I WILL GIVE YOU $19.99 IF YOU TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO HEAR.

If you're on the Atkins Diet, kill yourself. Well, actually, don't bother. Your insurance won't cover a suicide, and you'll be dead of natural causes soon anyway.

Dr. Atkins may just be the greatest entrepeneur since P.T. Barnum instructed his customers to head for the great Egress. His ridiculous diet – which is effective as a short-term weight-loss plan but is appalingly unhealthy as a lifestyle – plays right into the contemporary American psyche in ways that even the Doctor probably hadn't intended.

"Attention all fat-ass, lazy, self-gratifying Americans……Bacon, eggs, and cheese are a healthier breakfast than apples. Did you know that apples and oranges contain dangerous carbohydrates????"

Because if there's really an easier way to convince Americans to give you money and follow a diet plan than by telling them that they can continue eating all the fatty, greasy, fried shit they want so long as it doesn't contain any of those pesky fruits or vegetables, I'd love to hear it.

Yes, I've read the Atkins book. Cover to fucking cover. I understand that it calls for limited consumption of whole grains and certain vegetables (after the "induction phase" where basically no carbs at all are allowed). But what Atkins advocates who point this out fail to realize (logically, given that they're stupid enough to be on this in the first place) is that the finer points of the diet have been lost in the larger presentation. While it calls for consumption of certain carbohydrates, does anyone really think Americans have the patience to read an entire 500 page book? How many people who are caught up in this craze have actually read it? The average upper-middle-class butterball who thinks this fad is a good idea understands very little beyond what he wants to understand – bread, pasta, fruit, and vegetables are bad. Meat and cheese are good.

While participating in various athletics as a younger man, I used the "no carb" dieting method (which has been around for decades – Atkins just marketed it better) with frightening success a number of times. I'm not saying it doesn't work. But for God's sake it's a diet, not a "lifestyle" as is now being claimed. For 2 or 3 weeks, it will help you lose weight. In the long-term, the effects on your body from taking in that much fat and cholesterol can't even be imagined.

You can't go five feet in a grocery store without tripping over lo-carb everything anymore. Idaho farmers have genetically engineered a low-carb potato recently (seriously). But all of these products are an investment in my mind, because if you buy them now and hang on to them for a couple years, they'll have tremendous kitsch value – much like 19th-century patent medicines do now – when the fad has died out and transitioned into the domain of public ridicule. Low-Carb Doritos will be a hot item on eBay after Vh1's "I love 2004" airs in a decade or so.

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5 Responses to “I WILL GIVE YOU $19.99 IF YOU TELL ME WHAT I WANT TO HEAR.”

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    Yeah, it's amazing how after all these years, the most effective diet is still the "DON'T EAT AN ENTIRE FUCKING GALLON OF ICE CREAM BEFORE BED" diet.

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