Final Word

By Jeff Girod

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Posted July 21, 2011 in News

You want fries with that? When you’re Michelle Obama, the answer is an emphatic “no!” and “yes!” and “Is anybody watching?” and “Keep ’em coming, clown face!” Apparently when the first lady isn’t promoting healthy eating, she’s giving the Hamburglar a run for his money down at a place called the Shake Shack.

Michelle is founder of something sweaty sounding called Let’s Move!, a $1 billion-a-year federally funded campaign to end childhood obesity through nutrition and exercise. But just last week Michelle was caught red handed—or was that barbecue sauce?—at the Shake Shack in Washington, D.C. Reportedly, she was chowing down on a—count it!—1700-calorie lunch, which included a ShackBurger, fries, chocolate shake and a Diet Coke. (I think Michelle misunderstands how Diet Coke works.)

I don’t know, Michelle. With the president’s approval rating at 42 percent, the last thing he needs is Mrs. Obama poking everyone else in the gut. Then again, Michelle’s right: Kids are fat. Holy jeez are they fat. They’re so fat, the school bus now plays ice cream truck music.

And I get that all first ladies are supposed to stay busy by having a “cause.” Nancy Reagan’s was “Just Say No!” Barbara Bush’s was not dying. Hilary Clinton’s was healthcare reform and trying to pretend like her husband didn’t have an intern under the desk . . . and the fern . . . and behind the curtain . . .

But pick an easier cause than curbing an entire nation’s addiction to curly fries. Or kiss your last Whopper with cheese goodbye. Because the minute you declare war on junk food, Michelle Obama, you never get to eat another Chicken McNugget.

Better yet, pick something we can all get behind. Ending animal abuse, for instance. I, for one, am ready to hand over my ATM PIN every time that Sarah McLachlan commercial comes on showing a one-eyed puppy in doggy jail. And the upside is Michelle Obama is rarely going to be caught in the compromising position of beating a schnauzer at a Shake Shack.

Michelle recently told students, “If I picked one favorite food, it’s French fries . . . I can’t stop eating them . . . But eat your vegetables.”

See, spokespeople don’t get timeouts like that. If I started a “no smoking” campaign, I couldn’t ever be pictured holding a cigar. If I sponsored a cancer jog-a-thon, I couldn’t hop on a moped whenever I got tired. You stuff a cheeseburger in your pie hole even once and someone snaps a picture? It’s a Kodak moment on Fox News in super Glenn Beck slo-mo.

We all get that French fries are delicious, Michelle. Except try explaining the idea of “moderation” to an 8-year-old who wants to wallpaper his life in Transformers. Role models are supposed to be role models all the time. Sucks, doesn’t it? That’s why I try to stay off of posters and trading cards.

Pick a different cause: Illiteracy, solar power, puffins—the more innocuous the better. The trick is to pick something so vague and confusing that no one can accurately track if you’re actually making an impact.

It also helps if you can pick a cause where you appear passionate without actually altering a single detail about your lifestyle:

“I just hosted a telethon to save the purple speckled wombat!!” Is it helping? “I don’t know. Probably. There are only four of them in existence and they live in an invisible cave in outer space.”

What nobody is saying is Michelle Obama is a millionaire with a White House full of maids, housekeepers and personal chefs. And if I had someone to watch my kids, make my bed, wash my clothes, scrub my toilets and serve me the finest gourmet meals three times a day, every day, for four straight years? Then yeah, I could probably skip the occasional Happy Meal.

But I still wouldn’t, because I love junk food. That’s why it’s called “junk.” And who wants to live until 90 anyway?

But I’ll make you this deal, Michelle: Once your husband fixes inflation, the national debt, the housing market, gas prices, Medicare, social security, unemployment, immigration, gay marriage, the BCS, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Guantanamo—then you can tell me what I can put in my mouth and how tubby my kids are, mmm-kay?

Contact Jeff Girod at finalword@ieweekly.com.


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