Years ago I saw a bumper sticker that read "Fat people are harder to kidnap." I can't imagine ever pasting such a thing onto my car, but the idea of it comes to me, consolingly, when I've (once again) lost the battle of the bulge to an ever-cunning jelly donut.
Today I saw a blue pickup with the following words stuck to its slightly rusted bumper: "Reading is Sexy". Faster than a finger snap, I turned my attention to the driver of this smart vehicle. It was a man, and I couldn't look for too long because traffic was beginning to move, but clearly, this wasn't one of those ironic bumper stickers. No siree, Bob.
Of course, it's possible he bought the truck with the sticker pre-stuck. Maybe he can't read a lick. Maybe he burns copies of War and Peace to keep warm in the winter and the sticker is just a facade - a way to get written into the blogs of bookish women driving to the supermarket in rental cars. But who gives a hoot? You have to admire a person who projects a positive message out into the world.
Not like those beef jerky commercials. Have you seen them? The ones where a couple of goofballs pretend to invite a socially awkward Sasquatch into their fire circle, complete with sticks of beef, of course, and Big Foot just wants to be their friend, so he takes the bait only to have the seat pulled out from under his hairy butt at the last second. Nothing like marketing your product as a footstool for bullies. Endorsing the concept that it's okay to devalue people (and beasts) based on their appearance as long as you're having fun.
Wouldn't it be more humane to use the imitation meat as a peace offering? An olive branch extended to those who frighten us by their difference? In this way, I'm inclined to side with the haughty message I saw on a Lexus: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."
The problem is that being outraged isn't enough. It isn't enough to assign blame to motorists who aren't wagging their fists in protest or politicians who aren't keeping their promises (or their flies zipped) or holding high-minded conferences about hunger and war. Anger alone will never fill the bellies of hungry kids - won't heal the soldiers, wounded in places you can't see. Not to mention the damage anger does to the lining of the stomach. If you ask me, it's better to eat a doughnut - to get it all over your face and fingers and sprinkle a little of that sugar - everywhere you go.