And no wonder the antithesis of the Lump in the Bed has set off a shitstorm by suggesting Americans could maybe eat a little better and move a little more. On each leg of our JetBlue trip, my consort and I sat in an exit row penned in by a guy who probably weighed as much as the two of us put together. (The second offender, interestingly enough, was reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”) Wherever we went in between I had to pull my jaw closed at the sights — a mother so huge she had to ride a cart at Target, a young couple so gigantic their super-sized frozen custards at Kone King disappeared in their ham hands, a slightly older couple in shorts at Wegmans who could have commanded admission in a freak show only 50 years ago. (Judging by the astonishing avoirdupois on display, the chain’s slogan should be: “Where giant people push huge carts.”)
Our last meal was typically Buffalo-excessive, with three ginormous softshell crabs in a super-rich sauce, and my in-law equivalent said the problem was portion sizes. But I had to note that very few of the morbidly obese we had gawked at looked able to afford $27.95 entrées. They gorge on the 99-cent crap with Big Gulps. The saddest sight was of the “little” boy wearing only basketball shorts going in for a fix for his mom at a gas station — he had a gut worthy of a case-of-Bud-a-day drinker and looked to be about 8 but walked like a 70-year-old, his feet and joints strained trying to support his bulk. I was marveling that “that kid is doomed — no way can he ever get that weight off once he grows up” when Big Mama Overfeeder backed her honking-huge truck straight at us. She must have heard me.