The Verdict on Junk Food
Trouble was brewing in the cereal aisle. And the one about to incur the wrath was me. As my ’tween and teenage sons stood there, it was clear they were about to make their case with the tenacity of Perry Mason and Atticus Finch. “See, Mom, you were wrong!” Older Boy said, shoving the box within an inch of my middle-aged eyes. “Go ahead, read it.” Younger Boy then chimed in: “They’re good for you,” he argued. “It says so right on the box.”
It was hard to argue with the good-health claims emblazoned on the front of the Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops boxes that my boys paraded in front of me as if I were a Price Is Right showcase contestant. There they were—boxes of immunity-boosting, fiber-enhanced morning indulgences that I’ve denied them, based on my misguided beliefs. And boy, did I feel pretty stupid. All these years, I’ve been making them eat real fruit.
Since they were little guys, I operated under the apparent delusion that spinach, broccoli, and bananas were the building blocks for healthy bodies. Silly me. Looks like I could have saved a bundle at the pediatrician’s office if I’d been offering them those little orbs of chocolate crunchy goodness from the time they sprouted choppers. I probably could have bypassed all those annoying vaccinations if I’d jammed enough of it down their young pie holes.
So that got me thinking, why couldn’t we take better living through chemistry a step further with the marriage of junk food and pharmaceuticals? It wouldn’t even be a shotgun wedding. Seems the government fat cats anticipated this day would come when they created the bureaucracy known as the Food and Drug Administration.
Imagine the ease of a world where you could have Ambien Plus Bars for those sleepless nights. Parents would appreciate having Special Keflex Cereal on hand for those nasty ear infections that inevitably occur after office hours. Keep Xanax Fruit-Flavored Rolls in the candy dish in your office. Make the teacher happy and send junior off for a great day at school with a handful of Reece’s Ritalin. Enjoy some guilt-free KFC Lipitor Hot Wings. Women could unsuspectingly slip their men Soft Batch Viagra Chip cookies. Talk about a Happy Meal.
So I only had to deliberate for a moment. I delivered the verdict and my boys triumphantly threw the cereal formerly known as junk food into the cart. And who am I to argue? Because the day I see Premarin Pop-Tarts “Now with Botox!” you can bet I’m filling the cart.