“I eat because I’m unhappy and I’m unhappy because I eat.” - Fat Bastard, from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Thanks to the pervasive spread of gluttony within the Land O’ Plenty, Fat Bastard is no longer just a character in an Austin Powers’ flick . . . chances are, he’s your kid. Never in American history has there been so many sweaty sea cowesque adults and so many man-boobed little boys and chunky cheese, disease-primed little girls.
I’m forty-three years old as I write this column. When I was twelve years old growing up in Texas there was only one overweight kid in my sixth grade class of 300. That was one boy, not two, not 60% of my school carting around junk in their trunk, but one. Today, according to MSN online, over half of the adults in the good old US of Excess weigh too much and nearly a quarter of our kids aren’t just a little pudgy, but are obese. Wow.
Just yesterday while I was kayaking in the Atlantic, I saw this one boy (somewhere between 6-8 years old) on a boat with his shirt off. This kid was so chubby you could have hidden small toys in the folds of his fat. This kind of ruinous abuse, to me, is just as sad and as bad as the eight-year-old Russian heroine addict I saw on a video blog last week.
So what is gluttony?
Gluttony, according to Os Guinness, is the “idolization of food.” Os states, “Just as avarice idolizes possessions and lust sex, so gluttony idolizes food. It lifts it out of its place and distorts both food and eating. Thus, unlike a gourmet who enjoys and appreciates food, a traditional glutton enjoys eating, almost regardless of its taste, beauty or the company shared.
Whereas the gourmet savors, the traditional glutton devours.” What’s funny is that the church used to look at you weird if you were a glutton. Yeah, the ecclesia used to side with God and denounce the glut. We can’t do that nowadays because the church is packing more pork than a congressional subcommittee. Oh sure, we will condemn the obvious bacchanalian, Diddy-like excesses of the unwashed rich and famous with their groaning tables and uncouth comportment; but that doesn’t keep the called out ones from getting seconds of the Savory Sausage Slam at Denny’s! Glory, hallelujah!