San Diego and New York City take aim at sugary soft drinks
In a speech yesterday at the Balboa Park Club, Mayor Bob Filner outlined his plans for combating the consumption of large quantities of sugary, fizzy soft drinks. After mentioning all the negative effects from their consumption such as obesity and Type 2 Diabetes, Filner said, “You know we live in America’s Finest City, and we can’t have America’s biggest lard asses walking around in America’s Finest City. Something must be done.
Mayor Bloomberg and I are on the same page regarding this issue. So what I’m proposing is this: today I’m declaring that the entire City of San Diego is a Sugary Soft Drink District (SSDD). This will be a counterpoise and eventually take the place of the Tourism Marketing District (TMD) which has created so much controversy lately.
“And in consideration of that tax money which the TMD wants me to turn over to the hoteliers around here, I’ve come to a decision. Instead of turning over that money, I will put it to good use funding the SSDD. These monies will kickstart this project. We will put up ads on billboards and run TV commercials pointing out the negative effects of consuming sugary soft drinks. So not only will San Diego be America’s Finest City, but under my administration San Diego will become America’s Healthiest City.”
There was much applause to that statement by those attending.
Reaction to Filner’s speech from Doug Manchester was immediate. “What the … He can’t do that. That money was earmarked for the hoteliers to spend marketing the City of San Diego.” Filner shot back, “That’s exactly what we’re doing. Tourists will come here in greater numbers when they see all those hardbodies at the beaches.”
Manchester countered, “Many tourists come to San Diego and stay in our fine hotels bringing their entire families with them. What are the kids supposed to drink? Kids look forward to vacations when they can order hamburgers, French fries, pizza and, of course, Pepsi and Coke among other drinks. I mean Dad has a beer. Mom orders a glass of wine. It’s a right of passage for the kids to order a soft drink. So what are the kids supposed to drink then?”
Filner shot back, “What’s wrong with water. Water has zero calories. It’s what our bodies were designed for. Drinking water is good for everybody, not just kids. In fact San Diegans would be better off if the whole family ordered water when they went out to eat.”
Said Manchester: “Yeah, but there’s no money in that.”
Filner made clear that he was not outlawing soft drinks entirely. He was just going to impose a 5% tax on all soft drinks sold within the SSDD. The money would be used to educate the public on the negative effects of sugary soft drinks. National ads would also be taken out touting “America’s Healthiest City.” This would benefit tourism more so than the cheesy ads the TMD has taken out in the past which seem only to benefit the large hoteliers.
Filner plans to coordinate his efforts with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They plan to start a PAC: “Mayors Against Sugary Soft Drinks.” Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago has expressed interest as has Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco. Mayor Cory Booker of Newark said, “If we can just catch these kids early enough and get them away from sugary soft drinks, this will cut down on the violent behaviour they exhibit when they are teenagers. Research has shown that the consumption of too much sugar leads to anti-social behaviour later on.”
The high tech industry has come up with a solution for parents who want to monitor their childrens’ use of sugary soft drinks. Qualcomm has purchased an app that detects the sugar residues on a kid’s lips the next time he uses the smart phone after consuming a sugary beverage.
As is well known, smart phones can immediately send blood pressure and cholesterol information to the user’s doctor. By the same token, every time a kid goes to a 7-11 and consumes a sugary soft drink, the app detects the sugar residues on their lips and immediately fires off an alert to the kid’s parents. I think the app is called Sugarie. It was developed by a 17 year old kid and Qualcomm paid him $30 million for the rights.
Manchester was apoplectic. “Why this is unAmerican. Every American has the right guaranteed by the Constitution to consume whatever food and drink he or she so desires in as large quantities as desired. You can’t limit or restrict my rights as an individual to have whatever I want to eat or drink. It’s all about freedom – the freedom to consume. It’s right there in the Constitution. Just as I have the right to bear arms, I have the right to consume sugary soft drinks and so do the children staying at my hotel. I don’t care whether it’s a Big Gulp, a Super Big Gulp or an Extra Super Big Gulp with a sugar shot. As an American citizen, I have a right to consume it. It’s my right to have an ass as big as Bozo the Clown’s if I want to. Just don’t tread on my rights as an American citizen.”
Filner reposted, “The Second Amendment doesn’t give you the right to have a bazooka in your home. I am a hunter myself. I’ve killed the occasional deer, but when I go up to the Cuyamacas deer hunting I only take one bullet. That’s all you need to kill a deer. The hard part is backpacking that sonofabitch out of San Alisos Canyon. I tell you after that I don’t need the Stairmaster for about a week.”
Filner went on, “But as long as you bring it up, we have plans to limit gun and ammo sales in the City of San Diego in addition to the sugary soft drinks. I’m announcing today that we have joined “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” I am proposing that the City Council pass legislation limiting gun sales in San Diego. Nobody needs more than a BB gun or a Tazer to use against a home intruder. I will propose an 18 millimeter limit on ammunition. You don’t need larger gauge bullets than that to kill a deer. Of course cap guns and cork guns will remain entirely legal.”
Amid the ongoing debate about gun control, Qualcomm has developed an app for shooting ranges that tracks the line of sight of a gun and, when the marksman pulls the trigger, instead of a bullet being actually fired, the app explodes a small charge where the bullet would have hit the target creating a lifelike bullet hole. Thus no bullet would actually have to traverse the air between marksman and target. Mayors Filner and Bloomberg approve. Said Filner, “This proves that real bullets are not needed in order to have fun at the shooting range.”