Darrell Huckaby: Save us from those who want to save us from ourselves

Darrell Huckaby

Darrell Huckaby

They used to only come in little green bottles, as far as I knew anything about. They held 6-and-a-half ounces. The fountain ones came in cups but I don't have any idea how much a cup held. They still come in little green bottles, but now those hold 8 ounces because the bottles are thinner.

I am speaking of Coca-Colas now. I could buy them for a nickel when I was a kid at Wood's store -- if I came across a nickel -- or six for a quarter. People got all upset when they raised the price of a "Co-Cola," as we called them, to 6 cents.

The world started going to pot when the Coca-Cola Company introduced "King Size Coca-Colas." They were in a tall slenderized version of the little green bottle. They held 10 ounces of Coke and sold for a dime. My daddy said men would walk on the moon before he would pay a dime for a Co-Cola, even if he did get an extra swallow or two.

And now, of course, the world has gone to hell in a hand basket and we are all 70 or 80 pounds overweight and the Chinese are going to conquer the world and we will all be enslaved and an entire generation will die of obesity and heart disease and diabetes before they are 30 -- all because of the Big Gulp. The handwriting was obviously on the wall when I bought my first King Size Coke at Wiley's store in North Covington.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My Granny Huckaby, who lived on Odum Street in North Covington, sent me to Wiley's to buy her a box of Dental Sweet snuff, and gave me a dime to spend on myself. There was never any doubt as to how that dime would be used.

If we had only known that the next step would be supersized fountain drinks at McDonald's and a standard serving of Coke would become the 12-ounce can and that people would one day be drinking that golden elixir by the liter. Perhaps we could have done something about it.

But not to worry. Up in old New York, Michael "Nannie" Bloomberg, the Barney Fife of big city mayors, has been vigilant. He intends to singlehandedly snuff out the obesity epidemic and his first blow was to get regulations passed making it illegal, in New York City, to sell a Coke -- or any other soda -- in a container larger than 16 ounces.

By the way, I assume you realize that Michael Bloomberg is an idiot.

Now don't hear something I am not saying. I am not condoning obesity or even being fat. I don't think I have ever ordered a soft drink over 16 ounces anyway. I've had two 6-ouncers back-to-back, but never a 20- or 24-ouncer that I can recall.

None of that matters and none of that is the point. The point is, it is not Michael Bloomberg's job to decide how much Coca-Cola somebody can order in New York City or anywhere else. My daddy used to say, "You can't legislate morality." You can't legislate common sense, either, which Nanny Bloomberg would know if he had any.

One of the biggest things wrong with this nation today is that the government is trying to run our lives from the cradle to the grave. Some people don't have any better sense than to allow it. They are perfectly happy letting the government support them and tell them how to live their lives. We are abdicating our rights to live as free citizens and our self-responsibility.

It's not McDonald's fault that you or your kids are fat, y'all. And it's not the government's job -- any government's job -- to protect you from yourself.

Luckily, a New York state judge had the good sense to overturn Bloomberg's ill-sighted bill before it could actually take effect -- but not before a lot of New York establishments had spent a fortune on new menus, cups and glassware.

Judge Milton Tingling called the law "arbitrary and capricious," which, in Oneida Indian language roughly translates, "Michael Bloomberg is an idiot." The judge said that the New York Health Authority overstepped its bounds and that they couldn't ban an item in "the guise of controlling chronic disease."

He also said that the regulations were not equally applied. You could order a gallon of chocolate milk, for example, if you wanted to and could drink all you wanted at a 7-11 but not at Mickey D's. What happened to equality under the law?

How many of y'all want to bet that Michael Bloomberg grew up drinking Pepsi?

Bloomberg held his breath and turned blue and threatened to appeal when advised of the judge's ruling.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, lawmakers passed a bill making it illegal to try and limit the size of servings for Coca-Cola, sweet iced tea or any other sweetened beverage.

Look away, look away. Big Red is safe from the bayous to the Bronx, and all is right with the world.Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at dhuck008@gmail.com. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.