Michelle and I spent all last week puttering around the Bahamas. The islands have apparently become our islands away from island not because we are so wild about the “B’s” but because they are there; the Bahamas are to us what counties, provinces and shires are to you, i.e., right next door, easy, accessible and a degree different.
Highlight, of course, was the Halloween party. Even though this was the first year in three that we did not win, we probably had way more grins at this thing than the others combined. For some bizarre reason, those not dressed up—of whom many were foreigners--ALL wanted to have their photos taken with we who were dressed up as Vampires, or pirates, or Bonnie and Clyde, or jelly fish, or four really nasty zombies (who actually won the prize)—and thus, yours truly and Vampira (right) spent much of our time posing and posturing and pimping and pleasing the people, the proles and the pests.
Anyway, one day while we were enjoying the amazing aquarium at the Atlantis Hotel in Nassau (top), a large crowd was forced to get over rather abruptly when a scooter blob plowed her way straight through us. We, the sea, parted and the stunned humans made way as if some admired celebrity or crippled child or important emergency were passing, rather than a morbidly obese monster who took up most of the passage in its rush to reach the cafeteria because of a plummeting blood/sugar level.
And then, yesterday, at the Walmart grocery store (where else?) I heard a loud crash at a check-out and saw a middle-aged man just standing there, staring down at a large broken jar of that sickening Cheez-Whiz that had fallen from his cart. The man, fairly normal, I thought, was staring at the mess, then at his shapeless wife in front of him on a blob scooter. It seems that, because of his wife’s “incapacitation,” the man was in charge of running the food through. Judging by his looks, and a few sharp words I could not make out, it appeared he blamed the blob for the disaster. You could clearly see the man’s ire and frustration and it did not take any telepathy whatsoever to see that he had gone through such incidents many times before.
The quick impression one gains from such cases as the above is how much obesity impacts all of us, strangers and relatives alike.
Why do people eat until they gain so much that they lose, for all intents and purposes, their gender? Why do they consume and consume to the point where they stop being an identifiable man or a woman, or even a recognizable human, and more resemble some amorphous larva-like organism, inactive, inert, not really dead, not really alive, just some shapeless thing whose entire existence is devoted to food, food and rumors of food? Why would anyone gorge and lay around to the point that when the day comes and a trip to the ER is needed, it takes a fork lift to hoist the person from the home to a flat bed truck? Can it be so simple as that one half of the American population was born with will power and the other half was born without a shred of it and hence their resistance to all the sugar and sodium they ingest in non-existent? I don’t think so. After all, look at the epidemic of anorexia we also witness side-by-side with obesity. Were these human skeletons born with too much will power? Or are these living sticks no better than the obese in that they too are bereft of the right will power; the type of will it takes to resist starving themselves to death?
Now that we have entered the “Food Season” and are nearing the “Great Gorge Holidays,” I will write more later on obesity and its antithesis, anorexia, and how these two parallel monsters are symptoms not so much of sick individuals but symptoms of a very sick “society.”
I have a good—no, let’s call him a GREAT—friend who happens to be rich. How rich? REAL rich, that’s how rich. Anyway, since this gent hardly needs money, and since he is a recycled alcoholic, he has the leisure and mental capacity to create. And create he does. Not only does he have a very promising book with a Top Two publisher, but I learn last week that my bud just sold not one, not two, but three songs to three country music heavy-weights, including Hank Williams, Jr. I am happy for this friend, natch, but really? Some people not only have all the luck, but they seem to have most of the money, and tons of the talent, too.