Tom Hanks created Mr. Short-Term Memory on Saturday Night Live probably 20 years ago. The “Blind Date” episode is a classic — it’s over 5 minutes long so if you don’t have that kind of time, just fast foward to the last 90 seconds…..trust me.
Mr. Short-Term Memory spits out his poached salmon into a napkin in horror, claiming to the waiter that someone has put “already chewed food in my mouth!” It cracked me up 2 decades ago, and today it’s still funny, but not in the same way. The first time I saw it I thought it was obviously an over-the-top joke. Today, it just seems like a thinly veiled reference to how dumb we are when it comes to recognizing the obvious.
This country is getting sicker and heavier and more depressed. West Virginia is leading the pack, but apparently we can’t agree on why or what to do. How about this? We feed our kids toxic garbage. Those kids grow up, they keep eating that way, and they teach their kids to eat that way. Currently the Kanawha County Schools can’t conclude that “flavored milk” is a bad option for kids. A packet of ketchup is passing for a serving of vegetables. And the “super donut” is being served for breakfast in my daughter’s child care center.
It is right in front of our eyes, and we think someone else is chewing up this food and putting it in our mouths. Ad men who hock trash to eat are lauded as creative geniuses, as if what they are peddling and to whom doesn’t matter. We wring our hands about how hard it is to “eat right.”
Since someone else is chewing it up and putting it our mouths, I guess we don’t have much choice.