Last Saturday I was cleaning out my garage when I noticed an article in a very old copy of the Alameda Puppy Trainer that I was using to soak up oil in my garage, one that talked about the alarming rise in childhood obesity. I worried about this quite a bit as I drove my truck to the gym for my treadmill workout. On Monday, I read about how the Alameda Food Bank is desperate for a source of succulent main courses for hungry families this Thanksgiving. Then, on one of those local Boring, Lame Online Gossip Shops, colloquially known as B.L.O.G.S.—which I never read, by the way, with the following sole exception—I happened to see an article about an article about the fact that some of Alameda's schools lack sufficient space for kids from Cities That Are Not Alameda to attend. At one point the author, who sounded very intelligent, challenged East End parents to "put their children where their mouth is." Suddenly, I realized that the solution to the runaway rate of childhood obesity, the food bank's holiday shortage, and the East End school overcrowding problem has been staring us in the face all along.
Now, I realize that my solution may be somewhat controversial, but I urge your readers to consider its numerous benefits. By targeting the most obese schoolchildren for voluntary participation in the program, perhaps lured by the promise of complimentary pizza and soda, we could dramatically reduce the schools' obesity rates as spaces are…opened up for enrollment by healthier, skinnier children from Cities That Are Not Alameda. Meanwhile, the food bank would have a new, cheap, practically inexhaustible source of…Butterballs for needy families' Thanksgiving tables.
If this modest proposal seems…distasteful, consider the alternative: East End schools have so little space to expand that sun-blotting high-rise construction of two or possibly even three stories would be inevitable, with a devastating effect on property values. Now that's something that Right-Thinking Alamedans will never stomach.
Thursday, November 12, 2009