Dear Dirty America


The United States of Air: The Fear of Fat Camps

October 28
17:59 2012


(get your free copy of this book here)

Now the SS were the best of the best, the thinnest of the thin. We called them the Unpinchables. As in, “can’t pinch an inch.” Their job was to protect the Prophet. It was also to root out corruption at all levels of government. This, despite the theoretical impossibility of such anomalies.

TheUnitedStatesofAirbyJMPorupbookcoverThe ATFF and Food Bureau of Investigation went after food dealers and grow-ops, and, increasingly, organized food crime. The SS went after people like Judge Ibble with his cheesecake—although I still think they were wrong about that one. Also district attorneys taking burrito bribes, even the occasional ATFF man caught with a single Tic Tac in his shoe.

This last was the worst possibility. Possession of even a single calorie by an ATFF agent was considered a breach of the oath of office, and punishable by 180 days in Fat Camp, the maximum permitted under the Amendment.

There is no crime more serious than a violation of the public trust, as the Prophet always says.

This handful of corrupt government officials lived in fear of the Skinny Service’s network of Fat Camps at Guantanamo Bay and in Eastern Europe. In these all-inclusive resorts, anomalies are treated to hands-on, faith-strengthening therapy. I don’t know why they lived in fear. I confess I’m jealous of these people. Journalists, academics, hippies, chefs, restaurant critics—doubters of every kind—have all gotten this five-star treatment. To be able to devote your every waking hour to making strong your faith in the Prophet—it gives me goosebumps just thinking about them in Poland or Cuba somewhere, sucking down that exotic, ferrn air. They must like it so much, in fact, that they never come back. Sometimes I think about going myself, resigning from the struggles of the world, dedicating my life to meditation. But the threat to our national security at this time is grave, and the Prophet has asked me to step forward. How could I say no?

Of course, the innocent have nothing to fear from the SS. Most people are Amendment-abiding air-eaters. But in order to protect the innocent from savage attacks by food terrists deranged by their withdrawal symptoms, the Skinny Service has the power to search anyone without a warrant, or even probable cause.

The agent stared at each of us in turn. The cops around me trembled. Their burgers were zero-calorie, but perhaps they feared a misunderstanding. I myself began to quake a bit. But I had nothing to hide. I had been on an air-only diet for years. My Twinkie rapist, though—it was lurking in my ankle holster, ready to pounce. How would it react to the stranger?

I stood there in the park, the body of Nick Hungry at my feet, unsure what to do. And bearing down on me through the murky pre-dawn haze, an SS agent with a skeletal grin, a stronger, more loyal man than I, a man who ate the same air as the Prophet, mere feet from where our holy ruler lives and works. A man no doubt unafflicted by flying pastry predators. He stepped over the body, shoes squelching in vomit, and came to a halt in front of me. He withdrew a bony hand from his trench coat pocket and reached for my waist.

I sucked in my gut. He’s going to pat me down. Think thin. Be thin. He’s going to find the Twinkie. What am I going to do if it attacks?

JMPorup_author_photoTo read the rest of The United States of Air, get your free electronic copy here. The offer ends on Guy Fawkes Day. Also, read an interview with JM Porup, here.

Former Lonely Planet author J.M. Porup now writes satire. American by birth, Australian by choice, Colombian by marriage and Canadian by accident, he escaped from the US in 1999 and plans to renounce his citizenship. His first editor — way back in the mid-90s — called him aloose cannon. Ever since, Porup has done his best to live up to that high standard.

copyright (c) J.M. Porup. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission of author.

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