In which our intrepid social commentator boils down all the challenges facing our great nation into a relative handful of simple—but not simplistic—solutions.
STEP THREE: EAT LESS
No, those jeans don’t make you look fat. Your fat makes you look fat.
Every time I go to some steak place and they drop two pounds of dead cattle on the table—hey, don’t I get a side of bacon with this??—my immediate thought is that there’s no way I can finish it all. Within 20 minutes, though, it’s becoming a part of my invincible defense against famine and I’m bursting—somewhat literally—with the pride of a job well done.
I’m an American, dammit, and I can handle anything. And that includes three-pound burgers and those sundaes that you get for free if you can eat the whole thing without, uh, what’s the word the aristocrats use…oh, yeah…puking.
In the world of gastronomy, the French created words like flambé and sauté. The Italians gave us al dente and dolce. In America, we created Drive-Thru (for people too lazy to walk 50 feet to the counter) and Supersize (when you’re afraid of missing out on the mystery meat).
And doggy bags. You know, there is no local term that equates to “doggy bag,” anywhere else in the world, with the exception of some parts of Southeast Asia.
I however, have no need for doggy bags. I am AN AMERICAN. I have trained like an Olympic swimmer or Tour de France champion, sculpting my body into a caloric consumption machine. Or perhaps I am like an eastern mystic, learning how to become one with all creatures, mostly by eating them.
There is a dark side to all this fun, however. Eating like an American leads to pretty much every problem we have today.
Obesity is killing us, but only after we run up huge medical bills and enjoy life a lot less and have to see therapists to discuss our poor body images and join health clubs that we never go to because it’s just too damned hard and we’d have to get off the couch.
We’re also importing an ungodly amount of oil just to run the farms and ship the food and carry our overly endowed rumps around in cars that have to be big enough to carry us. If we weighed less, our cars would burn less gas carting us around. If we lost enough total pounds, Saudi Arabia would be unable to balance its budget without a bake sale.
Beyond health costs and energy consumption, there’s that whole environmental thing. We’re using up all kinds of resources to grow the food, package the food, ship the food, repackage the food, serve the food and, only a few hours later, process the stuff that’s left after we digest the food. Ick.
How much less is the right amount of eating less? Hey, I’m not some USDA dietician and I’m not your momma and I’m not Jiminy Cricket, sitting on your shoulder to tell you what’s right and wrong.
Less. That’s all I’m saying.