Happy Turkey day, everyone! I’m celebrating with family in Georgia, where it is a beautiful 65 degrees today. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, you crappy 30 degree Chicago winter! It also seems to be the land of the never-ending chain restaurants, which has already wrecked havoc on my digestive system. I’m not being a food snob, I literally cannot eat fast food without getting sick (damn you, IBS!), and being sick on this day of nationally sponsored day of overeating is so not cool. I really need to start packing a survival kit of food whenever I travel, just in case. It would have applesauce, sushi, some Ethiopian injera with a bit of yemsir wat and dinich alicha, and a small parcel of bacon with a sign on it that says “Break only in the case of emergencies”. But I digress. Thanksgiving always reminds me of overeating, and obesity is clearly a hot button topic in the burbs of Atlanta, where I saw this intriguing billboard that offers a novel suggestion to combat childhood obesity, which you can see above. You know what is really funny? For a week straight, the parking lot seemed PRETTY empty, but I saw plenty of size-challenged children at the local McDonald’s. Heaps even. Truckloads of chunky kids that looked like they had never seen a rollerskate in their life. Maybe they didn’t have a chance to see the nifty sign yet. What the hell were you doing in a McDonald’s, Leena, when it makes you violently sick, hurts our environment and health, and in every way, makes us fatter, slower and dumber as a nation? These guys. The most adorable nieces and nephew in the world, who I haven’t seen in over two years (I was living in Australia, so don’t even give me those “you’re a bad aunt” eyes).
It certainly doesn’t help that the town they live in has every single fast food restaurant ever created on the planet, along with a few that went out of business in the rest of the U.S. in the ’90s. They just haven’t been exposed to healthier food alternatives. And yes, there is a sushi joint in their small town, but seriously? Not about to buy my nieces and nephew $5 all you can eat sushi when the closest body of water to them is the sewage creek next to the local park. They begged. They pleaded. They created a song that they sang for 20 minutes straight until my husband and I finally gave in and took them to that red box of hell. I felt awful going in, but, well, look!
This boy was in nugget heaven. It melted my heart to see them so happy, but because of my own personal ethics (and a not-so-fresh snack wrap), it still left a bad taste in my mouth. So I ask you, what would you do? Would you force your food ideologies onto innocent little kids who really don’t know any better and who would pitch a fit and be miserable anywhere else? Especially if their parents did not share the same views as you? OR would you cave in like me and take them to the Disneyland of grease and high fructose corn syrup? Happy Turkey to everyone! ~LTG!