COLUMNS

Table d'hote: Urgent: Subscribe now

Wade McIntyre
Wade McIntyre

I don’t know why people are supposedly not buying newspapers anymore.

In addition to providing news, they are useful in so many ways.

You can of course wrap fish with a fresh read paper. In Louisiana we spread our newspapers out over tables and dump our boiled crawfish and crabs on them.

When you’re finished with the seafood, you roll the newspaper up, shells and all, and whisk it to the garbage can. Neat as can be.

Try doing that with your Blackberry.

Consumers certainly increase the value of a newspaper by reading it first. Depending on your mood, you can scan the front page for big stories and photos, or just skip to the horoscope.

If you need sports scores, a Web browser is fine. But if you want to spend time with all the stats, a sports section in the paper is the way to go.

Say you’ve killed an hour in this manner at a donut shop. You can leave your paper on the counter, take a bathroom break and the newspaper will likely be there when you return.

Do not attempt this feat with an IPod.

Newspapers have all kinds of stuffers in them that fall into your lap when you pick up the paper.  I like the one in many Sunday papers called Parade Magazine.

An article in the Sunday Parade revealed how a war on obesity is taking place around the world in wealthy countries.

The Japanese government checks the waistlines of its people over the age of forty to make sure they aren’t too fat.

And, if they are, these belly-bulging Japanese have to submit to a fatty person diet counseling program. If they fail to trim the bulge, fines are issued.

Talk about government intrusion. Even New Zealand has a fatso lookout. They enforce guidelines to stop the rotund from immigrating into the country when they are tubby.

German government wants candy companies to stop taking advantage of impressionable young kids with targeted marketing programs.

Want to know what Great Britain is doing about its ballooning blubber problem? You should have bought a Sunday paper.

Clearly we must be on guard before our own government tries to stop us from getting unacceptably fat.

The constitution guarantees a right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but does not specifically grant the right to get fat. Will we one day need obesity lawyers to protect us when we slip into the land of tubbiness and must fight our way back out?

If government starts measuring American waistlines, there is sure to be a stink, and a lawyer’s heyday.

Will they replace wardrobes when we comply with the law and lose weight? Will they make us bathe before we are measured? Can our pets remain blissfully obese, or must they be measured, too? Will exceptions be granted for offensive linemen in the NFL?

Obesity could turn into a huge political issue. We’re no longer  a nation of red and blue states, but we might end up one of thin and fat ones.

It is time to subscribe to a newspaper, keep up with the issue. This could be the biggest story of the year (if you add up the waistlines of all the overweight people in the country).