“What do you get when you guzzle down sweets?

Eating as much as an elephant eats.

Where are you at getting terribly fat?

What do you think will come of that?”

—The Oompa Loompas, from the film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, right after Augustus Gloop is eliminated.


by Harry Caines

Two Facebook entries by two different Utah news outlets posted three hours apart on Monday have proven to me, emphatically, that Utah is the junk food junkie capital of the United States of America.

Early in the day, a post told how the University of Utah was switching from Coke to Pepsi. Even on the slowest of news days in the perpetual cycle of slow news days that Utah often finds itself in still cannot make me believe this is actual news.

But then I read the comment section on the story and shivered. Comments abounded of both lament and exuberance at this move. Utahns take their “death juice” very seriously.

Later on Monday, a newspaper local to Cache Valley posted a story about how Krispy Kreme was returning to Logan with a new store. Again, I was dismayed to see so many people commenting on Facebook with a giddy excitement I personally reserve for the moment I hit the Powerball.

For those unfamiliar with Krispy Kreme, allow me to provide you with an education of the cancer tubes they provide. They make donuts. They then glaze every donut. They then find the things with the most calories and transfats on Earth and stuff those ingredients in the donuts.

Just reading that paragraph, you consumed 725 calories.

Utahns, especially Mormons, love junk food. Their eyes roll in the back of their head—like the shark in “Jaws”—every time they bite into food that is detrimental to their health.

Now, the first protest some of you reading this may lodge is that Your Humble Columnist is not the thinnest man on the planet. No, I am not. But in the past six years, I have gone from 298 pounds down to 240. I walk 4 miles, every day, without fail. I swim three days a week. I can play racquetball with kids half my age and watch their tongues hit the court while I am still breathing normally.

I have to do more. Two months ago, I had some blood work done. Surprisingly, I turned out to be a pretty healthy guy. Only one of the tests that came back went off like a pinball machine.

Triglycerides.

That is just not a terrible word to draw in a spelling bee. Triglycerides are a compound of fatty acids that are prevalent in many processed foods. Too many of these acids not only make it hard to lose weight but also can contribute to strokes. My mother died of a diabetic stroke. She was 50 years old. I am 47. Time to change things up.

I already quit drinking soda five years ago. Now, I no longer eat lunch or dinner at fast food restaurants. I am lowering my cheese intake. And soon, I will have a workout regimen specifically geared towards eliminating the protruding girth that passes for my stomach. Weight loss is not enough.

Tell that to Utahns. They eat terribly. Good luck finding a table at a chain restaurant on a Saturday night in this state. Sometime after 5 p.m., into the “Mormon Food Mob” swoops down on every restaurant in this state like a horde of vengeful Valkyries.“Mormon Food Mob” is a term I invented. Here is how it works:

You can park your vehicle in the parking lot of a restaurant in the Beehive State and think it is empty. By the time you enter the eatery, a group of Mormons will have passed by into the door…a gaggle of screaming children with weirdly-spelled names in tow. With lightning speed, you went from eating expediently to being in a 30 minute line behind a group of teenagers that swipe right on everyone they view on Tinder.

And that is the second protestation some of you may file. You will mostly likely argue that this is not just a Utah problem. Of course it isn’t. But Utah is the place where Mormon politicians continue to pass, enforce and defend liquor laws that are arcane, counterproductive and degrading.

That’s right! It’s another “Harry Wants A Beer Column”!

Whenever Utah pols pass and defend legislation that makes drinking a beer more of an arduous endeavor, they nearly all do so from a position of insincere concern. They pretend they are looking out for all Utahns. But that is, simply, a lie. Mormon pols in Utah just want to maintain control over those who exude blithe and bonnie when indulging in a libation whilst out on the town.

The “Zion Curtain”, 3.2% beer and the utterly ridiculous “THIS IS A BAR, NOT A RESTAURANT” signage that must be displayed are just a few examples of a gullible, short-sighted and vindictive edicts passed down by a religious theocracy to make beer-drinkers in Utah feel like second class citizens.

Utah Housewives that float daily on the pillowy cloud of a Xanax high are not condemned whilst driving the streets of Utah. No one wants to stop impressionable children from the intoxicating cacophony of color that pops from a plate of chili cheese fries.

In the future, try hard not to feel glee when a donut shop that serves up slow death in perfectly round holes opens up in town. Try to remember that the correct answer to whether Pepsi or Coke are better is, “They are both worse than Hitler.” Try asking yourself if giving your young child a plate of food with 2,000 calories is what Jesus would do.

And never forget that so long as Utahns believe that the current liquor laws are for the betterment of the health of its residents whilst making nearly every chain restaurant that serves fattening garbage obscenely profitable, then I will always look at you as nothing more than junk food addicts who can’t control yourself.

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