‘Murica – Part 2
Monday at the office the enormity of the problem became obvious beyond a shadow of a doubt. Ronald could count the walking wounded: Derrik Nika, director of sales and advertising – a chubb. Louis Arella, secretary to the president – a pot-bellied blimp. Vincent Bolugulu, director of accounting – a great yellow whale seeking a sea of soda. But that’s not all – many more, from junior execs to sales floor workers to bright and young yet cherubic interns were all fat, all bulging, all gorging themselves in an orgiastic lunchtime feast of pastries, untoward portions of sugared coffee creamers, and overly rich salad dressings.
It all hit him, this pathos of public fatness, as he sat at his desk watching the security cams luridly displaying the Walpurgis menagerie of human obesity, turning and shifting about him like a liquid gyre of calories.
He thought to himself: We’re were all going to die here, each and every one of us, stuffed with sweets until our little blessed hearts stopped ticking. No less than the miners, This Great Nation’s office workers are killing ourselves with Santa’s own cookies. We’re nibbling our way open graves.
It was then he took action. First he got in contact with Lucy Miller, VP of human resources – officially One of the Last Thin People around, who unlocked the door for him to touch base with Brandon Wisebell, North America Market Coordinator of the Professional Christmas Ornament Merchant’s Association. Slowly, bit by bit, he won their agreement, and then their sacred trust, in creating a radical new plan for corporate weight loss. It was already clear was going to be far bigger than one corporation in the Biz, far bigger. Lowstadt was thinking national – thinking global! Weeks of hard work, late nights at the office, early mornings at the gym, and an entire new-company wide drive to get associates to lose weight later – he received a knock at his door from no one less than Barbara Wertzog, directress of the International Obesity Taskforce (she was thin as a squirrel and had abs like an iron bar – before you ask).
She didn’t say hello, but launched right into it: “You’ve got quite the fantastic idea there – Ronald. We’ve thought about it long and hard – using market-based solutions to defeat this obesity epidemic– but you have really put the rubber to the road and hit the nail on the head with this proposal – you really set the place on fire!”
“Thank you Ms. Hertzog,” Lowstadt replied, putting his hand to his left knee and feeling like a combination of a Star Trek Captain and Jersey City Pimp. “I never do things by halves. I’m ready to pull the trigger on this.” He made a shooting motion with one hand.
The two of them, one in pants suit and the other seated, with his suit jacket on, looked exactly like an illustration from a “LEARN ENGLISH FOR BUSINESS!” book popular in Paraguay and taught widely in schools there, though they would never know this.
Ms. Hertzog Continued:
“I’m sure you won’t miss your mark! Please, if you would, tell me more about this program of yours. I’ve heard it’s gotten real results. Even The Economist featured you as a ‘health entrepreneur.’ ”
“It’s simple, really,” Lowstadt answered as he leaned back in his black leather office chair, “all we had to do was divide associate pay in two – one currency for consumer spending, and another for food related expenses. Employees are evaluated on their weight if their BMI is over 32 – with incentives for our good losers and salary adjustments for the backsliders. We also hired an occupational nurse to keep track of weight loss in the factory.”
“What’s the nurses’ name?”
“Slips the mind,” answered Lowstadt.
Fame was not done with this man.
Six months later, the Christmas Ornament Community’s trade magazine The Frosted Ball, named Lowstadt its no. 1 super guest of honour at the yearly soirée held for anyone-who-was-anyone in Ornz Biz. While at the party, Osborne Naft, his assistant, asked him what was his philosophy of Christmas Decoration Product Sales and Marketing. Just what is the secret of a Christmas God? Lowstadt, perhaps drunk on far too much eggnog, or perhaps even drunk with the increasing success of his anti-fatness campaign, answered him with a frankness that a later shocked him in more sober moments: “Osby. Oz boy. Ozboy. I am going to tell you something about Ornament sales – Ornz sales. Basically they are like middle class housing development crack. Get pair of 40-ish parents hooked on a few Mickey Mouse Collectable bulbs, and you’ve got em’, you’ve got em for life. Mid-life crisis to Grave.” Lowstadt swaggered out of that party, right after looking at Ozboy’s shocked face, and he didn’t care one bit.
His proudest day though, was the day that the Senate called him to testify on the incredible success of his market-stimulated weight-loss programme. Employees had literally shit out tonnes of their useless extra fat, making them moderately more attractive.
It was a clear day, a sunny day, and also the date of Senate Resolution Debate #137838411b-71(lop170ff). Senate statements, delivered under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Defence, revealed that obesity had long since enclosed the nation in its flabby paws; 87% of all adults not actively serving in the armed forces had a BMI of over 32 – the newly established limit for extreme fatness. The effects of this were profound. First of all cars, trains, planes, and automobiles all needed to be bigger. Bigger cars needed bigger spaces, and bigger shoppers needed bigger aisles to get their big butts to the registers. A nightmare of logistics. All of this somehow equalled out to billions lost each year and also a lot of deaths related to fatness in one way or another. Another thing is that no one was fit enough for the Army, something the military representatives continued to yammer on about.
When it came time to speak, Lowstadt was righteously theatrical – just like old Mawbill Rilloy. He took the Senators by the hand through a wonderland of words, more dazzling than any trade-sized frosted Christmas Bulb ever produced, and shocked them with the fatness of the people, disgusted them with the shamelessness of their weight-gaining, and inspired them with a message of thinness and hope for the future. All were moved, and a prayer was said thanking Providence – and not the one in Rhode Island.
Finally the Senate, old and wise, conferred among themselves. There was much wagging of many chins, stern looks were given, and sharp questions rose in a magisterial clatter. Everyone had suits on, with little American Flag pins, even the representatives from the Yellow Party. You could tell they were seriously serious about this.
In the end a decision was made, after many hours of deliberations: this was bigger than worker’s rights, bigger than blowing up more Arabs even. This touched the very core of the Nation. Lowstadt’s revolutionary idea of two currencies – Dollas for buying “Stuff,” and USBUX for buying “eaty stuff,” was gaining huge support from the green party.
Needless to say, a few fossilized old rebels in the Yellow party still called, toothlessly, for moderation – but as Mawbill Rilloy put it in his news show: they were the “yellow fat fellows,” which didn’t quite rhyme, but was good enough for the watchers of FoxxCon News IV. Anyway, everyone knew they didn’t care about the rolling plague of obesity, for they were clearly way back in the pockets of those dishonest and pig-eyed farmers.
Lowstadt’s law passed easily. It was called the USA COP law or more properly the United States of America currency revaluation plan and Child Obesity Prevention law.
It was that same day, perhaps by chance or perhaps by the providential predestination of a divine hand, that Lowstadt saw some uncouth types entering the capitol building. They were short, roundish, chubby (of course), and swaddled in coarse cheap garb. The wore the kind of false formalwear that menial staff, such as hotel or restaurant staff, wear when they have to have contact with their betters – even though the great majority of these menials can have no clear notion of why they are not wearing their own rags nor the meaning of anything better. It also, distantly, made him recall his own High School days, long ago, when he wore a faded and used JP penny blazer for a particular dance on a particular night with a particular girl.
Despite his mind wandering, he kept on watching the strange lumps. They weren’t prisoners or foreigners – but they had an escort of police. What were they?
Fascinated, Lowstadt followed. Security let him right in, as they both recognized him, and did not think to stop a well-dressed ornz biz executive on his way to what, they assumed, was a matter of some official importance.
He learned that they were in fact, the Miners from West Virginia. Some man, named Bewford or Boford or Bullford rambled endlessly. His mouth was as toothless as those of the Yellow Party hags, and he stank like sweat and mildewed dust. His subalterns all followed him to the podium, in front of the now mostly-empty Senate audience chamber, and mumbled out their various demands, pleas, and even prayers. Someone prayed for Amity, which made Lowstadt think of the Amityville Horror, which was an awesome movie with great monsters.
The Senate chair silenced the petitioners after approximately 45 minutes of blabber and gave the floor up to counterpoints, comments, and feedback from the mostly-elderly citizen audience that was permitted to watch all Senate proceedings – with Lowstadt now being seated in the upper tier amongst their number.
Filled with a sense of pride, gas, or something, Lowstadt took the podium and delivered a firestorm invective against the miners. He compared their health challenges to his own workers at the Ornz Biz, to those of office workers all over America, and decried their focus on machine safety as foolish when 63% of a Americans can’t even run 500 yards in 10 minutes.
He had a point.
“Where is our military readiness?” He asked rhetorically. “Where is it!”
He concluded, in the now silenced chamber, with a phrase, that must have sprung to his lips from the perfect brain of The Creator himself: “We have major threats in this country gentlemen, threats to children and mothers brought by obesity. I ask you, gentlemen of the Senate to consider mothers, Mothers before Miners. Mothers not Miners!”
The room burst into an uproar of applause.
The Senators Shouted: Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Ronald Lowstadt was on his way to something.