Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sigmund Freud's Casting-Room Couch in Vienna, on Which Analysands Confessed to Sleeping Their Way to the Top. We need one in Tampa at the ROSSAC Building.

The Problem of Childhood Obesity and Dogs and Their Owners: Lookalikes

I recently read two articles back to back that made me ponder the Hillsborough County School Board. One was a piece in the NYTimes that discussed the growing problem of obesity in children (see in NYTimes archives).

Childhood obesity leads to all kinds of health problems: Type II diabetes; asthma; liver disease; orthopedic dyscrasias; sleep apnea; digestive and kidney problems; high cholesterol and blood pressure. The last-named pair can lead to heart problems.

I happen to be a registered nurse and have seen these pediatric problems in hospitals.

The other article I read waiting in a doctor’s office --a piece on how owners and their pets get to look like each other. The paired pictures made me laugh. The pets and owners did indeed resemble each other.

In thinking about the NYTimes article on childhood obesity, I asked myself, “Why haven’t I heard of an all-out campaign in the Hillsborough County school system to combat childhood obesity? It’s as big a problem in the Bay Area as it is anyplace else.”

I believe I know the answer.

Over 63 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Have you gone to a School Board meeting and examined the contours of the denizens on the dais? Most sitting in the School Board arc fall slap dab within that statistic. They are not the greatest role models for students.

Dr. Jack Lamb wins the avoirdupois dais derby. Le Lamb presents a walking powder keg for stroke or heart attack. One shudders for his kidneys.

Ms. Elia has long ago gone way beyond chubby to double-chin-hood: her BMI replicates that of the old Roseanne Barr before she lost weight.

La Candy Olson bulges in all the wrong places: she suffers the apple-shaped body and veers to a sack-of-potatoes fat distribution. Fat around the middle counts the most lethal for extra pounds: fat tum-tums beg for coronary problems. Candy's expensive clothes don't fool us who have medical backgrounds and eyes to see.

Dr. James Hamilton is spreading out like Filene’s Bargain Basement. I saw a picture of him as a young man when I reviewed personnel folders. He then was in good condition. These were the days of splendor in the grass/glory in the flower in which he accumulated his reputation for cutting a wide swath amongst pedagogic femmes. Alas, Le Jimmy has gone to pot with emphasis on the pot—as in pot belly.

People in such obvious need of losing weight themselves don’t want to call attention to a problem to which they have succumbed. So to hell with a program to help Hillsborough County students stay healthy and avoid the statistic that says 70 percent of fat children become fat adults, with all the health problems getting worse from their obesity as they age.

The obesity of those on the School Board dais explains why they don’t launch a program to fight obesity in students. Such a program would call attention to their dictum of do as I say do, not as I do.

The only thin person on the Board dais is Jennifer Faliero— she has problems of the intellect, judgment, and courage, of course, but at least she models for Hillsborough County children a normal body weight. And she is pretty; hers is not the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium, to be sure. But she is a good-looking Board member amongst a Board bevy to whom the Gods of beauty gave short shrift. The Greeks said the two great gifts from the gods were brains and beauty. Faliero carries that Greek beauty ideal with scant help from most of her colleagues. Brains we won't talk about.

My desire to explore the connection between pets and their owners led me to hire a pet dick—that’s lingo for detectives who stalk and identify pets to assist in the phrenological forensics of their owner. I told my team of pet dicks to get pictures of the pets of Lamb, Elia, Olson, and Le Hamilton. I would have added Faliero and, to widen the field, the pets of Linda Kipley and Steve Heggarty if I had the bucks to spend on pet-dick services.

I omitted Susan Valdez because one hears La Valdez has made heroic efforts to lose weight and has succeeded spectacularly, thus becoming a role model for obese children who want to emerge from fatties into swans.

Mrs. Bricklemeyer is retiring, hence doesn’t count. Dorthea Ethridge I am still evaluating—whether to place her in the overweight category or into the obese one. The cut of La Ethridge’s clothes--which veer to shift couture--makes the evaluation tough even for a registered nurse. As for La Kurdell: I used to go with my husband to government seminars and conventions when he was mayor in Madeira Beach. Every time I saw Kurdell at one of these, she was pondering the picks at the dessert table. If you wanted to find her, you went to the desert table. Her bulk shows the results.

I plan to submit my obese Board essay to the Centers for Disease Controld and the National Institutes for Health. I trust both will deem it a sure-bet study into a heretofore little-investigated phenomenon: a scientific overview of how pets and their School-Board and administration owners look alike.

Below the paired pictures will convince you of the probity of my research so that you can confirm for yourself how much the subjects and their pets resemble each other. Then you can write letters to both the NIH and CDC urging that they accept my study.

Dr. Jack Lamb's fattest-dog-in-the-world, Tiny Tim. He is resting on Franklin Street, where Dr. Lamb has taken him for a walk to
fool people into thinking that he himself is an exercise buff. These show walks with Tiny Tim fool nobody, however, since Le Tiny refuses to walk more than three steps before he flops down thusly for a long rest. Dr. Lamb flops down beside Tiny.

MaryEllen Elia's cat, Pussy Willow Golightly, held by a school janitor whom Elia keeps in the crouch position on the public pay roll outside her ROSSAC office door to pick up her cleaning and fetch Chicken McNuggets when she's in the munchy mood, which is at least six times a day.

Candy Olson's dog, Fou Fou La Reine a-Go-Go. Fou Fou replicates her mistress's unfortunate mid-section fat distribution. Fou Fou and Candy both need a personal tummy trainer and a lock on the frig.

Dr. Jim Hamilton's dog, Rocko Lover-Boy Valentino: Rocko's midsection shows a spread that testifies to too much time spent in Margaritaville with his master. Margaritaville is the metaphor that Dr. Jim invoked when sending out an illiterate memo for the delectation or sufferance of his school-wide system of what La Jimbo considers his tax-paid vassals. This memo earned him a Professional Standards complaint from the kid here. La Abu Gharib Kipley has remained silent on the complaint, however.

This exacting research and the outlay of fees for the pet dicks have led me to demand that the School Board kick off a campaign to get students to abandon obesity for health and beauty.

My demand includes the Board's starting with itself. Dr. Lamb must hie himself to Weight Watchers. Candy Olson goes on Slimfast for the duration. La Elia has to stop having grease-laden lunches. The week after she threatened Patrick Manteiga with law suits and extortion by cut-off of ad revenue if he didn’t shut me up, Patrick put a picture of her and some guy sitting in an Ybor City restaurant chowing down on Grease Casserole.

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