I walked straight ahead, looking neither right nor left in a darkened alley illuminated by a half-moon.
I quickened my pace but there was no avoiding the shadowy figure.
"Ain't gonna harm ya. Jus' wanna sell ya somethin'."
I hesitated, shaking. Stepping in front of me, he shoved a hotdog under my nose.
"Ten bucks each," he whispered ominously through his throat.
"Ten bucks?!" I asked, astonished at the cost.
"You want it or not?"
With Michelle Obama (who chose to attack obesity rather than poverty, worker exploitation, or even hunger and malnutrition), supported by publicity-hungry legislators, hotdogs were the latest feel-good food to come under assault.
A medical association whose members are vegans had spent $2,750 to place a billboard message near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The picture showed four grilled hot dogs sticking out of a cigarette box that had a skull and crossbones symbol on its face. An oversized label next to the box informed motorists and fans of the upcoming Brickyard 400, "Warning: Hot dogs can wreck your health." The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine claimed that just one hot dog eaten daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.
The Committee isn't the only one destroying Americans' rights to eat junk food. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which seems to come up with a new toxic food every year, once declared theatre popcorn unhealthy. Many schools banned soda machines.
Back in 2011, McDonald's reduced the number of french fries in its Happy Meal and substituted a half-order of some abomination known as apples. Even cigarette company executives, trying to look professorial at a Congressional hearing, once said that smoking cigarettes wasn't any worse than eating Twinkies. However, smoking a Twinkie could cause heart and lung diseases, cancer, and diabetes.
Nevertheless, in Michelle Obama's second term as First Anti-Fat Lady, I was desperate for my daily fix of hot dogs, and my would-be supplier knew it. I leaped at my stalking shadowy figure with the miracle junk.
"Not so fast!" he growled, pulling the hotdog away. "Let's see your bread."
"I don't have any bread," I pleaded. "Not since a zoologist at Penn concluded that hummingbirds that ate two loaves of bread a day got constipation."
"Not that bread, turkey! Bread! Lettuce!"
"I haven't eaten lettuce in three years since the government banned it for having too many pesticides, and the heads that remained were eaten by pests."
The man closed his trench coat and began to leave.
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