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September 9, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 9, 2012


From the belly of the beast

I figured that Ms. Romney’s speech would be the real keynote address, leaving Gov. Chris Christie’s late-night turn a soporific turn-off among speech-weary conventioneers. So a week before the convention, I suggested an abbreviated speech that follows. I’m still waiting for a reply from the good New Jersey governor.

(After the humongous ovation dies down …)

Mr. Chairman, fellow Republicans, fellow Americans, and fellow fatties … Yes, you heard it right — fellow fatties! We’re not full-figured, we’re not large-sized, we’re not stocky, we’re not hefty or zaftig, we’re not plump, we’re not overweight or weight-watchers, we’re not jumbos like Dumbo the elephant, we’re not plus-size, we’re not big-boned, we’re not — I love this one — more to love. Face it. We’re fat! So ditch the euphemisms. Face the music. Or at least the semantics. Wisdom begins with the simple act of opening your eyes.

Now for the good news. You — I beg your pardon — we are not alone. As you know, two-thirds of Americans are overweight. I won’t go into stats on morbid obesity because you have exhibit number one before you. Sadly, 20 to 30 percent of our kids are overweight, thanks largely — and I do mean largely — to parenting that falls short as good examples.

Now some say there’s a simple solution to a complex problem. Since we live in a democracy, based on majority rule, and since the majority are overweight, the obvious solution is simply to change the weight charts and make overweight stats the new normal. Voila! Problem solved. We wish.

But it would be cheating. Take Oprah, for example. For yoyoing, that billionaire broad has got to be the all-time gold-medal champ. So many ups and downs, she’s surely lost count.

Finally — FINALLY! — she allegedly had come to accept herself for what she really was (which psychologists and Gaga have urged us to do). She said she was happy with her body the way it was, the way God intended her to be. Later on — surprise! surprise! — after packing on more pounds, comes the real kicker: maybe God really didn’t intend her to be a foodaholic after all. So, for those of you who read the tabloids, you are now privy to the secret truth: Ms. Winfrey is now dieting again, with, of course, the help of trainers and dietitions at multiple thousands per week.

As old Soc said about 2500 years ago: “Know thyself.”

So on, now, to the meat of the matter … oops! That’s not quite the right metaphor for the adipose problem.

 As the polls show, the election promises to be very close. The worst fear of Republicans is that President Obama will squeak out a win because of one crucial factor — the women’s vote. The gals just don’t dig the idea of the government, the courts, the lawmakers, or our party deciding intimate and complex choices about their bodies that they think should belong to them, along with their husbands and doctors. Moreover, many of the distaff set are not happy about shutting down Family Planning Clinics, along with accessibility to birth control (i.e., family planning) and other matters of women’s health.

Now as one of the fattest Republican politicians, if not THE fattest (President William Howard Taft, 1909-1913, was one whale of a guy but hardly as fat as what you behold), let me put on the floor this proposal: We hereby declare by popular fiat that the Republican Party is the Pro-Fat Party. That would clearly unshackle millions upon millions of women from the curse of guilt about their body image.

OK, while holding that thought in your mind, consider this: the Republicans are clearly losing the gay vote since gays favor same-sex marriage and numerous rights that go with that legality. Since gays are about 10 percent of the U.S. population, now over 300 million, that means one helluva lot of gays are voters. Half of which are women. Two-thirds of which are overweight lesbians. If our party could seduce … uh, rather, attract those chicks to the Pro-Choice-When-It-Comes-To-Eating Party (forget all the other political stuff), I believe our party would be destined for a win in November.

Killing two birds with one stone, as it were: neutralizing the Dems’ edge among both women and gays. Comes down to which is more important: food, politics, or sex? Guess which two you can live without!

Suggested slogan for the renovated party: Fatties for Freedom from the Fear of Food.

Speaking of slogans, I notice the Dems are up to their dirty tricks. You’ve probably seen the bumper stickers: “OK, shrink the budget, but shrink Christie, too!”

Listen up, you wise guys and bigots — personal sleaze attacks ain’t gonna win you any votes. Just wait until November. He who laughs last laughs best. So if you hear a big belly laugh, it’ll be from me. And I’ve got the belly for it.

— Saul Rosenthal

Terre Haute

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