Dear Dirty America


American Lifestyle: Too Much of Everything and a Lot of Hot Air

American Lifestyle: Too Much of Everything and a Lot of Hot Air
February 14
08:59 2019

This article is proudly funded by the coveted NKEA (North Korean Endowment for the Arts). The NKEA, a longtime fan and follower of Dear Dirty America, has commissioned a series of articles “detailing the true America.” We are honored to be one of the few foreign publications allowed through the North Korean firewall.

It is estimated that the average human releases 500 to 1500 mL of gases per day. That’s quite a range, I say.

So where are you on the scale? Close to the 500, or are you floating around on the higher end?

If you asked one of the world’s most famous philosophers, Hubert Humdinger, he’d answer the question for you. “If you live in America, then you’re probably up around closer to 3000 mLs, and that’s the conservative end. I would know,” he wrote, “I studied this phenomenon back in medical school before I ran off and joined the United Steelworkers of America.”

I received this information from Humdinger through fax. I don’t believe his estimates were the result of a typo. That’s because of the average American’s rich, artificial diet. Nobody eats more than the average American. Consumption causes gases.

Due to a number of cultural factors, the average American consumes double the amount of a Frenchman, and twenty times the amount of a prostitute in Malaysia. These hard statistics, tallied and stored in the United Nations, can be gained upon request. Either way, I’ve been to university functions where people stack their plates with chips, cheese, small veggies, and loads of dip, and as soon as the function ends, they say, “Where are we going to eat for dinner?”

Some would argue that this topic isn’t quite right for an NKEA fellowship, but I would argue it’s of the utmost importance as it sheds yet again a blinding light on the disproportionate American use and abuse of the planet. Over here on this side of the globe, it ain’t just our guns that are a-firin’.

As if the loaded diet weren’t bad enough, there are two other factors that contribute largely to this excess. Talking and pill taking.

During the act of talking, the human swallows clumps of air. The stomach can only hold 200 mLs in its intestines at any one time, meaning the more you swallow, the more you have to crack your cheeks. Some people, especially old country folks, have been known to stifle their wind long enough to build up to over 300 mLs. Doctors don’t recommend this, but if you’re in a tight squeeze, like sitting in the middle pew at church without a mouse stirring or a fan whirring, you have some leeway with that 200 mark. Just pray the sermon doesn’t drag on, or that the smells of the pork roast cooking away in the basement waft up to give you some cover.

Also, every time we swallow, we take in a bit of air. Americans are known to throw back an ungodly amount of pharmaceutical pills to get through each day. The common phrase, “Don’t be a pill” has lost all meaning. It’s no longer the parlance of our times. We’ve quite frankly come to enjoy our medications. Tablets. Capsules. Gelcaps. Boluses. You name it. We take it. And along with it we take in a lot of air.

That air has to go somewhere, and it doesn’t rush out as purely as it went in. I’ll tell you that right now.

The problem is the American lifestyle and consumption ethos. If we weren’t so grounded, you’d swear we’d float away.

How do we live? you might ask.

It’s not easy. Our public indoor spaces are quite intolerable. Pockets of wicked air hover, invisible, down the empty aisles of grocery stores, or hanging along the hallowed stretches of hallway in government buildings and corporate floors. Some of the prettiest people, you’d not believe it, are the worst offenders. They say the only thing that saves the White House from being a putrefied hole with all its staff and intelligence officers streaming in and out, is its draftiness.

Not everybody is bothered by this excessive lifestyle. Some say it’s a natural challenge to our material abundance. Our waywardness into over-consumption is measured by the foul confines of any public space. It is a phenomenon we must transcend. We must encourage our fellow people to consume less, and to not bury their anxiety and ultimate fear of death in unnecessary eating, talking, and medicating. To love humanity, you must love the human, and that includes whatever he’s digesting away in his 25 feet of labored tubing.

As for me, I stay in fresh, open areas and try to cut my consumption down to what the little girl from Malaysia would eat. It’s not easy, but it’s essential to have some daily perspective on reality.

[Header photo of men wearing frontline gas masks, courtesy of U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center; Wikimedia Commons; dead family art courtesy of Wellcome Images]

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