Friday, April 20, 2007

The binge

"...He held up an empty nacho container.

"'What's my time?" he asked.

"'About two minutes," I said.

Then he let out a tremendous belch.

"'Oh God," he said. "It burns!'"

In the years I lived in Los Angeles, I rarely went out to the ballpark to watch a game. I dragged my poor defenseless mother to watch a football (soccer) game once at the Olympic Stadium, where she really got into the celebration, while I bitched that the players weren't even the best of the two leagues they were hosting. I also promptly got us lost trying to exit from the parking lot, and she continued to suffer while I navigated through South Central towards the Valley (two chinky eyed females driving a red Camry through S. Central a year before the Rodney King riots...). A year later, I was chauffering my dad up and down Malibu, suffering from not so subtle hints, like "I know this nice, Chinese boy, good mainland family, communist party leader, blah blah blah..."

I had been told during those days that it was not about sitting for hours watching a baseball game that's worth the trip, but eating Dodger Stadium dogs and drinking gallons of soda, especially if you were just paying for the cheap seats. Now the cheap seats have turned into an all-you-eat buffet of hotdogs, nachos, popcorn and soda. Neal Pollack writes about the experience in Slate, and that tidbit above only serves to highlight what might be the underlying health problem with American eating today. Packaged, chemically inspired food, lots of it, and eat fast. When did humans become more like cars, filled up with chemicals, and paying the least to get the most?

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