Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Time For A New War

Let’s see, we’ve got the war on terror that’s been going on for over eight years now. And we’ve got the war on drugs that is well into its fourth decade. But I’m afraid those wars are getting just a little too long in the tooth for my taste. And I have to say that, frankly, I’m getting more than a little bored with them. Everyone knows that fear, not boredom, is the only way to sustain a pointless war with no possible victory in sight for any length of time. So I say let’s shake things up a little and find something new to declare war on. Something that everyone can fear.

I’ve got just the ticket: Let’s declare war on greasy, unhealthy fast food. Now that’s the kind of war we can all sink our teeth into. Let’s face it, fast food is really bad for you. If you’ve seen that movie Super Size Me, you know what I’m talking about. I personally don’t eat fast food for a variety of reasons. And, being an American, I firmly believe that whatever I think or do or say are the only right things to think and do and say. Anyone who doesn’t think or do or say as I do is wrong and must be stopped by whatever means necessary.

Getting this war started will be a piece of cake. It won’t require a Constitutional amendment or even new legislation. The Controlled Substances Act is all we need to get the ball rolling. We just have to get fast food classified as a Schedule I substance. We won’t even have to bend the rules like we did with marijuana, since fast food already satisfies several of the Schedule I criteria. It has a huge potential for abuse, its physiological effects are well known, it has a long history and current pattern of abuse, it causes physical and psychological dependence, and it poses a serious risk to the public health. That sounds like a Schedule I substance if ever I tasted one. How could the Attorney General possibly disagree?

And just think how easy it will be to identify the offenders. Who needs racial profiling when you can use profile profiling. That’s right, anybody who’s profile (i.e., silhouette) is a little too round or has inappropriate bulges will be an obvious suspect. Just think how easy it will be to identify potential offenders at the airport. And there’s the added bonus of never having to sit next to an obese person in business class. Unfortunately, some larger people who do not consume fast food will be innocent victims, but probably not all that many. Not enough to really worry about.

And let’s not forget the government propaganda. I can’t wait to see the commercials showing chubby kids all hopped up on cheeseburgers and fries laughing uncontrollably, committing brutal acts of violence, and jumping off of tall buildings because they think they can fly. Even better will be the ones that warn of the “gateway” phenomenon. Today it might just be cheeseburgers, but tomorrow it will surely be Twinkies, which will eventually lead to eating raw bacon fat and guzzling sugar straight from a 5-pound bag.

Now before you accuse me of being overly enthusiastic or optimistic about this new war, I am aware of a few potential, though minor, negative side effects. True, the vast majority of people who consume fast food do not overdo it, and they would be deprived of what, to them, is an occasional harmless pleasure. Some may even be incarcerated. But, as they say, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. And of course a vast new fast-food black market will grow and flourish. The thought of “fry houses” springing up near schools is frightening indeed. And the phrase “prison overcrowding” will take on a whole new meaning. But if we throw enough money at the problem, we will at the very least generate lots of publicity, which will help generate additional funds, which will generate more publicity, and so on. Our economy could certainly use the boost.

So what do you say? Are you with me on this? Let’s put an end to the fast food epidemic that is destroying our nation. Let’s nip this “assassin of youth” in the bud. People that consume large amounts of fast food don’t need diets or exercise or any other kind of “help.” The only thing that will ever stop them is punishment—the kind that is swift, severe, and certain. Putting them behind bars is the only way to save them from themselves and at the same time make our streets safer (and roomier). If that’s not enough, then just think of the kind of message we would be sending our young people if we continue to ignore, or even worse condone, the scourge that is greasy, unhealthy fast food.

No comments: