Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I think I’m the “am” in my own “scam”. Permanent makeup, cosmetic dentistry, colored hair – I call it the Walter Cronkite Syndrome. Men have character lines; women have wrinkles. Men age; women get old. I think God used one of Adam’s ribs to make Eve so there’d be one less bone to pick with men’s looks.

Right now my hair looks like it’s growing through an awkward stage because it is. However, when everyone from friends to family practitioner asks if I’m growing my hair, I say no. It’s growing without my help. It’s growing because I’m unimaginative. It’s growing because I’m hair-challenged. Frankly, it’d be easier to cut my hair than cut the conversation about it.

I’d like to cut the daily e-mails I get informing me I’ve been awarded, inherited or won millions of dollars. In spite of blocking them, I get more. Either my name is on top of some international scam list or I’ve scammed myself by not believing in my amazing, monetary good fortune.

We all have the bad fortune of knowing people we don’t like. When I respond to their thank you’s by saying “It’s the least I could do”, what I really mean is I don’t want to do more than the least.

Then there are politicians. I’m not surprised anymore when I hear that a politician has been caught in a compromising position – whether it’s in the White House or an airport bathroom. I’m surprised when I hear the compromising position was actually a political position.

The menu at a local, Chinese restaurant wasn’t actually what it seemed. On the back it was a promise for healthier kids’ meals from Burger King. No, this wasn’t a blending of culinary cultures. This was a Chinese restaurant owner taking advantage of an overprinting for Burger King. This was the American way.

Because of marketing strategies, things often aren’t what they seem at supermarkets. The giant box of cereal is only half full and the family-size bag of chips is cheaper per ounce than the economy-size bag. Sometimes supermarkets aren’t as super as they seem.

Nevertheless, whether it’s a kid’s burger, a box of cereal or a bag of chips, after you read the list of ingredients you realize food isn’t all food. You realize scam is one of the secret ingredients of food and of life.