Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When the Cure is worse than the Disease

In a darkened room, a little girl lays on a couch, watching television. Suddenly we are treated to a Poltergeist flashback, as the girl is enveloped by a weird static band of light projected from the television. As if caught in a tractor beam, the little girl is lifted from the couch and gradually pulled toward the television set- joined by her little brother, who before becoming transfixed by the jumping images on the tv seemed to be sitting at a desk engaged in (gasp) some kind of creative activity, and the family dog.

Now all three are caught in their own beams of light, hovering in front of the television, moving closer....and then suddenly the spell is broken by a doughy adult I must take as The Dad, who opens up the door and calls out "hey guys, I got Dunkin Donuts!"

We hear the sound of bodies crashing to the floor, then kids rushing into the kitchen as Dad- joined by Mom, opens up the box of donuts- twelve of them, no two alike. Dad's also brought two huge cups of coffee, I assume just for himself and Mom, because of course coffee is for adults only. Greasy rings of fried dough slathered in icing is fine for children, but caffeine? Not 'till you are at least sixteen, kids.

A few notes- the tv room is very dark, but when the scene shifts to the kitchen, we can see it's daytime, with bright sunlight pouring in. So these kids were spending a beautiful, sunny day sitting in a dark room until dad came in with the Cholesterol Delivery Systems. And what's with the twelve different donuts? Are there eight other people yet to arrive for the blood-sugar spiking, death-hastening snack? Do the people in this family prefer one type of donut for the afternoon break, and another type for their before-bedtime snack? Or did Dad go to Dunkin Donuts without Clue One as to what type of donuts his family prefers, and so decided to go with a random assortment?

Finally- it's nice that Dad got the kids away from the darkened room and the Evil TV. It's kind of depressing that he did it with a bribe of donuts. Maybe the television was turning their brains to mush, but is a five-minute, 500-calorie break the best Mom and Dad could come up with? Once the last empty calorie has been consumed, aren't these kids going to go right back into hibernation in front of the television?

Here's an idea for next time- go into that room and turn the damn idiot box off. Take your kids to the park. You can drink your coffee as you walk. Your kids will get some sun and some exercise, and they won't grow up equating fun with shoving balls of greasy frosting down their cake holes. Just a thought.

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