Louisville taco ban must be stopped

Jun 20, 2012 at 5:00 am

Eat your Doritos Locos Tacos while you can, Louisville. Because once the Metro Department of Health and Wellness’ misguided ban on high-calorie meals goes into effect on July 1, it will be impossible to buy the nation’s most popular fast food in Metro Louisville.

The new law also bans some of Louisville’s other favorite fast foods, including KFC’s Double Down, Burger King’s Bacon Sundae, the Kentucky State Fair’s Krispy Kreme Donut Cheeseburger, and Denny’s new Trough of Butter ’n’ Cheese ’n’ Lard ’n’ Flecks of Skin ’n’ Stuff. This, my friends, is a big, fat outrage!

This disgraceful ban is an assault on our God-given right to inflict obesity, heart disease and diabetes on ourselves. And it’s an affront to our constitutionally mandated freedom to someday have a limb amputated at taxpayer expense.

It’s one thing to promote wellness. Metro Louisville should be applauded for trying to educate the community about the food choices we make. But it’s quite another to outlaw these popular products, which many Louisvillians have come to depend upon as “food.”

And Mayor Greg Fischer added insult to injury when he announced the ban at the Taco Bell on Taylorsville Road in Hikes Point, which is inside another, larger Taco Bell at the same address. In his remarks to reporters, he described the dangers of high-calorie diets and even declared a state of emergency, pointing to the restaurant’s patrons and declaring, “As you can see, my friends, ‘Fatty, fatty, 2-by-4’ is now more like ‘Fatty, fatty, 8-by-16.’”

Regular readers of this column might be surprised that an avowed communist would find this action so offensive. After all, I am on record supporting gun control, single-payer healthcare and the Warren Buffett Rule, and I own both a Che Guevara bandanna and a Yarmuth! yard sign. But this food ban simply goes too far.

I’ll concede that something should be done about the obesity epidemic. Education alone is not convincing Americans to stop drinking 64-ounce tubs of corn sugar along with their corn-based fast-food four times per day (or six, for those who enjoy a Fifth and Sixth Meal).

Some believe we should use military drone attacks to force-feed spinach to obese people, like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered. Others have suggested providing Taco Bell patrons with TSA-style X-ray images of their own nude bodies and politely offering carrot sticks and apples instead of tacos. But I am opposed to these nanny-state tactics. I would prefer an au-pair state because it sounds more European and therefore deeply socialist and usually pretty sexy, if movies are to be trusted.

Still others say we should impose a “calorie tax” on Frankenfoods. Unfortunately, in the fight against government oppression, the Tea Party has won, and by “won” I mean “lost.” If not for these anti-tax zealots, Louisville and New York probably would have done the sensible thing and imposed modest taxes on corn syrup and plastic cheese instead of banning them. The tax would have discouraged consumption and raised revenue, which could have been used to build a time machine to the 1950s, when gluttony just made people plump instead of needing to be buried in hollowed-out grand pianos.

But noooo. Because of the anti-tax crusaders, we instead have a ban on the very foods that sapped people of the energy to turn off Fox News, which taught them to oppose taxes as a means to promote freedom. Oh irony! How bitter you taste (unless you’re slathered in cheese and bacon and salt).

Ultimately, this ban also opens a new front in the misguided war on drugs, for who among us has not described Taco Bell as “crack” or “a schedule-one narcotic”? I ask you, my fellow Louisvillians: Is this what we want? A world in which cheese addicts have to drive to Shelbyville? Or, God forbid, Clarksville?

So get ’em while you can, Louisville. Belly up to the drive-thru at Taco Bell before July 1, a day that will live in infamy: The day we had to start driving to Clarksville.

But it’s not too late to overturn this outrageous ban. I encourage you to call the mayor, your Metro Council member, your cardiologist, your endocrinologist and your Rascal Scooter salesman, and urge them to work to rescind this oppressive new law. Tell them “Mpfmpfmpfmpf!” And then swallow your taco and tell them this prohibition must not stand!

*This story is part of LEO's Fake Issue.