Tuesday, June 26

The Weight of the World



Today's guest blogger is my old friend Robb Zerr, the brilliant mind behind RobZerrvations. Back before life got complicated, Robb and I were both editors of our college newspaper. (As you'll see, Robb was always the better writer.) So now, back in Seattle, fresh from the wrong coast of America, HundredRaw is proud to present the inimitable Robb Zerr:

I was surfing the Web yesterday and came upon a very interesting story. It was about the problem of being overweight. Not mildly overweight, as in 10 pounds or so, but obesity-level overweight.

I only learned that I was technically obese when I had a Wii. I bought the Wii Fit and thought I would try to get into shape. I really liked the thing, except for that admonishing little bitch who would say after each weigh in, “You’re Obese.” The only thing missing was a slight snicker or a snort at the end.

Yes, I am lunking around some extra pounds. I think I look pretty good for my age, but after finding out that I am hauling around almost half of another person, I thought its ramifications should have a little look-see.

It seems that the entire adult population weights about 315 million tons. For math-impaired folks like me, that’s 633 billion pounds. Now, don’t ask me who took all the time to calculate the weight of the world’s population. All I know is that 16.5 million tons of that total is from being overweight.

You read right – 16.5 million tons of flab in this world. According to the folks at the United Nations who seem to find the idea of world peace so difficult to address that they shelved it to work on world flab instead, that adds up to 242 million extra people in this world. Yes, 242 million people, about as many people who live in Indonesia, wherever that is.

The UN reports that the average person in this world weighs 137 pounds. I don’t doubt the number. I’ve seen all those commercials for Feed the Children. The average American weighs 178 pounds, so we’re already taking up more of the world than we deserve, it appears. Just to keep balance, for every American someone somewhere else in this world has to be a 96-pound weakling.

So far, Asia is taking up this cause. They account for 61 percent of the world’s population, but only 13 percent of the obesity. As usual, we are exporting all the work to places like China and Vietnam, who seem to have a lot of skinny people who would love to have an extra slice of rice cake, but can’t because someone like me in the U.S. is too lazy to get off his very fat ass to do some exercise. They suffer for our excess, poor Asian people.

This is alarming, of course, because larger people eat more. They need more food, meaning the rest of the world gets less. Someone even estimated that if every other country was as obese as the U.S., there would be an additional billion people in this world to feed. A real crisis indeed, because we don’t have enough skinny people to go around to compensate.

As a result, all hell is breaking loose. First, there are the obligatory food shortages. We aren’t making enough food to feed the world, because, well, people like me seem to eat more than our share. I confess to some guilt at eating last night at a Chinese buffet here in Shoreline. All you can eat Chinese. And there were a lot of 137-pound people in the room that night. They seem to be able to eat all they can, but I’m the one with all the extra groceries slung around my waist.

But I think there are other forces at work here. I believe, and I am sure people like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly will back me on this because most obese people seem to be liberals too, that fat people are the cause of global warming.

No, silly, it’s not all those capitalist pigs who are raping our land with big business. It’s obese people. As you can imagine, all the weight of the world really adds up. The poor world can’t handle all that extra weight. It’s getting tired. It is slowing down. Yes, slowing down.

The earth is slowing down 1.4 milliseconds every solar day per century. That is a scientific fact, my friend. The old school of thought, one that scientists are still holding onto for some reason, is that somehow greenhouse gases are to blame. All I can say, and cover your ears if you’re not used to such language, is poppycock.

Yes, poppycock. How could something you can’t see possibly cause the earth to get warmer as the years pass? But, if you think about it, obese people could have done the trick. Yes, I admit, I have contributed to our downfall on this. The Wii Fit has confirmed it.

Here’s how it all works. As you know, a basketball on the end of your finger can spin for a very long time. But add a chunk of modeling clay to one side, say where North America would be, and the sucker will start slowing down almost immediately.

It’s out of balance. It’s wobbling. There’s too much weight on one side. The whole jig is up.

Think of our earth as that basketball. Here we are, all in North America, causing global warming because we can’t resist the large order of MexiFries at Taco Time and don’t have the get up and go to go and get up. We are causing the world’s demise here.

The only cure for our ills is for half of the Americans in this country who are Twinkiphiles to swap places with those on the opposite side of the world to balance everything out.

From my own approximations, I think that means that those selected should head to Australia and in return, the Aborigines would come to the States. I know. Tough duty. But you must do it for the future of our world. We are its saviors, we, the tippers of scales, the lovers of pie, us purveyors of pork rinds.

I know my bags are already packed. Yes, unselfish to the last calorie, I have volunteered to move halfway across the world to solve the problem of global warming. Well, that and to get away from a country that thinks Mitt Romney is a viable candidate for president.

In the Emerald City, packing my bags, trying to figure out how I’m going to squeeze my ass into a 17″ wide seat for 18 hours,

- Robb

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Memoirs of a Buccaneer, Robb's tale of seafaring -- or in his case, SeaFairing -- is available here.