Back when God was just outgrowing the training wheels on his celestial bicycle, I used to have a regular writing gig at What’s Up, the El Paso Inc.’s weekly entertainment magazine. My monthly column started out as Party Spy. I’d go to parties and make fun of the usually drunken antics of the attendees.
Because of the nature of the gig, I adopted a nom de plume, to preserve my anonymity. It didn’t take too long for people to figure it out, and then they’d be on their best behavior when I was at a party, so the column changed. The column turned into At Large, but the nom de plume, Lank Dresser, stayed the same. For At Large, I’d write about whatever.
What’s Up paid me well into the double digits for those columns, an act of generosity for which I am extremely grateful.
What’s Up changed their website, and I thought those columns were gone forever, except for the hard copies I have stashed in my basement. I found out this weekend that they’re online again.
Celebrating the bounty of the harvest might have made sense when things were scarce, when food required hard labor, when Americans survived, or not, by foraging, when a hard winter might be lethal. But these days we’re just suckling up to the pig’s teat, waddling through the all-you-can-eat buffet with our pudgy little arms straining to hold trays laden with transfats and lard, not sure if our Nikes match without a third-party opinion because we can’t see our feet.
We’re a nation whose biggest health threat is chronic obesity. Celebrating the harvest by stuffing ourselves with turkey and mashed potatoes is stupid. It’s like we should celebrate Joe Camel’s Birthday by huddling on the leeward side of office buildings chain-smoking filterless cigarettes till our skin turns blue. Or we should celebrate National Drunk Driving Weekend by cruising the loop chugging tequila straight from the bottle and chasing it down with gin and tonics. I’m in for that one.
Remember those innocent times when our biggest health threat was chronic obesity?