Fat kids make me sad. Yes, I'm perfectly aware how that sounds coming from me, but it doesn't make it a lie.
Last night, we decided to grocery shop at the Super Walmart to see if it was any cheaper than the regular grocery store options we have. It was cheaper, in all respects, and very depressing.
Maybe it's the lighting and just the aura of Walmart, but the joint really got to me. I felt myself shuffling through the aisles, looking around at the stuff for sale, thinking, "My god, this is what I can afford."
I mean, have you ever looked on the back label of an Oscar Meyer lunchmeat and seen how much stuff is in that besides meat? You know that for the cheaper turkey, it lists one of the ingredients as "white turkey." Not white meat, or breast meat or anything like that but some ominous sounding "white turkey." Does that mean the turkey with the white feathers, or somehow, have they started bleaching turkey meat? We looked at the turkey burgers, the kind pre-frozen and put into discs, and the ingredients read "Turkey and flavoring." What the fuck if "flavoring"? Grime and boogers has a flavor, and if I stuck on a sandwich, I guess it would be flavoring the sandwich, right? Gross.
And then seeing these two rotund 7 years old bowl down an aisle in that side to side lope of the obese. Oh, it's a walk I know well. You don't so much move your knees as swing your trunk side to side, forcing your legs forward at the hips. Anyway, these kids, these two 7 year olds, easily 150 to 175 apiece and they were maybe 4-5 or 4-7. Tiny fat bastards, really. And their mom, equally huge.
Look at that food they eat because that's what's affordable. Even the good stuff, the good for your stuff, stuff like turkey, drenched in sugar and vague promises of "flavor." That's what available. And nevermind the whole Walmartness of the situation.
No ceiling, just those fucking rafters and metal roof. And the floor, which at this Walmart is concrete glazed brown. The florescent lights sort radiating sickliness out there. And then these fat fat fat kids swaying like a boat on waves down the aisle looking for snacks and sodas because that's what's available because that's what they can afford. What else can they do? Water or something with taste that brings joy to their lives, even if it's grossly damaging?
It's just sad.
All this came to me when in Walmart and trying to buy crackers. I was there, reading the back of the box thinking about why is it that crackers need all these ingredients I can't pronounce and why do they need to try to hide the amount of sugar and bad-for-you stuff in there.
Label reading brings on a whole new kind of depression just thinking of all the junk you have to digest because the food without that junk costs 6 bucks a pop and for fewer servings.
I think it was Barbara Ehrenreich who said that healthiness is like the new godliness or morality. That being healthy and eating right somehow gives you a moral superiority or cleanliness. Maybe she's right. It's moral superiority you can buy at jacked up prices. Only the well-off can afford to be morally fed. Hm.