Taking Things Too Far

Posted: April 24, 2013 by S. Trevor Swenson in Observations
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It has been awhile since I have posted anything. My apologies as I know how many of you have been waiting with baited breath…or baiting with weighted breath for my latest complaint opera. Enjoy!

Too far, my friend. Too, too far!

Too far, my friend. Too, too far!

Customers of Size

I logged on to my e-mail account and the news headlines flashed across my homepage. I noticed an article titled “Worst Airline For Overweight Passengers” I had to check that article out because I’m overweight and seeing people who are singled out for being so big that it requires a corporate policy change makes me feel better about myself. Diets and exercise are so mundane and predictable…I just wear more black and hang out with fatter people.

In the first line of this article the expression “Customers of Size” was used. What does that make the rest of us? Is this the feel good marketing term used when someone is stopped at the airport check-in and told that they will need to buy a second ticket? One can’t say “Not so fast there ‘All-You-Can-Eat’! We’re going to need you to step on this scale.”

No, they have to pleasantly state. “I’m sorry ma’am, but it looks like you might fall under our ‘Customer-of-Size’ criteria. Could you just hand me the extra crispy 12 piece and step on the scale of shame please? Don’t worry Ma’am, no one will take it. Let’s see…three hundred and eighty…no, well you’re welcome to take them off but I don’t think removing your shoes will make that much of a difference…” I think there is a definite market for a new, upstart airline with unlimited snacks and double-wide seats. Fatty-Fatty-Two-By-Four Airlines? Come fly the chunky skies?

“Customers of Size” is a euphemistic and very confusing expression. It’s worse than “People of Color” We all have colors and sizes. Are there other such expressions on the horizon? Will people with lousy hygiene become People of Stank? Would this turn me from a “Man who couldn’t get laid with Brad Pitt’s dick” into a “Man of Hand?” And here I was hoping for “Involuntarily Celibate American.” Actually I think “Man of Hand” is a lovely expression.

“So, are you seeing anyone?”
“No, My girlfriend and I broke up in June and I’m playing the field. I’m a Man of Hand.”

How far will this go? I shudder to think.

Customer of Zit (Bad skin)
Customer of Douche (Jersey Shore Clone)
Customer of Slut (OK…that one has potential)

The euphemistic feel-good language is nothing new, but as I said before, it is something that has crept up on us as a society, and sadly I think it will continue to creep. Someone is going to sue an airline for being referred to as “Fat”, “Large” or “Obese”. “Um, excuse me; I don’t care for that word. It’s ‘Person of Size’ if you don’t mind.”

My Boy Lollipop

While riding the dreaded subway I happened to glance at one of the many gross-out public health ads that have abounded during the Bloomberg regime. This ad was an anti-sugar/dental care ad. At the top of the poster was an adorable little black girl, perhaps 6 or 7 years old. She reminded me of one of the Huckstable kids from The Cosby Show. The little cutey was sucking on a lollipop. But oh no, not in Mayor Bloomberg’s nursery, because directly below the sweet little girl was a disgusting dental photo straight out of the cast of Deliverance complete with repulsive black holes and gum lesions. I swear this photo was borrowed by one of the anti-crystal meth before and after ads. Apparently in Mister Bloomberg’s Neighborhood a little kid isn’t allowed to enjoy a lollipop.

We had PSA’s and movies in school when I was a kid that explained that a steady diet of cookies, ding dongs and candy was unhealthy. However, I don’t recall any of them giving me nightmares. We also had these mythological creatures called “Parents” (you may have heard of them) who rationed out the sugar to us, despite our best efforts to thwart their best efforts. I once constructed an elaborate rope ladder in response to my grandparent’s cookie jar being placed at a much higher elevation in a vain attempt to discourage me. The most disturbing thing we had were Crest toothpaste commercials featuring “The Cavity Creeps” who were little mouth goblins made out of something that resembled fecal matter. They ran around vandalizing someone’s pearly whites with jack hammers and pick axes while chanting “We Make Holes In Teeth”.

Little kids like candy. It is one of their few goals in life…staying up late, toys and candy….that’s it. That’s all I wanted as a kid. I wanted to stay up later and watch some of the grown up shows on TV, I wanted sweets and more toys. This is and was a short lived time of perfect innocence and unmatched happiness. And guess what? Nature has already built in a defense mechanism. We lose our teeth at an early age and they are replaced by a new and harder/stronger set. It dawns on me that the singing and dancing cartoon toothbrushes that I grew up with were pretty effective. Did Bloomberg commission Rob Zombie or Eli Roth for this ad campaign?

I wrote an article a couple years ago about subway ads and panic attacks, which was ironically titled Subway Ads and Panic Attacks. I had been riding the subway which is noisy, crowded and generally a yucky experience that is very conducive to anxiety, aggression and other none-too-pleasant feelings. On this fateful trip I looked up to see a graphic poster of AIDS and the increased risk of colon cancer. Let’s see, I get to wait in a filthy and sweaty train station for half an hour, board a subway car so crowded and suffocating that it rivaled the 3:10 to Auschwitz, listen to loud and angry announcements from Mr. Conductor “STANDCLEAR-A-THECLOSINGDOORSPLEASE!!!” While avoiding eye contact which is mandatory for NYC subway travel, I happen across a charming poster of a black and slimy, grapefruit sized tumor in someone’s emergency exit. Well, that makes everything better. Silly me, and here I thought this trip might be unpleasant.

Then there was the now famous soda ban that Bloomberg spearheaded. I don’t drink sugared beverages, and yes a 60 ounce bladder buster does seem excessive to me, but to spend time and resources on banning this option? We do have an obesity problem in this country, but it seems to me that this should fall under parental guidance. As poorly adjusted as I have turned out, I can’t remember it being because my parents didn’t allow me to inhale cookies and Hostess fruit pies by the case. They carefully explained that too much sugar and fat wasn’t good for me, didn’t keep these things in the house, and I promptly ignored them until I was old enough to know better, and by then I had discovered drinking and drug use to fall back on.

Life in NYC is stressful enough without an overbearing, billionaire nanny/mayor bombarding us with disturbing imagery. Every New York Yankee game last year on TV included graphic commercials of amputees who lost fingers, legs and feet as a result of smoking or diabetes. If this is Mayor Doucheberg’s response to unhealthy choices, then I say the next time he is indulging in the $200 porterhouse at Chez Rich Bastard a TV monitor with looped footage of undigested red meat being surgically removed from someone’s bowels should be placed directly in front of his table. Oh, what’s the matter Mr. Mayor? This is gross and unpleasant to look at? Well, we’re just trying to encourage you to make healthier choices because we care. Hmmm? Oh you’re an adult and already know this, and you just want to enjoy something tasty and these images disturb you? Yeah, kinda funny how that works.

  1. babedarla says:

    I do believe I’ve been on a date with one of those infamous “People of Stank”. fortunately, I met him at the restaurant and didn’t have to share an automobile or a subway car with him…especially a subway car where I also had to look at “a charming poster of a black and slimy, grapefruit sized tumor in someone’s emergency exit” Oh thank Bejeebus!
    As usual S.T. you are both hysterical and wise! Thank you!

  2. Excellent social commentary, and hysterical as always!


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