As more and more Big Macs go down the hatch, it seems more and more folks are crying that fat people have become the new outcasts.
We agree – to an extent. But we also say they haven’t seen anything yet.
If the husky were truly to be the new pariahs, we would have to treat them the same way people treat smokers.
For starters, we’d have to pick out the food that makes them fat and tax the heck out of it.
Unlike all forms of smoking, we simply can’t ban all forms of eating from the Earth. But we can target what we’ll call fatty foods.
This means ice cream, cookies, caramel, candies, chocolate and the like will now cost at least triple the amount it used to. The new tax will also apply to anything that people seem to enjoy eating or anything with the word “Super” in its name.
Anyone care for a $22 Twinkie?
Next is controlling where people can eat these fatty foods. The foodstuff will be prohibited in both indoor and outdoor sports arenas, bars, bowling alleys, the workplace, any government owned facility, in certain areas of restaurants and on select campuses.
No more honey coated peanuts on the airplane. No more custard éclairs on the bus.
Folks who still choose to poison their bodies with such monstrosities will be forced to stand at least 20 feet from any public building doorway and cower outside in the rain.
People who tip the scales above their recommended body weight will also have a hefty price to pay when it comes to health insurance. No more free meal.
An additional $200 will be added to the annual insurance fees for every pound people are above their target weight.
This means if a woman whose average body weight should fall around 130 actually weighs in at 170, she now has an $800 surcharge added on to her regular annual insurance rates.
Health insurance surcharges for smokers require them to cough up an annual $700 or more.
Once all the technicalities are handled and new “No Fat” laws in place, the public ostracism can begin.
Complete strangers will walk by anyone who carries any extra pounds and make loud oinking noises. Others will glare and wave their hands in front of their faces or abruptly blurt, “Oh, yuck! You smell like food.”
Those thoughtful, do-gooder parents will train their kids to run up to fat people eating fatty foods in a pubic park and say, “Why do you eat that? My mom said it will kill you.”
Help wanted ads will note, “Non-fat people preferred,” while hotels and rental properties will insist upon it.
Once the transformation is complete, and the pleasantly plump truly become the new outcasts, we can duly move on to the next set on our quest to right all societal wrongs.
Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who likes a good slice of Junior’s cheesecake now and again, but wouldn’t pay a higher tax to get it Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com and Rynski.Etsy.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think?
What habit or trait is most discriminated against?
Have you ever been ostracized or discriminated against? For what?
When folks hear we live in the Southwest, they are apt to start spewing myths and sending us all kinds of kooky and kitschy knickknacks.
We become proud owners of things like a spoon rest shaped like a cowboy boot, salt and pepper shakers in the form of a cowboy boot and hat, and dish towels adorned with cactus.
We get lots of coyote everything and even some creepy kokopelli.
Now we can fight back.
Let’s give folks a real taste of the Southwest with Arizona Gecko Poop and Arizona Javelina Patties. Yes, these are real products on the market and just a few in a fine line put out by The Huckleberry People.
Leave it to a company in Montana to come up with Arizona Gecko Poop.
Actually, these folks have poop from all over the nation. Some from their home state includes Montana deer, elk and bear poop. They also sell Iowa Pig Poop and the mysteriously located bat guano.
Of course, the little boxes and bags actually contain chocolate-covered candies, not excrement, but we like the Huckleberry people’s style.
We can also include a note with our gift that clears up some Southwest myths. When folks hear you live in the Southwest they often think:
It’s always hot. This week’s 40-degree morning temperatures should clear that one up, as should the snow that hit Tucson in 2007. And to think I nearly gave away all my fur coats as I was packing to move from the East Coast.
It’s sandy and barren. Yes, it is. But the desert is much more than just a grand expanse of sand. There is plenty of shrub, brush and strange growths and even more wildlife to go with it. We especially dig the tumbleweeds as they make great art projects.
It’s full of cowboys. In my several years in New Mexico and Arizona I’ve only met one person who introduced himself as a cowboy. He was a 19-year-old at a rodeo in Clovis, N.M. He said, “I bet you never slept with a cowboy before,” right before he spit a wad of chew juice near his boot.
Gunfights are the norm. Well, this one is pretty much true. But the gunfights aren’t some dramatic event at the O.K. Corral but rather mundane and usually gang-related.
One more note: When I was moving from New York to New Mexico, more than one person asked if I was excited to be on my way to a foreign country and did I have a valid passport. No kidding.
Do you get kitschy gifts in honor of the Southwest?
What other Southwest myths have you heard?
Which ones irk you the most? Which ones make you laugh?
A good chunk of Americans are fat, broke and angry – a horrible way to live. But rather than making a handful of half-hearted New Year’s resolutions to amend the horror, folks can concentrate on a single resolution that has the power to soothe the world, or at least their souls.
Stop the gobbling.
This resolution does not only apply to food, although that’s a good place to start.
A hefty 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s more than half the population. That’s sick.
That’s also the result of supersize fries, half-pound burgers and dinner plates the size of Memphis that are swimming in butter and heaped to the brim. Portion control seems a foreign concept. When it comes to food, size really does matter.
The gobbling also applies to people’s possessions. Sadly, we are a culture built on material wants. The Joneses want a bigger house, car and pool than the Andersons. The rest of the neighborhood, of course, wants to keep up with the Joneses.
Folks get sucked into the material world and the quick fix of instant credit, amassing a mountain of belongings they cannot even afford.
Things start to control their owners, rather than the other way around.
Gobbling also applies to progress. Folks are eager to gobble up the latest gadget that keeps them connected, only a keypad away from the world.
These gadgets also, in turn, gobble up people’s time. Not many people even take a vacation these days without checking their e-mail, voicemail or whatever gadget feature they need to check at least once a day.
No wonder everyone is so angry.
Overweight folks may also be bitter because their poor bodies are in constant overload.
Broke folks may be irate because they spend their days ducking calls from collection agencies. The multi-tasking mavens may be mad they never have a spare moment to themselves.
If they’d all stop gobbling, they’d all be a lot less angry.
To ensure full success in the gobble-stopping, the underlying reason for gobbling needs to be addressed.
People often gobble because they are trying to fill a void in their soul. They may erroneously think this void can be sated with food, drink, drugs, sex or even material possessions – anything they can gobble up.
The American way of life, where bigger is better and more is best, only adds fodder to the gobbling.
People need to find ways to fill that void without buying into the gobbling culture. They can try to fill that void with love, friendship, quality time, helping others, meditation, spiritual connections or even petting and adoring a dog.
Anything that will help stop the gobbling.
Perhaps psychologist and author Mary Pipher summed it up best. “If we let culture just happen to us, we’ll end up fat, addicted, broke, with a house full of junk and no time.” Add anger into the mix, and we may be already there.
Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who is guilty of gobbling at thrift stores. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski and this editorial appears in the Jan. 4 issue of the Arizona Daily Star. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com. E-mail email@example.com.
Are you guilty of gobbling? What do you gobble most often?
Are you going to do anything to change it?
Do you make any new year resolutions?
A Tucson pizza guy was fired after being accused of throwing dough balls at and drawing a chalk penis on the outside wall of Magpies Gourmet Pizza on Broadway.
While the premise may be a tad humorous, Casey Lemme’s story is anything but.
Lemme is 30, just finished his bachelor’s in history at University of Arizona and is a well-liked fellow. He has three dogs, a sweet wife and has worked at Magpies for the past 10 years while he completed his degree.
But his denial meant nothing. Another worker, who was supervisor on the day of the chalk penis incident, was also slated to be fired over it. She was instead tipped off in advance and simply never came back to work.
Lemme had no clue when he arrived to work his 4 p.m. shift on Sept. 27 that he would be immediately called into the office and axed.
He said Magpies President Mike Acedo was at the Broadway location to do the honors.
“He told me somebody from the property management company called and saw me outside drawing penises on the wall,” Lemme said. “I was throwing dough balls, apparently, as well.”
Lemme asked Acedo to view the videotape from the outdoor security camera but said he refused.
Acedo did not wish to comment on the incident when I called him, but did say something to the effect of “We are happy with the outcome” which followed “company procedure.” He said there was no videotape.
He also mentioned the dough balls and chalk penis drawings were a recurring theme and the person responsible admitted to it, but would not say if that person were Lemme.
“Yes, I wrote the words ‘I like chalk,’ on the pavement,” Lemme said he told him, “but I assure you have not drawn a penis or thrown dough balls. That’s childish and I don’t really have the time. I have work to do.”
Lemme said chalk was always kept in the office and finding chalk drawings or writing was not uncommon, but he has never seen a chalk penis.
In a last bid to clear his name, Lemme went down to the corporate office after his firing, even though he didn’t think it would do much good.
“I told them, ‘If you don’t want me working there, fine, but I can’t have this on my record,’” he said.
No dice. Lemme will instead be haunted by the dough balls and chalk penis.
“He is wrongfully accused and now he faces problems when applying for a new job since his name has been tarnished with this filthy lie,” his wife Louise Nilsson wrote in an e-mail. She’s originally from Sweden and they are living off the savings from selling her house there until Casey finds a new job.
“Is there no rights for workers in this country? Why is it that businesses can do what they want to innocent workers and have their future ruined because they feel like it? I don’t understand how there is nothing that protects the worker from this kind of thing.”
Good questions, Louise.
While researching dumb reasons people get fired, I found they run the gamut to “position eliminated” to “not a good fit.”
The former can hold true even if someone was hired to do the exact same or similar job and the company slaps on a different title. The latter can be a catchall for pretty much anything at all.
One woman was fired for refusing to sign a written reprimand for something she denied doing.
Sure, there’s unemployment, which pays a ridiculous fraction of our salary and sometimes gets denied. Who knows what the outcome would be over the dough balls and chalk incident.
All Lemme knows is it’s time to move forward. And be glad that Brooklyn Pizza Company finally beat out Magpies as Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson pick for 2009.
Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who has never been fired for graffiti although it did once really freak out one of her former bosses. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think?
Have you or someone you know ever been unfairly fired? What happened?
What’s the dumbest reason you know of someone getting fired?
What would you do if you were Casey?
PLEASE NOTE: Casey’s last name is Lemme. It was originally posted incorrectly as Nilsson, which is his wife’s last name.
This fun Odd Pueblo feature asks the audience to rate a trend, topic or sighting of something around town: is it snappy or crappy?
The last snappy or crappy, fake and real bilingual signs, caused quite a stir.
The latest snappy or crappy promises to be much more appetizing: playing with food.
The very happy bread photo was submitted by reader Tami.
“It’s my quirky thing I do for my kids when I make them a sandwich,” she wrote in an e-mail.
Mustard smiley faces on bread are wholly snappy, adding a fun touch to what may normally be a mundane sandwich, especially if the sandwich is packed something boring like iceberg lettuce.
Other snappy ways to play with food include drawing on the disposable rinds of oranges and grapefruit, arranging waffles and sausage into an imitation Dali and creating apple head old people dolls out of rotten and dried-out apples.
Other folks, however, go into overkill when playing with food – like using a military issue combat K-Bar knife to cut a sandwich. While this weapon is specifically designed for marines, a person who shall remain anonymous used it to slice bread and pickles.
Even though using a colossal knife to slice a sandwich may be akin to using a chain saw to carve a turkey, it’s still snappy because the food is still edible.
Folks who play with food and end up wasting the food are engaging in crappiness.
What’s your take on playing with food? Please respond:
a. Snappy as long as the food is still edible.
b. Crappy. How dare someone mess with my meal.
c. I remember how mom used to draw syrup faces on my pancakes – snappy!
d. Where can I buy one of those knives?
Thanks, Tami, for the fun bread pic. You’re other Snappy or crappy submission will be up soon.
Got a Snappy or crappy spotting around town? E-mail photo and comments to email@example.com