll solve the economic crisis or detail an effective approach to tackling the issues of climate change.
Then again I’ve repeatedly set the bar so low with this column, so if I write about anything that doesn’t involve nose-picking, flatulence or any other bodily function then we’ve already come a long way, baby.

Christopher M. Halleron, freelance writer/bitter bartender, writes a biweekly humor column for The Hudson Current and websites in the New York Metro area. He spends a lot of his time either in front of or behind the bar in Hoboken, New Jersey where his tolerance for liquor grows stronger as his tolerance for society is eroded on a daily basis. Feel free to drop him a line at


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