It’s a beautiful day here in northeast Florida. One of those sunny days in the mid 70s with a gentle breeze that just makes you happy, even if you don’t want to be. (Apologies to my friends who are digging themselves out of the snow for the eighth time this week!)
Anyway, I wanted to use my lunch hour to write a cool, thought provoking, humorous and deeply meaningful blog post, but my muse must be out riding her motorcycle or something (Not that I blame her) so instead you’re going to get a random, very uninspiring and mostly meaningless story.
Feel free to jump ship now, I won’t be offended. Besides – if you’ve read this far you have already registered on my analytics as a hit, so I can’t complain.
So here’s my tale – remember, you had your chance to leave…
As I stood in line at the market waiting for the less-than-grandmotherly old lady in front of me to figure out how to use the debit card scanner (Note to the debit card industry; Make all of these machines the same – it’s a pain in the ass having to figure out how to use a new model every time you make a purchase.) I couldn’t help but peruse the selection of tabloid magazines on the rack next to me.
My first thought was “Good Lord, when did we (Americans) become so god-awful obsessed with dieting?”
I mean, there were 9 different magazines on the rack (yes, I counted them) and on each cover was a headline for a story about slimming down and/or toning up. After a minute (grandma was now trying to figure out how to get cash back from the machine) I realized that I’ve been seeing these same kinds of magazines, with the same kinds of headlines since I was a kid (many, many years ago.) So the answer to my question; We’ve been obsessed with it for a long, long time.
Then (as grandma restarted her transaction because she accidentally pressed the cancel key) I made a mental connection. I’m sure I’m not the first to realize this, but I had some extra time to think about it today (because grandma needed the cashier to repeat the cash back instructions by now).
It’s really ironic, and kind of funny that Americans are so obsessed with weight loss while simultaneously getting the majority of their meals at a drive-thru window. It’s has to be the most brilliant marketing strategy in the history of mankind.
Get them addicted to eating stuff that is only food in the most technical sense of the word, wait until the average body mass index is somewhere north of 40 and then convince them that if they don’t lose weight their life is meaningless.
(Grandma is now telling the cashier that she entered the wrong amount of cash back and needs to start over…again)
Throw in some assistance from clothing manufacturers, movie makers & image consultants and presto…a perpetual motion machine that cranks out money by creating the problem and then selling the solution.
It’s the ultimate gravy train.
My thoughts then proceed to the corner of “I Missed That Boat Blvd” and “How Can I Cash In Pkwy” (At this point in time grandma has mastered the debit machine and is now sifting through her coupons). Unfortunately I can’t think of a way to capitalize on the self-image obsessed nation to increase my book sales, but I can write a blog post about it and at least amuse myself (and hopefully you too) for a little while.
I guess my books fit into the same category…they won’t help you lose weight, get rich or get out of the checkout line any faster…but they will amuse you for a little while.
Oh – the store manager was nice enough to rescue me from behind grandma and escort me to the service desk for faster service…right behind the guy riding in the motorized shopping cart ordering lottery tickets…
As always – thank you for reading
3 responses to “Weight Loss, Debit Cards and Lottery Tickets – A Lunchtime Tale”
I love stuff like this….little snapshots of life.
I, like you, prefer to lead the bulk of my life in the more interesting regions of imagination than the mundane world we all have to maneuver through, but for an exceedly dull blog, this wasn’t bad. It’s called – or used to be called – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. and while weight loss might seem very far afield from the world of mayhem and crime and hot sex I prefer, weight loss is a petty important thing in a .lot of people’s lives and it actually plays a major role in a crime/dramatic saga i’m currently writing. I knew weight loss was a plot element, I just didn’t realize until I read your blog HOW important it is to the plot and lives of the characters.
Awesome – I’m glad I could help! I knew there had to be some intrinsic value in my experience!!!