Thursday, October 28, 2004


Now that smoking has been identified as an Enemy of the People, and many, many people have given up the habit, while those that still cling to it are treated as pariahs, we are moving on to a new enemy...Obesity!

Obesity afflicts millions of Americans and, from what I read, it brings on many related diseases, including early death. It is far better, it seems, to be as slim as a willow wand while passing through this brief sojourn on earth, rather than a huffing, puffing blob of superfluous flesh, a Lardo, an overly plump pigeon waddling about rather than gracefully tiptoeing through the tulips of delight.

So, Americans are undoubtedly going to wage war on the Fatties. After all, these fat-related diseases cost us all money, and there is no sense in saving money on smoking diseases only to have to spend it on the diseases brought about by feeding the face.

Now, to give them credit, many Americans are trying their best to slim down. They jog around, sweating like pigs, mouths agape, obviously in agony, trying to run off those pounds. They exercise, join spas, join diet clubs, go on "fad diets", eat less fat, eat no fat, eat all fat, and try Yoga or Pilates or anything else suggested that just might make an inch or a pound fade away.

The trouble is, these worrisome pounds have a habit of returning with the first slice of pie, so it is obvious those in charge of other people's lifestyles are not going to stand for this. Oh, it will start out slowly. It always does. But the first thing you know, restaurants will be divided into two sections....the Fat Section and the Thin Section.

The Thin Section of the restaurant will be filled with lanky frames and tiny bone structures, and they will get plates of spaghetti, lasagna, hamburgers dripping catsup and fat, coney dogs, ribs baked brown and barbequed to lush richness, steaks with potatoes and sour cream and all that buttery good stuff. But the Fat Section will get only a tiny little smidgeon of a serving, perhaps a diced carrot, a tidbit of chicken, a little daub of this or that.

But this won't last long. Oh, no! It is not enough! Soon Fatties will be banned from restaurants altogether. They will have to eat while standing on the sidewalk, 100 feet from the building. So there they stand, clustered together, sharing their misery in silent camaraderie, munching their celery strip and diet bar, sipping their sugarless drinks. And the Thins, how they will glare at the Fatties as they pass them! Look at that one! Must be at least four hundred pounds stripped down! Did you ever!!

First thing you know, this contempt will appear in the hallowed walls of City Halls across the country. It will become illegal for any Fattie to eat anything within the city limits or on any public property. Fatties must eat in private, away from the indignant gazes of the Pleasantly Thin.

Confined to their homes, bereft, lost, battling feelings of shame and dismay, the Fatties will of course eat even more and get even fatter. The Anorexic and Bulimic may pass themselves off as Thins, but they don't fool anyone for long. And the Bingers just wear a path to their refrigerators, doing what Bingers do best....eating.

To no avail will they listen to the public service announcements put out by various sympathetic organizations. Nor do they pay any attention to the celebrities urging them not to eat so much. What good does it do a Fattie to see Calista Flockhart speak on the dangers of overeating? Has Calista ever buried her face in a chocolate pudding and lapped it up like a hungry pup?

In this new Obesity-Hating World, the price of all chocolate and other fattening foods beloved by chubbys will keep getting more and more expensive. Soon, the Fatties will be ordering food from the Indians or crossing the border to buy it. They are bereft, set upon by society, yet unable to escape the grip of their condition. They are joined by the diehard smokers and driven underground, where festive Eating-Smoking Orgies are held nightly in crowded speakeasies across the country.

They won't live long, this Band of Bulgers, but they will enjoy themselves as long as they can get away with it.