- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 1, 2003

I have decided to eat at McDonald’s once a day in response to the legal fight being waged against the fast-food industry.

I want to be fat and proud, dripping with cholesterol, and I do not care if this alarms John Banzhaf III, a law professor at George Washington University who is leading the charge against the fast-food industry.

I know a Big Mac is not the best source of nourishment. I know I should be eating 10 apples a day and drinking lots of bottled water.

In fact, a bottle of water is almost a fashion accessory these days.

You are somebody special if you have a cell phone in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.

I do not know how people lived as long as they did back in the old days, back before there were so many enlightened trial lawyers eager to help you make better choices.

My great-grandfather lived to be 101 on his big, old tobacco farm in Southern Maryland, in a stretch of the state that is now considered a suburb. He did not have running water and electricity in his old farmhouse. He drank from a well. The water from it tasted all right.

The outhouse was a little rancid in the summertime. But that is another story. The trial lawyers will not pursue litigation if you have an outhouse on your property. They seem to pick only on big companies with deep pockets.

They are humanitarians with a strong capitalistic streak in them, it seems. They want to help you, while helping themselves.

They feel just awful whenever they see a 300-pound person in their midst. They just know this person has been victimized by the fast-food industry.

They just know this person walked into McDonald’s, and the server started stuffing the person’s mouth with fries. There was nothing this person could do, nothing at all, except consume as many fries as necessary before being released.

This is what the fast-food peddlers do. They hook you at a young age. They give away their poison in the beginning, and then one day they start to exploit your addiction.

If you are a 300-pound person, they will charge as much as $20 for one Big Mac. If you are a skinny person, they might give you a complimentary Big Mac.

This is one of the favorite tactics of the fast-food industry, and the trial lawyers around the nation are gathering to correct this grave injustice.

America is developing a noticeable paunch, and the trial lawyers, even the fat ones, are ready to address this problem. Someone must be held responsible. It can’t be your fault if you are overweight. So it must be the fault of the fast-food industry. Yes, yes. The logic is impeccable, as logic is often defined in the legal profession.

There is one teensy-weensy problem with this grand push.

There are still a few Americans who value their freedom. As compassionate a person as Mr. Banzhaf III is, there are still a few Americans who might resent his desire to show them a better way. Some even might be fat and proud.

I mean, there are only a few major food groups: cheeseburgers, Ledo’s pizza, Breyer’s ice cream and the secret sauce in a Big Mac.

Of course, all that stuff is going to kill you one day, but then worrying about it is going to kill you, too.

In case you have not heard, living is a dangerous endeavor. What can you do? You give a good eulogy, you say the person would have wanted it that way, and you move forward.

Maybe you stop at McDonald’s afterward and bury your sorrows in a Big Mac. Who knows? Everybody grieves differently.

My great-grandfather started to slow down in his 90s, perhaps because of what he ate.

He would break out the frying pan to start the day and cook up some eggs and mystery meat and have buttered toast on the side. It was pretty tasty.

In hindsight, it probably is too bad my great-grandfather did not employ a nutritionally correct trial lawyer on the farm.

Then again, my great-grandfather would have expected the trial lawyer to work in the fields between shifts in the kitchen, and that probably would have been an issue.

You don’t see many trial lawyers with calloused hands.


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