By Jeff Girod
That’s if New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets his way. The mayor hater is proposing a citywide ban on—not guns, not crack, not gangs—but soda. And get ready, America, because some advocates are calling this just the start of a nationwide fizz-killing movement coming to a drive-through near you.
Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal would ban the purchase of pop and sweetened drinks in any cup larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, movie theaters, food carts and ballparks. This New York ban could start as early as next March and violators would face a $200 fine.
A $200 fine for drinking soda? For that kind of money I better be slurping a different kind of coke off of a dead hooker.
Not to mention convenience stores are inexplicably exempt from Bloomberg’s soda ban. So whatever you do, don’t order a large soda at Applebee’s, but continue swallowing 7-Eleven’s Gulps (20 ounces), Big Gulps (30 ounces), Super Big Gulps (40 ounces) and Double Gulps (50 ounces).
Has this country sipped itself into supersized satin stretch pants? Is America so fat that mayors have to doctor our Dr. Peppers?
Wait up a sec. I have to sit down. I get winded whenever I ask too many self-righteous rhetorical questions.
Hell yes, we’re fat! We’re so fat we have to order the Grimace-sized punch bowls at McDonald’s even though we know it’s all-you-can-drink. Because, really, who’s physically fit enough to walk the extra 10 feet to refill a normal sized cup? Who do I look like, Usain Bolt?
“We’re not banning you from getting the stuff,” Bloomberg said on The Today Show. “It’s just if you want 32 ounces, the restaurant has to serve it in two glasses. “
Two glasses? Great. Now I have to carry more cups and do math?
Nobody’s arguing that soda is bad for you. So are tall blondes, whiskey and cigars. You shouldn’t make a regular meal out of any of them. But what’s the point of living if you can’t have a Coke or five?
Then again, Harvard researchers reported that drinking one soda per day could increase a man’s risk for heart attack by 20 percent. And the more you drink, the greater the danger: two a day (42 percent), three a day (69 percent).
Drinking soda has also been associated with everything from cavities and accelerated aging to cancer, heart and kidney problems, nervous disorders and osteoporosis.
It’s probably why the American Heart Association urges us to drink no more than 450 calories of soda per week—fewer than three 12-ounce cans.
So maybe you shouldn’t drink 100 ounces of Mountain Dew Code Red. But damn it, I just like knowing I can.
And as an American, every paying establishment in the country should grant me the inalienable right to drink my body weight in Bubble Up or Mr. Pibb. And it should be poured in one ridiculously giant “souvenir” glass—because if I’m drinking 100 ounces of any carbonated sugary liquid, I’ll need to save my cup-lifting energy to waddle to and from the bathroom.
If we let handwringers like Mayor Bloomberg come for our soda, what will they snatch away next? Our high-speed Internet? Our camouflaged Snuggies? Our stuffed-crust, triple-cheese pizza?
You deserve whatever comforts this ephemeral existence can afford.
Look around you. No, seriously. Look. There are 20 things within choking distance that could and probably should kill you. I personally meet 30 strangers a day on the freeway I want roll up in a rug and bury.
That’s what makes old people so happy when they celebrate a birthday or anniversary—because all of them should be dead by now.
And it shouldn’t be up to some mayor 3,000 miles away to decide how much longer anyone gets to live.
You, my friend, are a miracle. I am, too. And if we want to spend our final days drinking a deliciously refreshing Cherry Pepsi until our hearts explode? Have at it!
No stupid mayor from New York can stop us.
Well, he could I guess, if he literally chased us. I really need to start jogging.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.