Humor by Chason Gordon. See below.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but today it seems like it takes a village to feed a child, because they’re fat. I’m saying that one American kid could eat a village’s entire food supply.
As you know, today’s kids are fat. Boy are they fat. Look at that one over there! Watch me pelt him with this egg. Nailed him! The signs (is he crying?) of this rampant childhood obesity are ubiquitous: broken seesaws, warped monkey bars, and children constantly disappearing at playgrounds, because when you’re fat, all sand is quicksand. Children are supposed to be the future, but when we look into the future we can’t see past their fat asses. Okay, that’s enough fat jokes (for now).
To mitigate this growing epidemic, the county turned to a group who knows exactly what it’s like to be big and bloated: the government. Over 50 fortnights ago, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which aims to improve nutrition and systematically reduce childhood obesity (try voting against that one). The program lowers salt content, includes whole grains, and establishes maximum calorie counts, but the sexiest change is that the USDA now requires schools to make children take a half of cup of fruits or vegetables on their lunch tray. Oh boy.
Opponents view this as an empty gesture that allows utopians to feel better about themselves. Students are only required to take the fruits or vegetables, not to eat them, and many fear they’ll simply wind up in the garbage (to avoid this, schools should put a cardboard cutout of Michelle Obama frowning next to the receptacle). There is an additional concern the government has no business forcing kids to take vegetables. Where does this slippery slope end? It ends in a valley, like most slopes.
There are a few issues which certainly trouble me. Before this initiative, we could blame poor grades on poor nutrition. With healthy and alert kids, we may discover how truly dumb they actually are. I also worry about what kinds of fruits and vegetables are being offered. If you hit the kids with apples and pears, the program will fail, but if you offer the cool fruits, like mangoes, watermelon, and grapes, it may just work (no vegetables are cool). What disturbs me most however is the government plan to regulate the content of school vending machines. The inside of a vending machine is a sacred place – our government has no right sticking their dirty hands underneath that plastic flap.
I’d like to ask the parents to leave the room at this point. Are they gone? Good. Now kids, I need you to listen to me. The government says that you must take half a cup of fruit or vegetables, but if you let yourself get pushed around now, people will never respect you. Take that half a cup and throw it in the lunch lady’s face (you don’t take candy from strangers, so why would you accept a vegetable?). If you prefer to be stealthy, pretend to blow your nose when eating the vegetables, and then spit them into the napkin and throw it in the garbage. Crash the system from the inside.
Of course, you should try and move around a little more. I know it feels like exercise when you’re playing Halo and you have to jump off a jeep because someone stuck a plasma grenade to it, but I assure you it’s not. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Throw a water balloon at a policeman. Shoplift. Get yourself into situations where you have to run to survive. And try playing tetherball – it’s fun! Because if you become fat, you’ll have to differentiate yourself by being funny or working really hard, and that is no walk in the park. (You can bring your overweight parents back into the room now.)
One might argue parents have done such a bad job feeding their kids that the government had to get involved, but I blame the bullies. For years bullies chased fat kids and tormented them into skinniness. What was wrong with that system? Kids were pretty healthy until all these anti-bullying programs came along. As I see it, if a fat kid is not shamefully eating a Twinkie in a restroom stall, then the school isn’t doing its job.
I’d like to keep discussing this, but my hot wings are ready. Frankly, I have no problem with forcing kids to do things, whether it’s eating a vegetable or sweeping a chimney. Parents should just be careful not to push too much, because one day a child may stand up with a union sign in the lunchroom like Sally Field in “Norma Rae,” and when that day comes, the entire school system will fall.
Chason Gordon is offering a fat camp for kids who suffer from obesity. “Move While I Sit” will be running next summer.