Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Food Fascists

(Take a deep breath Dave …)

If I had made a New Year’s resolution to give up being a grumpy old git who ranted for England, then I would have failed miserably.

I strive for happiness, dear reader, I truly do, but fate and the petty minded idiocy of people turns on the red mist machine and I find myself trapped in an incredulous rant.

I say again – maybe it is the cold winter months in Britain that aggravate the situation – but I’m not so sure.

“What has pushed your buttons this time?” I hear you cry.

The answer is; an email at work.

I won’t reproduce the email but the gist of it is:

It has been suggested that we get some vending machines but there are some people who think it will encourage unhealthy eating. So instead of getting them, we are going to put it to the vote. Please reply with “Yes” if you want a vending machine or “No” if you don’t.

Where do I begin with why this pissed me off so much?

First of all, let me just say that as far as vending machines are concerned, I can take them or leave them. I usually take enough food with me to work to get me through the day; usually a couple of sandwiches, a couple of apples, a banana, some cherry tomatoes and perhaps a couple of plums, nectarines or peaches.

Also, it is a tradition at work that when you celebrate a birthday, you bring in some treats for your co-workers, usually in the form of chocolates, cakes or whatever takes your fancy.

So why I am I so bloody annoyed about this email?

I'll tell you why. It's because there are a few people in my company who think that they can control those others who want a vending machine because of the stupid belief that a vending machine will encourage you to eat crisps, sweets, chocolates etc. and ultimately become a bloated monster unable to crowbar your blubbery body through the door.

What right have these people got to dictate what other people eat?

Why the flump should they care about a bloody vending machine?

Should we ban people from bringing treats in on their birthday for the co-workers to enjoy?

If the folks on my table want to eat crisps, doughnuts, cakes, bacon sandwiches or sweets then that is entirely up to them.

The worst thing, the thing that really winds me up, is that these people do not even know what is being sold in the bloody vending machine. It could be tea, coffee, soup or sandwiches. Vending machines sell a variety of wares.

“Oh – it’s a vending machine so it’s crisps, pop, sweets and blubber in a box. It will turn us all into fat bastards!”

I blame the "State of Fear".

My own television tells me of an obesity epidemic in Britain with people growing fatter every second of the day and making us the laughing stock of Europe. They show pictures of fat people walking around towns and cities, their bits wobbling menacingly towards the camera with the hidden message: “It’s an illness and one day you, dear everyday Brit, will succumb and spend the whole day eating burgers, cakes and chocolate until your trousers give up in shock and your blubber escapes for the whole world to see.”

And not content with targetting fat adults, it seems that they want to step up a gear with horrific statistics about children being obese. And, yes, they show fat kids wobbling to school just to illustrate the point.

The people who say things like “We don’t want vending machines because it will turn you all into hippopotami.” have just been brainwashed by the fear of a state of obesity.

Are we all school children for flump’s sake?

Can’t we make our own decisions about whether we want to stuff our faces with crisps from a vending machine? Or a bloody supermarket?

The truth is that if you are the kind of person who’s massive bulk is due to eating cakes, crisps and chips then you will bring all manner of unhealthy food into work anyway. Surely it is up to the person concerned what he bloody well eats.

I mean, what next?

Should fat people be banned from supermarkets in case they buy high calorie food?

Should supermarkets stop selling chocolate, doughnuts and cakes to people because they are unhealthy?

Should we close all fish and chip shops in the UK?

It makes me sick that people preach to me about how I should live my life, what I should eat and what I should drink, just because of their own silly views, their own perception of what the news and media are saying about obesity and (this is the thing that really annoys me) their own desire to control me in some subtle way,

I am not going to stuff my face and become a bloater; my kids haven’t and didn’t and most people eat what they bloody well like anyway, whether it be a supremely healthy diet or a normal balanced diet with the odd cake as a naughty treat.

I say to you people:

“Sod off! If I want a bag of crisps from a vending machine I will buy one. I will not come and ask your permission and I will call you a fool if you accuse me of eating in an unhealthy way.”

Guess which way I voted, dear reader?

Yes, that’s right. I voted for a vending machine.

Just to piss off these subtle dictators.

And when we get one I will enjoy every bag of crisps I buy from it (however occasional they are).

Rant over.


Grace said...

"for flump's sake" Love that...

River said...

I'm wondering why a vending machine was proposed in the first place. Is it to stop people leaving their workstations and wandering off to the nearest snack bar because they've already eaten their daily allowance of junk brought from home? If that's the case a machine may well be a good idea. It will keep the people in the building, hopefully working. Then again, those people will lose the little exercise they get by running to and from a snack bar.
Another view is that putting temptation in people's way often see people succumb who normally wouldn't. it's just one packet of crisps they'll say, but soon enough they're at the machine every day, every hour.
There are those who could avoid such temptation and will continue to bring their own healthy food from home and not eat anything else while at work.
All up, it's a conundrum, for sure.
I do understand your first point, no one should be allowed to control what anyone else eats.

joeh said...

A simple "Yes" would have done.

But then you wouldn't feel any better.

That was a fine rant, and right on the money.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

I prefer it to the other F word (flip!).




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

The vending machine would almost certainly end up in the kitchen where people make tea and coffee and therefore it would make little difference to the work situation.

Management have agreed in principle to the machine, so it's the anonymous food fascists who are trying to dictate whether we get one or not.

How dare they!




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Joeh,

I agree - but the rant makes me feel so much better.




JahTeh said...

I am uber obese, I am responsible for the ills of the world and the GFC and the axis of the globe tilting and I couldn't give a twisted donut about it.

I put up a post some time back about sitting in a café at our big shopping mall and enjoying a coffee and lemon meringue pie when the large young lady next to me told me that she would be too frightened to eat that in public. She was worried about the camera phones recording her and ending up on Facebook on a fat shame board. I was dumbfounded. I eat one piece when I'm out because I don't take any cakes home or bake cakes, it's my treat and I don't mind saying I ate the pie in front of her and enjoyed the lot because I loathe Facebook and never go there.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

Facebook has a lot to answer for.

And if anybody wants to eat a doughnut (donut) whenever they want that's fine by me!




DrB said...

Wrong take Plasman. The people who objected are not trying to control the eating of others. They in fact know that they wouldn't be able to resist temptation of crisps,and other junk calling out to them in the lit sparkling vending machine. They in fact are trying to save themselves!!!
I don't buy crisps or choc for our house and Rob has to hide his in the garage because I would eat the whole lot the second I set eyes on them.

Yes, we have no self-control of the junk is within reach.

Yes, we are addicted to junk.

Sorry for trying to help ourselves.

DrB said...

And yes, when I go to the supermarket, I don't walk down the crisp aisles or lolly aisles.

You are lucky you can resist temptations but do not condemn those who can't.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi DrB,

I honestly don't think that's the case, as I've heard somebody mention his/her reasons for not wanting a vending machine.

I have a similar weakness when it comes to junk food. Supermarkets also put lots of sweets and chocolates right next to the checkouts in order to tempt people to add one or more chocolate bars to their weekly shop. It's a favourite old trick.

I don't see why people who can't control their urges should ruin it for those of us who can.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, I'm afraid.