Friday, September 24, 2010
Big Boy Ain't so Big
When I was a child my grandparents used to treat me to lunch at a place called "Big Boy." Outside Big Boy stood a rotating statue of the Big Boy himself, rosy cheeked ever-open-mouthed in jolly laughter, a child laborer and presumably a glutton, wearing checkered overalls and white cornered folded hat, and holding aloft a tray with a burger the size of a Toyota Tercel complete with inch-long sesame seeds (the plastics behind the thing were quite advance--probably injection molded polymers, I'm guessing), fries and either a shake or soda. This giant child, this idol of gluttony, loomed over my childhood town. It pointed, as church steeples are meant to do, toward our idea of heaven: creamy, beefy, sugary, salty, glorious gift of industrialized food processes.
Big Boy is no longer around--the Big Boy himself has been sent to a graveyard in an undisclosed location in Michigan, along with other members of his kind.
I'm not making this up. There is a Big Boy graveyard at an undisclosed location up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. If capitalism has anything resembling communism's graveyard, where statues of Lenin and Stalin rest, this is it.
It's a shame, really, that we now know Big Boy kills. I remember my kindly grandmother encouraging me to order an ice cream concoction that included, but was not limited to
(1) a cup of blueberry tinted corn syrup,
(2) a cup of pseudo-ice cream, and
(3) a half a cup of whipped cream.
America was a hefty nation at the time. In fact, my first real etched-in-stone obese person memory is from Big Boy--I remember the awe of seeing one man occupy the entire bench seat of a booth. One man!
It's insane to think how much weight we've put since then. I could run through the numbers--the percentage of obese in America climbing from around 10% in 1990 to around 30% today. But all you need is to consider the Big Boy himself. Take a look, won't you? He isn't that big, is he? Look at those chicken arms!
Meanwhile in Canada men build machines with wings, and fly...
And in America we have to burn a billion tons of jet fuel to drag our ballooning carcasses to the NRA gun show.
C'mon, America. Go get yourself cleaned up. Even Canada's making you look bad. What a disgrace. Try riding a bike now and then.