Yesterday, we went to Dollywood with the Professor’s family, and it turned out to be the longest day in history. There had to be an additional 15 minutes tacked on to each hour – at least. I’m a bit surprised scientists aren’t scratching their heads over this unprecedented distortion of time. Perhaps they were all at home under the AC or sitting in the shade, which would make the drag less noticeable than, say, if they’d been standing in line, in the direct sun, for 51 minutes in 100 degree temperatures with a crowd of sweaty people in an area that smelled like the massive unwashed armpit of Goliath.
Fortunately, at about 6pm, we convinced the kids to leave the park (excessive whining and temper tantrums can work for parents too). Then, we headed over to the Great American Buffet, where there was great confusion over our drink order.
I, being a Southerner, wanted tea sweetened to a point just short of making it syrup. I asked for “regular” tea. The Professor, who is originally from Ohio and a Buckeyes fan, wanted unsweetened tea, so he asked for “regular” tea. The cashier (who was clearly a native Tennessean) and I tried to explain that, in the south, sweet tea is regular, and unsweetened tea is… well, abnormal. We simply don’t drink unsweetened tea here . Perhaps this is because Sweet Tea better complements the flavor of all things rolled in flour/cornmeal and fried in a bubbling vat of grease. But whatever the reason, sweet tea is widely considered the nectar of the southern gods Baptists (we don’t do polytheism or alcohol -wink, wink- here either.)
All of this this led to a discussion on nutrition, the amount of food Americans consume and waste and how the government has cracked down on pig slop: guess it was one of those “you had to be there” conversations.
But considering the topics on yesterday’s menu, I wasn’t surprised when I stumbled across News Channel 11’s report on fat Tennesseans. I’d actually checked in to see if MSM had picked up the distrubance in the flow of time yesterday. Naturally, they hadn’t. I discovered instead MSNBC reported: In Tennessee, 30.1 percent of the population surveyed was obese, compared to 28.1 percent in 2006, the data shows. […] For the report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from a 2007 random telephone survey, relying on self-reported information on height and weight to determine obesity rankings.
WAIT! A telephone survey? Self-reported information?