Screw Racism, Sexism, Economic Inequality, Corona, Fentanyl, Gentrification, Inflation, Wars, and TikTok — THIS is What’s Destroying This Country

And no, it’s not even puberty blockers for kiddies.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels:

America. Land of the Lard Asses. Home of the Whopper and the Starbucks early morning milkshake. One nation, under obesity, with corndogs and Big Gulps for all.

I’m talking about SUGAR, of course. America’s original white powder addiction, which makes crack cocaine look like Stevia.

And that’s putting it lightly.

A little while ago I was at Wal-Mart and I had quite possibly the worst experience I’ve ever had in my life.

It was mid-morning. Around 9:30 AM. I forget exactly what I was there for, but I know I had to return something. So I was standing in line at customer service.

Ordinarily, I’m as focused as a stagecoach Clydesdale wearing blinders when I go to Wally World. I make a point to maintain precise tunnel vision. I won’t risk having my eyesight sullied by the likes of what you’ll see at a typical Flaw-Mart.

It started off no different that morning. I’d made it inside, blissfully unaware of any bothersome surrounding entitites.

Then I noticed the kid.

Or more precisely, this tubby, oozing, sluggish, pasty-skinned, hair-a-mussed, jelly-bellied, fat body of an adolescent hanging off his pear-shaped big-bootied mother. His cherry-red lips flapping as he whined and moaned for a snack. His voice like a buzzing mosquito. His sock-sandled feet clacking on the shiny tile floor in tune with his incessant dribblings for something to eat.

The mother, a beleaguered blimp in a floral-printed dress that looked like the print design from a ’70s sofa, huffed, and reached down into her cart. And what did she pull out?

A box of ice cream sandwiches.

The fatty pustule of a boy tore open the one side of the box, eagerly stripping the waxy paper from the sugary treat. Stuffing the black and white rectanglar sugary dessert in his maw, he oozed across the floor, toward a bench, on which he sprawled his spongy carcass. One hand securing the sandwich for steady bites, the other pulling out a massive smartphone. One grubby thumb activating some colorful mobile game with a lot of jangling sounds.

And there he sat. Slouched like some self-satisfied grotesque Buddha, kicking his feet in infantile glee, vanilla and chocolate lining his lips clownishly. His sweat clothes stuck to his round body like the plastic on those individual cheese slices.

“Sir, I can help you now,” some voice said from afar. I’d heard, but I was too in shock to move.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It seemed impossible. And a whole number of implications were ping ponging around my head.

Firstly, this kid obviously had not had breakfast before he and his mother left the house that morning. Given the state of his hair, clothes, and sloppy demeanor, he’d likely rolled out of bed, and hopped in the car to go with mommy. Only for his hunger pangs to kick in after arriving.

Secondly, it was evidently acceptable in this kid’s household to eat ice cream for breakfast. And not just acceptable, but regularly occurring. The way the mom had offered this kid the sandwiches with an indulgent “there-he-goes-again” grin on her face made it obvious this wasn’t the first time.

Thirdly, it was acceptable for this kid to whine like a baby for food in public. Mind you, this kid wasn’t five or six. He looked about twelve.

Fourthly, it was okay to dress like a slob, and slouch around furniture. While loudly playing a stupid mobile game. And as if he wasn’t in public but at home in his living room.

And lastly, this kid had ZERO self-awareness of how ridiculous and pathetic he looked.

I tried to rationalize. Maybe this kid was disabled, or mentally ill, or had some kind of frontal lobe damage that explained his behavior.

But, no. He seemed lucid. Clearly dexterous enough to handle sucking on dessert while playing Candy Crush simultanenously. His eyes were clear. Everything about him looked normal, other than the flabbiness.

He was just a piece of sh*t, that’s all. And to say I hated that disgusting child is an understatement.

I wanted to punt that kid across the room.

But then I felt a smothering wave of sympathy for the boy, spiked with a righteous anger.

It wasn’t actually the kid I hated. Or even the mother, for allowing the kid to become a junior Blob. Though she certainly bears the blunt of the blame.

It was the growing trend of FAT ACCEPTANCE and widespread SUGAR INTAKE in this country, and all its unpleasant side effects on human behavior and thinking. A trend that prizes sloth. Swaps fitness and health for the dopamine pleasure high only sugar in factory-concentrated form can give. A trend that steals youth and energy, giving in its place sedentary cellulite. A trend that puts adolescents in the prime of puberty on a path to a life of early on-set diabetes, weakened joints, respiratory problems, heart disease, and a host of other ailments. A trend that turns ordinary human beings into shuffling, sliming, slouching, globular, sugar-addicted insects.

Growing up in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when I was the same age as this poor Wal-Mart kid, I remember that for every class of about 30 students, there was usually about one or two “fat” kids. But they werent even really fat. They were just “husky.” Big, but not looking like over inflated balloon animals.

Well, that ain’t the case anymore.

Recently, I was stopped at a crosswalk by a high school, and I had to wait for the river of kids to walk past the intersection. If I had to guess, I’d say up to half the teens were overweight.

A few years ago I returned to college to finish my degree. I was in an English class that was roughly two thirds female. Probably about half of them were obese. And I don’t mean a little junk in the trunk. I’m talking an ass cheek hanging out on both sides of the seat level of fatness. All slurping down their Starbucks milkshakes. Always complaining about their “anxiety” and “depression” out in the open, as if the classroom was their personal therapy session. I asked one of them — a chipmunk-cheeked chubbo — how often she exercised, and what her diet was like, as those two things have A LOT to do with your mental health. She looked at me like I had three heads. Then went back to listing off her preferred prescription psyche meds to her equally gelatinous girlfriend.

Silly me. I thought everyone knew a bad diet and no exercise can lead to poor physical and mental health. Who knew subsisting entirely on McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme doughnuts could turn you into a squishy, nerve-wracked mess?

I’ve known people who literally lived off of fast food. And I don’t mean that admitted grabby-handed weirdo Morgan Spurlock from Super Size Me. Real, actual people I’ve worked with, who never failed to have a Big Gulp soda gripped in hand. Men used to holster six-shooters on the Western frontier. In Medieval times, men carried swords and daggers. Nowadays, the only “weapons” people pack are shiny cola cans and Ding Dongs. The only dangerous “enemy” they’re concerned with — mild, momentary hunger.

When it comes to fast food, if I had to choose between swallowing nothing but Big Macs or a MAC-10, I’d say squeeze that trigger till it goes click.

We don’t need an annual State of the Union by the president. We need an Annual State of the Nation’s Waistline, which is forever expanding. We don’t need a nuclear Doomsday Clock, we need a Body Fat Caliper “Clock.” And by the way, we’re one minute to midnight.

Are people aware the Aviom Humans in Wall-E aren’t models to emulate?

Look, I can understand putting on a few pounds when you’re older. Women frequently pack on extra weight during and after childbirth that never quite goes away. Most middle-aged men get that typical pot-belly look if they’re not careful. Sometimes life’s responsibilities make it hard to follow a balanced diet and exercise the way you should. We can’t all be super jacked and hitting the gym like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. I get it.

But when you look in the mirror and all you see is the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, wouldn’t some alarm bells go off? When you can barely fit in an airplane seat without rolls of fat spilling into the aisle and onto the next person, wouldn’t you think that that’s a little strange?

At one point does someone just accept that they’re going to cosplay as Violet Beauregarde after she chewed the three-course gum from Willy Wonka forever?

Are people confused about what foods are healthy or not? Here’s a little tip: If there’s a cartoon character on the box, it’s probably not good for you.

Meanwhile, that culturally acceptable fatness “trendline” seems to keep expanding outward. Before long, those walking signs on street corners are all going to have to be changed to the shape of beach balls in order to accurately reflect the typical human form.

And that’s a travesty, and totally unacceptable.

If people want to be fat, or are apathetic about fatness, that’s their prerogative. But I will never accept fatness as some kind of virtue or value in need “acceptance,” when it is actually destructive in every way to your health, and to society at large. I will not equivocate fatness with the civil rights movement, as so many causes are wont to do these days.

What is actually a travesty is that twelve-year old Wal-Mart boy, whose health has likely been destroyed for life, and all because of parental negligence, and food corporations that inject ungodly amounts of sugar into everything. It is very hard to undo the damage of obesity when you’ve been fat from youth. Not impossible, but very difficult.

The fatness trend and sugar consumption in this country are tantamout to self-abuse and slow suicide. No different than the smoking and casual day drinking seen in the ’50s and ’60s.

George W. Bush fretted about imaginary “weapons of mass destruction.” Except he wasn’t totally wrong. They exist. They’re sitting on the shelves at your local supermarket.

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