Matter of Laugh or Death
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
IT’S FOR MY OWN GOOD
The steel door slammed shut with a deafening clang that echoed down the endless dark corridor. And so I began my ten-year sentence in the new “D” wing of this federal ULDARC.
This particular Unhealthy Lifestyle Detention and Re-education Center was the first one in the nation to construct a “Donut” wing in response to last year’s legislation outlawing all fried dough. This facility already has an “M” wing (McDonald’s offenders), a “C” wing (caffeine fiends), and, of course, the original structure built way back in 2005, the “T” wing (tobacco abusers).
I can’t believe I’m really here. I never thought I would find myself on the wrong side of the Lifestyle Police. In fact, I was one of the strongest allies of the “I’m healthy, what’s your problem?!” program, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Department of Education and the F.B.I.
I was a staunch supporter of all the federal programs designed to make the American people healthier. Naturally, it was for our own good. I was even appointed captain of our district Observation Team (the “O.T.” as we called ourselves, although ungrateful scofflaws often referred to us as “nosy Nazi neighbors”).
It was marvelous when the government first targeted the vile practice of tobacco use. It is, as we all know, a harmful and subversive habit which leads to insanity and makes people want to violently overthrow the government.
As we used to chant when spotting an offender—and while waiting for a Lifestyle Police SWAT team to arrive—“Icky, icky! You’re a sickie!”
A few years later, the government outlawed caffeine. New studies showed this nasty substance was much more harmful than anyone ever thought. It actually afflicted some people with that life-threatening medical condition know as “the jitters.” So, of course, for our own good it had to go.
Not long after that all fast food places were banned. Again, medical studies found these restaurants were a major health risk. Obviously, they had to go, too.
Whenever I felt the urge to bite into a Big Mac, I just reminded myself how profitable the McDonald’s Corporation had been before the government put them out of business. As we all know, the only way big companies become financially successful is by exploiting the people. That sinister company had to be stopped and, despite what some squeamish folks say, their board of directors certainly deserved to be publicly hanged. (The TV ratings for that event, by the way, were out of sight.)
When all fried dough was outlawed last year, it was, again, a bit difficult for me to break a life-long habit. But naturally, since the government told us it was bad, I wholeheartedly agreed with the new law. In fact, as President Rodham-Clinton explained in her State of the Union address, donuts are almost as evil as white males with religious beliefs.
But then it happened. That fateful morning when I came into my office and spotted a small brown paper bag on my desk. “What’s this?” I wondered, picking it up. Instantly, as the grease stain on the bag caught my eye and the aroma from within hit my nose, I knew.
I quickly peeked inside and there it was: a single glazed donut with chocolate icing. My heart began to pound and my mind raced. “What should I do?” I wondered. “Should I call the police, or should I throw it away, or should I…”
The next thing I knew—to my horror—I was biting into the illicit substance. One, two, three wolfish thrusts and it was gone. Only a small chocolate smear on my cheek gave any hint that a crime had just been committed. Which is why, I discovered later, the Lifestyle Police use hidden surveillance cameras in their sting operations.
Before I could even savor my dastardly act of insurrection, black-clad agents burst into the room, shackled my wrists and ankles, and dragged me past jeering co-workers to a waiting van.
And so, after a whirlwind of arraignment, trial, and sentencing, here I am: behind bars for ten years. I have a strong suspicion many more people will be joining me in the near future. Especially since legislation is working its way through Congress which will ban all sugar, salt, and red meat starting next year. I also understand this new law will make it a felony offense to go to bed without flossing.
I hope the re-education programs offered in this facility’s Winston Smith Behavior Modification Laboratory can help me overcome my anti-government impulses. After all, it’s for my own good.
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