Based on comments I received from a past editorial it seems I have struck an emotional cord with many rodders regarding the dangers of eating and driving. Many of you agreed wholeheartedly and shared your deepest secrets that, on occasion, you too have committed many of the no-no's mentioned in the said editorial. Here's additional advice to live and drive a street rod by.

For starters, somewhere in your life you have been exposed to chocolate, if you haven't you are neither a good human nor will you ever amount to squat as a street rodder. (As I live and breathe I can hear the wailing at the walls of Hershey, Pennsylvania.) From your earliest days in school a dedicated teacher probably tried to give you a fighting chance of surviving in today's world by educating you about food groups and balanced diets. You know...fruits and vegetables, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

And now for my advice, you knew it didn't you? It's physically and emotionally impossible to get through life without chocolate. That's a fact! I have seen enough women crying at the movies (you can substitute rod run) while holding a 1-pound chocolate bar to realize that the husband in the 12-year-old oil stained automotive T-shirt was not going to be an emotional pillar for her. What else is there? What could possibly give her solace? Chocolate, the bigger the bar the better! How you ask? I know this from my own sometimes-pathetic life. Chocolate is derived from cacao beans. (If it weren't for the movie Chocolat I would still think it was from coco beans.) Are you aware that the bean comes from the vegetable family? Sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar beets. Note that both are plants, hence the reason for placing them in the vegetable category. Ergo, chocolate is a vegetable.

I can also prove that candy bars are a health food. Follow along, chocolate candy bars contain milk, which is dairy. There, I have just proven my point. That being the case...chocolate covered raisins, cherries, and orange slices all count as fruit. Eat up. I know I do, mostly at the movies and often while driving my hot rod. However, it should be noted that chocolate is best enjoyed in a closed car and preferably in an air-conditioned one. An open roadster like mine often proves to be a poor place to leave a candy bar on the seat. Melted chocolate can be a real bummer while driving but it does bring to the forefront an irrefutable point--you're eating your chocolate too slowly. (Seems logical to me.)

Let me give you a typical scenario: How does a rodder get large amounts of chocolate home (or to a hotel room) from the store in sweltering heat or while attending the Nats in Louisville? Our hero is attempting to prove himself useful to his wife. (Remember last month's editorial?) The answer is obvious--eat the chocolate before driving. It eliminates the danger of chocolate covered digits as well as a smudged steering wheel, which in turn creates an unsafe driving condition. Your wife will think you both insightful, for not wanting to risk injury, and thoughtful for not wanting to squander the financial investment in your street rod. An added bonus will be the seemingly endless limit to ones energy. You can now stay up late enough to take her out to dinner and the movies. (At which point there will be more chocolate. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?)

You may be saying to yourself, "Self, what about my robust physical appearance and toned conditioning that 30 years of overeating and drinking have melded into the quintessential street rodder body?" At this point a diet tip may be valid.

It's been reported that if you eat chocolate before each meal it will remove that hunger edge--thereby lessening how much you will eat. You ask, "But what about all those calories?" If you are going to worry about calories then you should follow some sound advice I have followed for years.

Are you aware that a chocolate covered Dove bar is approximately 300 calories. Are you also aware that they're packaged three to a freezer box? Hence, should you take all three at once you have obligated yourself to 900 calories. Here's the truly ingenious and somewhat scientific part. Eat one bar and that's a plus 300 calories you have consumed; place the other two back in the freezer and that's a negative 600 calories you have not consumed; subtract the 300 you consumed from the 600 you didn't and you have a negative 300 calories! I have to ride my bike for half an hour, or drive my roadster for two days, to burn up that many calories. The shear genius of this philosophy is astounding. But what about eating a balanced diet? One way of achieving a balanced diet is to eat equal amounts of dark and white chocolate. This provides the balance you are looking for, an equilibrium so to speak, in the diet.

It should also be pointed out that much more intelligent men (or women) than I have noted that chocolate has many preservatives. Isn't it true that preservatives help to make you look younger? I thought so. Any street rodder worth his window sticker should be eating more chocolate if he or she wants to look young. Given what I have seen at rod runs across the country as of late rodders aren't eating enough chocolate.

I eat chocolate daily as it gives me a sense of accomplishment. At the same time I have consumed a day's worth of calories. I see that as productive and a very good use of time management.

And now the best for last. It has been brought to my attention, remember I am just reporting, that if not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. Again, it's reported that an entire garment industry would be devastated. We can't have that, how many of these workers are street rodders? This could have an adverse affect on our street rod industry. In closing it should be noted that the wise and sensitive street rodder should consume chocolate but never while driving. It's permissible, however, to eat while sitting in a lawn chair, under a canopy while watching the passing parade. Happy Valentine's Day.