I just came back from New York and once again, I’ve gained weight. In the past I dined with Jenny Craig, sweated to The Oldies, weighed in with Weight Watchers and rowed enough oceans to charter the Queen Mary with Frequent Rower Miles. But try as I might to shed my unwanted weight, my aspirations collapse at the Ministry of the Menu. Thankfully, I have finally found the cure. A very fine one. And it breaks the contentious Kuwaiti stalemate of proposed laws that would segregate the sexes, establish a national dress code, require government repayment of personal loans, and ban private swimming pools on public walkways, the ultimate impasse that led to the recent dissolution of Kuwait’s parliament.
Here’s my solution.
I want to eliminate obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and various cancers from my fellow Kuwaiti citizens. I want Kuwaitis to live longer, healthier lives. After all, I’m a high-minded guy, a regular man of the people.
My method is simple, really. With your help and your vote, I will gain control of parliament in the new elections and take personal responsibility out of the obesity equation. I will substitute new laws for the personal responsibility and self-discipline our forefathers displayed that allowed them to survive an inhospitable environment until our oil revenues made air conditioning, desalinated water and affordable guest workers possible. I will replace their storied personal ethics with laws that will solve all our health problems.
First, I will close all the fast-food restaurants, fried chicken joints and coffee shops that serve high calorie snacks. Once I conquer the fast food devils, I will attack their suppliers. The Sultan Center, Kuwait’s locally owned premier supplier of supermarket items will be a sitting duck. I will tap into the envy we Kuwaitis have for those among us who succeed in spite of our sometimes arcane business climate. Once I strip their shelves of food their customers want to buy, I will focus on the food co-ops and rid their stores of anything high in fat, calories and taste.
With The Sultan Center and the co-ops under my boot, I will make sure their shelves are again filled with food that, for a small fee, I will personally guarantee to be safe, calorie correct and fat and taste free. I will do this by ensuring that only foods grown on farms under my ‘personal supervision’ will be allowed. It’s not going to be an easy job and personal financing will never be enough. Surely, my efforts on behalf of the people should be financed and rewarded by the new parliament we will elect.
Be assured that we will surround our cause with the highest moral authority and religious flags. Teams of experts are currently at work researching the necessary citations and passages to support our cause. They have already discovered that “personal responsibility” is an anagram for “Israeli person: plot by sin.” If you don’t believe me, just rearrange the letters. Uncovering Zionist conspiracies is another reason my creative genius is needed in parliament. I promise to dedicate a large proportion of the oil surplus to the uncovering of such hidden messages. But we must act quickly before the evildoers can convince the lesser informed among us that personal responsibility is a requirement of personal freedoms. We must defend ourselves from the encroachment of Western dietary decay before it is too late.
When I was in college I ate myself sick. While others studied, I was at restaurants. I couldn’t get enough calories. Believe me, I know the evils of food. After graduating college, I studied for a PhD in psychology. Even then, I saw eating as nothing more than entertainment for the taste buds. But it was after receiving an MBA from a prestigious business school that I really saw the Light. The same Light that I am intent on blinding you with until you can see nothing else and until the fields of the new Al-Mutawa Farms are bursting with produce and our coffers are as full as a politician’s promises are empty.
Please join my campaign to outlaw personal responsibility. Help me make personal responsibility a function of government. Together we can take Kuwait back to a time when the only McDonalds on Earth were roaming the Scottish highlands.
I will share more of my plan with you as soon as financing can be secured for the orchards and farmland necessary to complete our work. Meanwhile all this talk about food has left me hungry with no alternative than to catch the next flight to New York.
* Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa is the creator of THE 99, the internationally acclaimed group of superheroes based on Islamic archetypes. For more information, please visit: www.the99.org.