Didn’t Say “Phatest”
by Mad Dog
They ranked the largest cities in the United States using
categories like exercise habits, the number of fast food restaurants,
smoking, and how many people can see their feet while standing up.
Chicago won. Or lost, depending on how you look at it.
||Everyone needs a claim to
fame, a succinct, to-the-point title that instantly lets people know
what you’re all about. Milton Berle was Mr. TV. Bill Clinton is Slick
Willie, or at least he was while he was in office. And Albert DeSalvo
was The Boston Strangler. All simple and to the point. The Olsen Twins
used to be Jailbait but now that they’ve grown up they’re Walking
Eating Disorders. My, how things change.
Cities need simple identities too.
Las Vegas is Sin City, and no one’s going to argue with that except
maybe the creators of the movie by the same name. San Francisco is known
for Rice-a-Roni even though no one there eats the stuff, it’s not made
there, and not one restaurant in town offers it on the menu. Hey, the
city’s other nickname is Baghdad by the Bay and no one knows what
that’s all about either. Then there’s Chicago, which used to be
known as the Windy City but is now officially the Fattest City in the
United States. My, how things change.
I’m not making this up, Men’s
Fitness magazine did. Having already run all the articles their
readers really wanted, like “Abs of Graphite Composite — Are They
Really Better Than Steel?” and “Pilates, Greek Philosopher or Trendy
Torture?”, they decided to rank the largest cities in the United
States using categories like exercise habits, the number of fast food
restaurants, smoking, and how many people can see their feet while
standing up. Chicago won. Or lost, depending on how you look at it.
I’d propose a toast to their being crowned Number One but I’m afraid
some Chicagoan would grab it out of my hands and eat it.
Chicago could have a worse title. After all, Cleveland is
known as the Mistake on the Lake, Winnemucca, NV, is the City of Paved
Streets, and Lodi, WI, is the Home of Susie the Duck. Seriously.
On the other end of the scale, so to speak, Baltimore was
declared the fittest city, but who cares? Okay, maybe those of you who
want to kick their collective butts because they’re making your city
look bad do, but be careful, they can outrun, under-eat, and outlast
you. Maybe we should just leave them alone and focus on someone we can
Chicago’s problem could be rooted
in their deep dish pizza. Or their hot dogs, though I’d think the
healthy salad they put on top negates any fat, nitrites, and artificial
coloring that might find its way into the wiener. But according to Men’s
Fitness, neither of those are the culprit. They say the problem is a
love of television and a hatred of exercise. Apparently people in
Chicago take the name La-Z-Boy literally.
All is not lost, though. They can
take solace in knowing that a few years ago Philadelphia was ranked the
fattest in the nation and now it’s not even in the top ten. See what
happens when everyone makes a concerted effort to eat only low-fat,
cholesterol-free, no carb cheesesteaks without trans-fats or caffeine
added? Yeah, right. Actually, Philadelphia probably raised its ranking
by using the tried and true method they’re accustomed to — bribing
Chicago could have a worse title.
After all, Cleveland is known as the Mistake on the Lake, Winnemucca,
NV, is the City of Paved Streets, and Lodi, WI, is the Home of Susie the
Duck. Seriously. One nickname that might get proud Chicagoans riled up
is Cincinnati’s – Porkopolis. But don’t even bother putting that
remote down to pretend you want to fight, oh people of Chicago,
Cincinnati had it first.
week the BBC dubbed Jamaica the “Murder Capital of the World.”
Catchy, but not exactly something you can base a tourism campaign on.
|| States have
slogans too. Maine’s is “It Must Be Maine.” Truer words were never
spoken. Idaho uses “Great Potatoes. Tasty Destinations.” And Texas
boasts: “He was our governor, now he’s your problem too.” Just
kidding. Actually they use “It's Like a Whole Other Country.” Or as
they say there, “A Whole Nother Country.”
New Jersey recently decided their
state slogan was getting stale so they set out to get a new one. It’s
not that the old one — “New Jersey & You, Perfect Together”
— was horrible, it just got embarrassing when they discovered doctors
were dispensing bumper stickers emblazoned with the slogan as a
soporific. The state paid a consultant $260,000 to come up with a new
slogan (“New Jersey: We'll Win You Over”) but acting Gov. Richard
Codey hated it and asked the public for suggestions. The best finalist
was “New Jersey: The Real Deal,” which should give you a clue as to
what the others are like. Apparently “What’s Wasting 260 Grand
Amongst Friends?” didn’t make the cut. Citizen voting just ended so
we should know which won soon. I don’t know about you, but the
suspense is killing me.
Which reminds me, New Jersey’s
slogan could be worse. Last week the BBC dubbed Jamaica the “Murder
Capital of the World.” Catchy, but not exactly something you can base
a tourism campaign on, better yet use to entice people to buy T-shirts,
coffee mugs, gun holsters, and bikini body armor. Maybe if they made it
a little catchier, it would help. Something like “Jamaica: It’s
Killing Me” could turn the negative into a positive. Or “Jamaica: At
Least We’re Not the Fattest.”
Eat your hearts out, Chicago. But if
you do, broil them, don’t fry them.
©2006 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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