Goodbye, Big Gulp. So long super Slurpee. New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is criminalizing soft drinks over the size of 16 ounces.
And if it becomes the law of the land in the Big Apple, how soon will it seep into the Lone Star State?
And how far will it go after that?
Is the cheeseburger in jeopardy? Can the dollar Butterfinger be far behind?
Bloomberg says that obesity is a national problem contributed to by big ol’ cardboard cups of Big Red. Or Orange Crush. Or any soft drink container not easily held in one hand. container not easily held in one hand.
Oh sure, I know; drinking all that soda is bad for us. Sugar is Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to Type 2 diabetes and any number of other problems we bring on our- selves by eating and drinking too much.
But here’s the thing: America is based on liberty. George Washington crossed the Delaware River for liberty.
And if history book illustrations are any- where near correct, George might have had a few Big Gulps and a couple of Krispy Kremes himself when he stopped off at the 7-Eleven on his way home from the war.
It’s the latest case of the government deciding it knows what is best for the rest of us. We elect these folks who assure us they only want to be the voice of the people. They represent us. They will stand up for us.
Oh yeah. But once they get elected, all that democracy crap goes out the window and they come to believe that we are a bunch of kumquat brains who should not be left to determine which side of the bed to roll out of every morning, much less any- thing important enough to vote on. So they spend their time figuring out ways to pro- tect us from ourselves.
Hence the seat belt law and the speed limit laws and the law that says we have to stop at stop signs, even if it’s 3 a.m. in the Mojave Desert and there’s nobody to stop for until you get to Hollywood.
And another thing. If you create a law, you have to find someone to enforce it. In this case, it would be the corpulence police: that elite cordon of officers working dili- gently to ensure that dietary laws are strict- ly enforced and penalties are harsh.
For a time in Denton, we had an elite police unit affectionately called the RAT Patrol. RAT stood for Recidivism Action Team.
Their job was to familiarize themselves with hard-core criminals with rap sheets longer than the lyrics to “Hey Jude” and just as repetitive and subtly remind them every single day of their miserable lives that crime does not pay.
Then a new chief came down from the mountains and decided that it was politi- cally incorrect to liken repeat thieves, rob- bers, rapists and drug dealers to rodents. So he changed the name to something much longer and less comprehensible and issued orders to be sure and advise their clientele to have a nice day.
Bless his heart. (That is a Southern lady’s way of saying something not permitted in family-oriented newspapers.)
But if the Big Gulp law finds its way to Denton, we will be compelled to form the FAT (Flabby Action Team) Patrol. The patrol’s job would be to haunt the highways and cruise convenience stores to enforce the 16-ounce rule. They’ll be sipping out of our big cups to test for soft drinks.
“No, officer, really. It’s straight bourbon, I promise.”
Not even the coffeehouses will be exempt.
“Listen, scumbag. I’ll be checking that giant latte cup again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. My snitch tells me that Coke is your drink of choice and one of these days I’m gonna catch you with a Thermos full and then I’m gonna put you under the obesity jail. Come on, coca- extract breath, make my day.”
Yeah, I know that gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. I get that.
I say, he who is without sin let him cast the first Krispy Kreme. And he can throw it my way. As I write this on Friday, it’s National Donut Day, and it would be unpatriotic to fail to indulge.
Mayor Bloomberg, bless your heart.
DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.