Caloric Outrage

Don’t you hate it when you’re assaulted with information you didn’t ask for and didn’t want to know? I was violated in just such a way today and, to be honest, I’m still a little shaken and stirred about it.

I was at the bagel place by my work today, waiting for my order, when my eyes were bombarded with numbers. Tiny little numbers festooning the menu board on the back counter. These were big numbers, scary numbers, calorie numbers.

They were everywhere! Want to order a bagel sandwich with swiss sheese, egg, and mushrooms? 530 calories coming at you! Feel like having a tiny little coffee cake? 760 calories will keep you chubbing along until next Christmas!

All over the menu board these calorie numbers paraded, making me feel bigger and fatter with every passing minute (even though the bagel order wasn’t even for me!). I honestly can’t imagine ordering a coffee cake now, because to do so would be to knowingly invite 760 calories to make themselves right at home somewhere on my premises.

The longer I stood there (because the bagel seriously took forever to toast) the angrier I became because, honestly? If I want calorie information, I’ll ask for it. I see no reason why those numbers should be out there for all to see. They should be hidden under the counter, like alcohol during Prohibition, and they should only be shown to consenting adults.

I guess a rule/ordinance/law? was passed by the county I live in and now all food establishments have to openly publish the calories counts of their wares. Supposedly, this is going to help people in Washington lose weight.

As I’m sure you can probably guess, I have a few objections to this. One, if I want help losing weight, I’ll join Weight Watchers or the gym. The government is not my weight-loss buddy.

Two, if I decide that I deserve a little coffee cake as a tasty snack, I definitely do not deserve the accompanying guilt from the knowledge of how many calories is in said coffee cake. I mean, it’s a bagel store: No one is eating there because it’s healthy. Theoretically, we’re all adults and can therefore choose to clog our arteries as we see fit. We already know bagels are full of calories, so how is making us feel guilty supposed to do anything other than tick us off?

Third, seriously, what business is it to the county in which I live if I’m a little tubby? Do they lose out on the “Fittest County” awards? I really fail to see why the government has to swoop in and save me from my baked goods. Isn’t there something more important they can focus on? I’m pretty sure there are some children watching Barney who are outside the prescribed age range for those films. I think the county’s energies could probably be better spent saving them.

Really, though, I feel violated by that unwanted information. I truly resent the fact that I have to know how many calories are in my bagel sandwich. Gosh dang it, you know? If I want to treat myself to a nice little lunch, I won’t be able to do so without obsessing over how many calories I just ate. It’s lame in every possible way.

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