Satire: A Retrospective Glance at America’s Approach to the New Year
February 7, 2014
When closely observing the first month of 2014, expert data analysts have determined that we, as the the citizens of the United States, witnessed the most productive bout of self-improvement the nation has seen yet. As the first 30 days of the new year have since come to a close, let’s take a moment to flashback to January 1st.
Wednesday January 1st, 2014:
As the clock struck midnight, throngs of health-conscious shoppers congregated outside of health-food stores, farmers markets, and organic shops nationwide to ring in the new year. In anticipation for their openings, Americans of all ages and demographics set up tents and folding chairs to wait out the night.
As clerks warily unlocked their doors for business, the ravenous shoppers stampeded their way into the stores in a mad frenzy; nothing was going to prevent them from getting first dibs on produce and free-range chicken breasts for their meal preparations.
After allegedly elbowing a man in the face and misplacing his one month old Shih Tzu, Mr. McBlair triumphantly raised his 12 packs of granola in the air and with a crazed smile murmured, “OhhhmyNietzsche.”
In one day, grocery stores sold more than 450 million heads of lettuce, 13 tons of root vegetables, and 56 million pounds of fresh fruit, breaking national records. Before closing time on Wednesday, the local Palo Alto Whole Foods had run out of all five brands of quinoa and most superstores were sending in for extra shipments for coconut water.
Concurrently, online gym websites crashed with an overload of new membership applications. Gyms and sidewalks overflowed with eager and intensely motivated fitness enthusiasts. What once were peaceful neighborhoods, ideal for the rejuvenating stroll, transformed into fast-paced and hostile roadways for the masses of joggers. On several occasions, we observed joggers sneer and trample over those unable to keep up with the pace. As a pleasantly plump man wallowed on the ground in pain, a particularly cruel jogger hollered as he passed, “Charles Darwin, baby. Survival of the fittest!”
In efforts to break their smoking habits, millions of Americans bought out Nicotine patches. However, their cold-turkey approach to quitting spurred intense episodes of withdrawal, flooding donut and cupcake companies with fresh capital. Support groups gathered daily.
Unhappy with their current occupations, an alarming number of Americans quit their jobs. The motivational fervor of new beginnings hindered their judgements, instilling them with the idiotic confidence to voluntarily assume unemployment during the economic recession.
Individuals seeking to make up for all the years they spent watching TV flooded public libraries. Major publishing companies printed new copies of the classics as Americans aimed to improve their intellect and therefore social status. Close friend and heir to hotel-mogul, Paris Hilton excitedly informed us, “I finally got around to finishing that book I started 25 years ago. What was it called again? Oh yea, Green Eggs and Ham!”
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014:
Flash forward to the first day back from break, students and staff alike were unrecognizable in their new physiques, wading in clothes several sizes too large. Several staff members were seen jogging the halls of M-A during their prep periods, each trying to outdo the other in terms of mileage and calories burned. Students took matters into their own hands: Members of M-A’s own Kale & Greens club boycotted the Donut Club, taking to the hallways at lunch to pass out free swiss chard salad and kale chips.
Just one week into 2014, Bay Area hospitals admitted thousands of patients for gym-related injuries as a result of overcrowded workout centers. Cries of success and pain alternated as these zealous athletes strived for their goals of six-packs and bulging biceps.
When asked why he specifically chose January 1st, 2014 to begin his fitness plan, gym frequenter Brooks Bowden was puzzled: “2014, come on, it’s MY year to make the change. 2013 is over with; it’s time to get big with the bros!”
Returning to the Present:
Local gyms are deserted and safe for the occasional underclassman to photograph their weekly #straightflexing Instagram post in the mirror.
Meanwhile, the produce is rotting and the hand-baked 18-grain bread is stale. As grocery stores prepare for February, Valentine’s Day chocolate hearts piled atop the once top-selling kale bunches. What once were bustling institutions of sweat and motivation have collapsed under the success of businesses such as Sprinkles and Chuck’s Donuts. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has announced a remarkable rise in widespread obesity, the amount of cases spiking after a brief period of reduced cases.
As stated by Governor Mitt Romney, “There’s just something so comforting about a sugar-glazed ring of fried dough.”