Is the future better? Fat chance.

By Bob Huber

Notes on Independence Day from a historian of the future:
Here at the Corporation for Better Health through Chemistry, we in the history department are researching the ill-fated Fat Revolt of 2004. Our investigation uncovered several first-person accounts, all written in brown gravy.
To clearly define the opposing forces of that historic event in our nation’s history, we set aside one particular excerpt. This is what it said:
“.…The fat police moved cautiously through the trees toward our hideout. I couldn’t get a decent shot. My sidekick, Amarillo Fats, took a chew of pepperoni and said, ‘What can we do?’
“I shook my head. ‘Face it, we’re goners. Rip off another hunk of that barbecued brisket and pour some extra sauce over it. We’ll go down fighting.’
“It all began one evening when my wife said, ‘I fixed your favorite supper — chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, and beer biscuits, topped off with chocolate chip cookies and butter-pecan ice cream.’
“‘Sounds great,’” I said.
“‘But you have to eat outside.’
“I did a double take. ‘It’s raining!’
“‘I know,’ she said, ‘but the Surgeon General says fat foods are hazardous to everyone’s health, so I’ve outlawed them in the house.’
“‘Does this mean a man’s castle no longer has a dining room?’
“‘You got it,’ she said. ‘I’m concerned with second-hand fat. When the dog died this morning from eating table scraps, I knew something had to be done.’
“I should have seen it coming. The state’s attorney general had joined a lawsuit against the food industry to ban candy ads from Saturday morning television. And before that a restaurant hostess asked me, ‘Fat or skinny?’ When I looked blank, she said, ‘Do you want to sit in the fat section or the skinny section?’
“‘Whatever,’ I said, but she could tell by my hidden belt buckle that I never trimmed fat off steaks and preferred my pork chops stuffed. She seated us in the bar where it was dimly lighted and chubby customers hid their faces behind menus. No one looked us in the eye.
“But restaurants weren’t the only zealous establishments. I saw signs that said, ‘Thank you for not eating fatty foods in here,’ and ‘As a courtesy to our skinny customers, we ask that you purchase your butter in the alley from the slime bucket in the black Harley Davidson muscle shirt.’
“Then the state Legislature took a stand by passing a law that banned anyone under l8 from buying candy bars. Everyone also had to show proof of age before purchasing popsicles.
“Then the governor, not to be outdone politically, said communities wouldn’t get state funds anymore unless they fostered local programs to crack down on potatoes and gravy at Rotary Club meetings.
“So some of us went underground. We had a secret password: ‘up the plump.’
“We smuggled cheesecake in secret pockets and sewed pizza slices into the crowns of our hats. One guy hid French fries in hollowed out boot heels.
“But we were doomed from the start. Children in brown shirts and green armbands admonished us on the street, and local ordinances were passed outlawing the drinking of milk from open containers in vehicles.
“So those of us still loyal loaded our cars with butter, donuts, cinnamon rolls and sugar and broke for the hills. Only a few of us made it. We were just steps ahead of the fat police who tore down the door to our secret meeting room and burned our colorful I-Hop posters of pancakes and waffles smothered in powdered sugar and maple syrup.
“Amarillo Fats and I were the last survivors of our once robust cell, and now we hunkered down in our hideout and watched the fat police move closer.
“‘Should we surrender?’ Fats asked. Frosted Flakes and a droplet of cream dangled from his lips.
“‘I shook my head. ‘No use. They don’t take prisoners.’…”

Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales. He can be contacted at 356-3674.