We as a nation are not in shape
anymore. I include myself in the group that needs to shed pounds to
be considered just pudgy. The reason we are becoming heavier and
heavier without growing taller and taller (which would help) is
simple, according to the S.G.'s office: "Overweight and obesity come
from an imbalance involving excessive calorie consumption and/or
inadequate physical activity." I hope we didn't spend a great deal
of taxpayer money determining that conclusion.
An interesting notation in the surgeon
general's report states that excess poundage in adults has tripled
in the last 25 years. I'm not sure how they know that. Did we have a
national weigh-in that I missed going to? Maybe a census taker with
a scale under his arm came to the door when I was away. I will
accept their findings, however, because if I don't, then there is no
reason for this article.
I believe America has become overweight
because of the invention of the drive-through.
To a small degree, drive-throughs have
been around since there has been something available to drive and
something available to go through. The drive-through really took off
and came into its own when the Sierra Vista, Ariz., McDonald's told
people they could stay in their car and get a burger, back in 1975.
Please note that is just about 25 years ago.
As the years have gone by, more and
more businesses have gone to throwing food at passing motorists, and
throughout the years we have become heavier and heavier as a nation.
Therefore I conclude the drive-through is the root cause of
America's weight problems. No, my conclusion isn't scientific, but
it didn't cost a million dollars in taxpayer money either.
As a nation we seem to do everything in
excess, and not getting out of our car to conduct day-to-day
business is a prime example. We use drive-throughs for food, banking
and pharmacological necessities as well as dry cleaning, airline and
train tickets, for auto parts as well as groceries and computer
repairs. Cell phone businesses tout drive-throughs, and in some
cities hardware stores and lumber yards advertise you don't have to
leave your vehicle. I can't picture handing 4-by-8 sheets of drywall
through the window into your car, but it must work because there are
several lumber yards up in Chicago saying they have drive-throughs.
In California, that very strange state,
there are now drive-through wakes at some funeral homes. During the
day, old Uncle Elmo is wheeled up to the window so mourners can
drive by, pay their respects and sign a guest book without ever
having to leave the confines of their Chevrolet.
[to top of second
column in this commentary]
With such a bizarre determination of
what business can now be enacted without getting out from behind
one's steering wheel, the possibilities seem endless. Here are a few
of my predictions of what we will soon see in drive-throughs:
In order to keep costs down, motorists will be able to drive up to
the garbage dump and hand their refuse to a sanitation employee. The
costs of trucks and neighborhood pickup of junk will be gone
forever. Companies making really good garbage bags that really won't
break open will make a fortune, of course.
Drive-through legal system:
Judges will be seated at window one to adjudicate the defendants and
listen to their plea. Fines can be paid at window two, and a jury
can be at window three in the event one is needed. In the event an
individual is found guilty, they can then drive over to the
appropriate jail or prison. I suppose short sentences can be served
-- where else? -- in their cars.
Drive-through veterinary service:
Motorists can just pull up to the window, hold out their pet and
have a deft vet either spay, neuter or give a worm shot. The outside
lane can be used as well, but only kittens and puppies, of course,
will fit into the pneumatic tubes.
Any parent who has ever had a child in day care knows how long it
can take to grab your children, find their coats and mittens, and
pull them out the door as they have to say something to every other
kid who spends the day with them. Soon, we will be able to just pass
our kids through the window and grab them back again after work. In
the event we are held up at work, our children can be left in a
night depository box until we get there.
Most of the time we go to see the doctor because we just have the
flu. So why should we spend two hours waiting to see a doctor who
just says stick out your tongue and say "ahh"? Americans are experts
at making facial gestures in cars, so driving up and sticking one's
tongue out while a doctor goes "uh-uh" and charges you a Ben
Franklin at least makes the experience quick, if not cheap. There
could be one of those arm-sleeve machines like at the Wally World.
Got the flu or something else a bit more contagious? Just stick your
arm in the sleeve while the doc punches up which serum to pop into
your bloodstream. Again, quick and easy and no need to get out of
surgeons: We have become a
real do-it-yourself nation, and this can come in handy. Since we all
have experience with the car wash wands, why can't we just pull into
a booth and give ourselves a liposuction treatment. It can't be that
much harder than reaching the roof on the SUV, plus it will help the
next surgeon general's report state that for some reason America is
getting thinner. I won't miss the next national weigh-in. Maybe I'll
be thinner by then.