Think about it: a big stretch in the big house for buying a Big Gulp!
Castigate that Bloomberg fellow if you must, but New York City’s mayor is willing to make these tough decisions on our behalf — what to eat, what to drink and so on — so we can concentrate on the more important decisions like what to tweet and whether to see “The Avengers” for a third time this weekend. The B Man is a lot like a modern day savior willing to endure slings and arrows so he can lead us to a slimmed-down promised land (I was disappointed, however, to discover that today’s saviors have such whiny, sing-song-y voices).
Bend a knee to Bloomie for already having banned smoking, trans-fats, salt, sugary soda in schools and excessive smiling north of 59th Street. A bended knee would also mean an eye-level conversation with the little guy.
Hizzoner now plans to restrict sales of sugary soft drinks to no more than 16 ounces per cup in city restaurants, theaters, stadiums and arenas. While his critics call him “nanny,” the mayor’s people say that more than half of NYC adults are obese or overweight and they blame sweetened drinks for up to half of the increase in city obesity over the past 30 years. Sure it’s difficult to quantify the unquantifiable. Yet, they tell us that tubbies cost the economy $70 billion to $100 billion in excess medical expenses (University of Illinois).
They say it has to do with the commonweal. You eat Ben & Jerry’s direct from the container, you become a blob, you get diabetes, your medical bills skyrocket and Medicare and Medicaid go soaring so that taxes are out of sight and you wind up losing your house over inability to afford the taxes. Sounds like that TV commercial, does it not? You feel lucky, you go to Vegas; you go to Vegas, you go broke; you go broke, you sell your hair … don’t sell your hair!
And, no matter how they cut it, all of these data and the like assume that fat people are stupid, easily led and unable to make their own decisions.
Say what? Well, consider a quote from one of Bloomberg’s people this week who said sugary drinks are the “pot” of food, the “gateway” to poor eating habits, not unlike the supposed relationship between marijuana and harder drugs. One Pepsi can lead to a lifetime of eclairs and heartache — or so that thinking goes. The mayor’s health commissioner said many consumers become powerless to overcome the constant barrage of ads for larger portion sizes. Duhh.
Chunksters are such easy targets. Else, why would Bloomberg and his allies not go after excessive alcohol consumption? For those of you who enjoy questionable numbers, it is said that alcohol and drug abuse costs American society $1 trillion a year — about 10 times the penalty for flab (Joseph Califano, former U.S. secretary of Health, Education & Welfare). Of course, we already did that booze-ban thing and it did not float well. Imagine them smuggling in Big Gulps from Canada now? Also, the undeniable truth is that blimpos clutter the landscape with their unkempt figures and it does not help their cause. Try to be more kempt, you portlies!
And along comes Billy-Boy. The former president, who once inhaled Big Macs, now has gone vegan, losing 30 pounds, rendering him a back-slapper of New York’s mayor. Clinton endorses Bloomberg’s soda rationing as an answer for reducing medical costs and increasing longevity. Never mind that fatties insist their shortened longevity saves
Social Security (who can believe folks with no self-discipline?).
Be careful with that longevity thing, Billy-Boy. Stress is right up there with alcohol and obesity for lopping off years. You know, the kind of stress expressed in questions like “You’re kiddin’ me, she saved the blue dress?” or “Whaddya sayin’, that she knows the two women in the picture with me are porn stars?”
What are ya in fer? Two and a third to seven for serving the Big Swig.