In case you hadn’t noticed, Australia (and to a similar extent, the developed world) has gotten fat. There are myriad reasons for this, including (but not limited to) an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, the development of the “Fast Food Nation” that Eric Schlosser detailed in his identically titled expose (a brilliantly eye-opening read), and the overabundance of food at baseball games. I’m not kidding about that third one either; there’s a fantastic article (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=hruby/091014&sportCat=mlb) at the ESPN website about this subtle trend. It would have been my favourite article of the week had Bill Simmons not posted his NBA preview a few days later. But that is really, really, really beside the point. In fact, I haven’t even got to the point yet. So please let me elaborate, for you shall die from the suspense if I do not do as such.
We have heard much about the “fat police”. These mystical creatures, whose real identities have remained unknown, are supposedly cracking down on the causes of our obesity epidemic, in a futile attempt to stem the flow of people going from “normies” to “fatties” (self-conscious large people, I apologise). But dear reader, you will be amongst the first in the world to know of their true identities, as I discovered it for myself last Tuesday. So sit back in your plush leather seat, and brace yourself.
It all started when I was walking to Central Station. Having completed my classes for the day, I was off to my home, and with a spring in my step I strolled down one of the many wonderful back streets of Sydney (if you ever get lost in Sydney, it’s a blessing in disguise, trust me). Whistling merrily to myself (and to the bemusement of others), I noticed a pair of police, one man and one woman, walking towards me. As a single bead of sweat swam down my face* I shifted over to the side of the footpath closer to the road, in anticipation more than anything else. Yet as I walked forwards, the two previously diminutive figures that I had spotted all of a sudden grew, like they were those spongey dinosaurs that you got as a kid and sprayed with water to enlarge in size**. As we approached the point of intersection, I found myself moving closer and closer to the road, as these two gargantuans took up more and more of the pathway***. Upon crossing paths with them, I suddenly lost my footing; I had been forced on to the road! Treading on the gritty tarmac, my extra-sensory perception went into overload and I found myself stumbling wildly, as if I had just been kicked out of Blush nightclub. Pivoting with alarming difficulty, I craned my neck to observe for any oncoming traffic. And wouldn’t you know it, bearing up on me is a great big dirty Hummer, oblivious to my existence (as Hummer drivers can only see other Hummer drivers. Little known fact.) Praying to the Lord Almighty, I was struck a mortal blow by the 4 ton weight of the car, and paralysis was instant. Cruelly, I was still alive at this point, for in the throes of death, we are often required to look back on the accomplishments of our life. My greatest accomplishment? Creating a blog that was actually read by someone outside of immediate family.
As I lay prone, the police turned around to see what all the commotion was about. Seeing me motionless on the road, they quickly scurried over; well, as quickly as their massive frames would allow them to. Sensing I was in dire trouble, they did what they were trained to do: put me down. Emptying two cartridges of bullets into the back of my head, they laughed quite disconcertingly, and as I passed into the afterlife, their cackles rang through my ears like an inconsiderate bogan’s ringtone.
What is the point of all this? Well, dear reader, the point is this- that the fat police are, indeed, simply fat police.
Now, to quote a (sadly)unknown Skyhooks song, I may be living in the 70’s, but aren’t our law-enforcement officers meant to be in peak physical shape? If a robber were to literally be on the run, shouldn’t they be able to run them down? I’d like to think of our cops as being like Starsky in the movie version of Starsky and Hutch: living for the job. Yet with the advent of technology and the likes, our police seem to be getting fatter and fatter, and presumably (perhaps unfairly) less devoted to serving the citizens of their fair city.
The same goes for ticket inspectors on the train. The amount of times where I have been sitting in an aisle seat and been brushed in the face by an unwarranted muffin top are too numerous to count. Maybe this extra mass helps with stopping renegade ticket-avoiders, but what happens when they run the other way? Do the inspectors give chase for two carriages and then pause for a short nap? Or am I being the most insensitive person since Michael Richards****?
* Is there anyone who doesn’t get slightly more nervous when they see police? And I’m not just talking to my Mount Penang readership here. Even if you have done absolutely nothing wrong, you can’t help but be anxious passing police, as if they’re going to apprehend you for wearing an untucked t-shirt.
** I’m great with similes
*** This is about where the real story ends, and the drugs kick in
**** Look at me! I’m a real writer now that I’m using footnotes!