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Mountain Dew is mountain don't, and OJ is OK in war on sugar

August 29, 2006|by TIM ROWLAND

If you were at the grocery store last Tuesday evening, no doubt you ran into public school teachers out buying juice.

This stems from the Washington County Board of Education's newly approved War on Sugar. No soda. No candy bars. No baked goodies. No high-fat, high-calorie, high-sugar items will be sold in schools from 12:01 a.m. until 30 minutes after the school day's conclusion.

It's sort of like the way they cut off beer sales at baseball games after the seventh inning.

I admire the idea, but I hope the board knows what it's doing. The though of 20,000 drying out off sugar on the first day of school isn't pretty. Hallways filled with trembling, nerve-wracked kids in blankets, licking the floor around some boarded-up Pepsi machine - it's going to look like that scene from "Gone with the Wind," with exhaustion in place of amputation.

That giant crashing sound you heard last week was entire classes of kids hitting the floor after third period. Instead of study hall, fourth period is going to be sucrose rehab.

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Soon as kids find out that Mountain Dew has become Mountain Don't, they're going to get desperate. I'm scared to walk down the street with a cupcake anymore, for fear of getting stuck-up by a sixth grader.

Teachers might use this as an incentive, however - kid does well, instead of a gold star he gets a sugar cube.

Probably it's going to create a huge black market for Reese's Cups. We'll know it's gotten out of hand when we see sophomores with big gold chains around their necks driving black BMWs. I hope those police dogs are trained to sniff for licorice.

And what about all those kids with ADD? What happens when you take away their sugar? The sugar charges them up and ADD medications bring them back down, so there's a nice, healthy balance. But mixing Ritalin and Aquafina may be as deadly as mixing Jack Daniel's and barbiturates.

Matter of fact, this could kill Norvatis. What if it turns out that all this child hyperactivity isn't a disorder, it's just a byproduct of mainlining Snickers? Maybe there's no such thing as ADD.

But no, kids are resourceful and they will find their way around this. Especially since their primary connection is most often their parents. You know, the ones who fill the baby bottle up with Coke and shove chocolate bars in their mouths as they're sitting in the doctor's office, just to shut them up.

"What's this mom?"

"It's a, a veg-ta-bull."

"What do you do with it?"

"I don't know, but the School Board says it's good for you."

If you see a kid down at the mall picking the wax out of his ear with the tip of a carrot, you'll know we still have a ways to go.

And sugar's just too hard to get rid of. All this juice everyone's so hepped up on? Sugar. Even the ones that have no added sugar are still full of fruit sugar. The only difference is that is has lots of stuff that's good for you along with the sugar.

And I love all these people who put honey in their tea with the idea that it is somehow superior to refined sugar. Please. Refining sugar is what honeybees do for a living.

So if adults can't figure it out, what chance do kids have?

Best thing to do, probably is just hang with it and let it work itself out.

I don't know if they still allow the teaching of evolution in public schools anymore, but it works like this: We adapt.

What kills us today will be essential tomorrow. If we keep programming our systems with the sugar, starch and grease, the day will come when we will not be able to survive without it.

And they will have to put warning labels on vitamins. Turnips will rot your brain and broccoli will cause heart disease. Of course it may take 60 million years, but if we were able to wait out Reaganomics we can wait out this.

I love predictions like this. If I'm right, I'm a genius, and if I'm wrong no one will still be around to remember it.

Sweet.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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