by Brenda Roger
I attended the 2007 US Open. You’ve never been? Oh, well, let me describe to you what that looks like. Picture lots of pairs of men’s shoulder blades covered in cotton pique knit in a variety of colors and patterns. That’s all I saw, anyway. I’m only 5’3 ¾”, so in any crowd of people, I see shoulder blades. The US Open could have been on any golf course. I wouldn’t have known where I was.
It must have been the worm’s-eye-view perspective. I noticed all of the consumption going on around me. Thousands of people were staggering around the golf course consuming water, cigarettes, cigars, fatty sandwiches, beer, French fries, and hot dogs. The merchandise tent was like an anthill. Whole display shelves were empty as if the place had been looted. Do people really dig golf that much? Who knew?
When I spend any length of time in a large crowd of people I come away disgusted by humanity, but it turns out, I don’t even need to leave home for that. In less than ten minutes of a weekend morning “news” program I heard one man encourage people to order bite sized desserts in fancy restaurants and not eat all of it while in the next segment a man was demonstrating grills and gadgets and explained why we all needed and $85 thermometer to check the temperature of a $35 steak we were going to cook on a $500 grill. Let’s see, order food with the plan to throw it away, and purchase a $35 steak that you need something other than heat and chart from a Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1940 to cook. Yep, that’s pretty disgusting.
I won’t even insult you by getting philosophical about what could be done about our excessive consumption as a culture. It just feels less like a cement block on my chest to send the observation out into the world and to acknowledge its existence.