Sunday, April 07, 2002

Fixing blame

Who's in charge of our lives?

        My fellow Americans, we are fat and rude. It is high time we figured out who is to blame for this nasty turn of events.

        Although I do not like to speak ill of the dead, perhaps in the matter of our ever-expanding waistlines, the fault lies with Dave Thomas and Ray Kroc. If Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's, hadn't been so darn cute, maybe we wouldn't have been tempted to biggie-size everything we ordered.

        And Mr. Kroc's company, of course, put more than 30,000McDonald's restaurants in our path. What were we supposed to do but eat meat and cheese and fried potatoes? Is it our fault that the assembly-line, all-beef patties just kept getting bigger? Then they started putting toys in their Happy Meals, so our children got fat, too.

        These men have a lot to answer for.

Fat but not jolly

        Fat people, as it turns out, are not jolly. Public Agenda, an outfit that spends money from the Pew Charitable Trusts to find out what Americans are thinking, reported that “rudeness is on the rise.” This will come as a surprise tozero percent of thinking Americans. And clearly, this is the fault of Henry Ford and Alexander Graham Bell.

        More than half the survey respondents complain about reckless and aggressive drivers. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed dislike telephone solicitors (“rude and pushy”), and nearly half were bothered by loud and annoying cell-phone conversations.

        Maybe the fat, rude people are sleep deprived. The National Center on Sleep Disorders reports that if we don't get enough sleep, we are irritable and frustrated. The root cause of this is, obviously, late-night television. The disorder can be laid directly at the feet of Mr. Jack Paar. And his co-conspirator, Johnny Carson.

        People used to get plenty of sleep when there wasn't anything else to do at night. Except you-know-what. And I'm sure at least 12 percent of Americans (mostly women) would admit that making love didn't take 90 minutes. Speaking of you-know-what, this country is increasingly sex-obsessed. This originated with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Tattered reputation

        Politicians and government officials are behind most of the terrible things that happen to us innocent citizens. For instance, Cincinnati's city managers are known trouble-makers, and we have had to replace them with great regularity. By the way, what has Valerie Lemmie done for us lately?

        The weather is too cold, and our convention center is too small. Cincinnati residents are being victimized by suburbanites who insist on shopping where it is safe and convenient, in areas where there are actual stores. I demand to know why she hasn't fixed these things yet.

        Police Officer Stephen Roach is to blame for racial unrest. Aided, of course, by Police Chief Thomas Streicher and attorney Ken Lawson. Damon Lynch III and Charlie Luken are to blame for everything else.

        Our city is in terrible shape, and our reputation is in tatters. We are not sure exactly who is to blame. But one thing we know for sure:

        It is not our fault.

        E-mail Laura at or call 768-8393. She can be heard at noon Fridays on WVXU radio (91.7 FM).


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