A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

By Nina Pajak

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That was a close one.

For now, New York City residents can still purchase a 64-ounce Orange Slice at the movie theater, a large Dunkaccino or a novelty-sized Slurpee which can double as a Chihuahua swimming pool in a CGI straight-to-video movie. In the nick of time, a judge has halted the movement to cap the size of sugary beverages in the Big Apple.

[Mayor Bloomberg abruptly halts maniacal laughter and exits stage left.]


As you already know, the so-called “sugary drink ban” would forbid the sale of the aforementioned sugary drinks in quantities larger than 16 ounces. This measure is being taken to attempt to reduce the obesity rate in the city, particularly in low-income areas where sugary drink consumption and obesity are both found to be particularly high. This is great, because without Bloomberg there to help individuals, they would probably soda themselves into an early grave.

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Judge Milton Tingling, who despite his wonderful name is a real New York State judge and not a fictional character from a children’s board game, struck down the law and declared it “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences.” He pointed out that it was nearly impossible to enforce, and it went beyond the scope of the Board of Health’s authority. Moreover, Bloombie himself went beyond the scope of his authority, too. There’s far more impressively legal stuff written in the ruling (provided online by WSJ.com). It’s all very official and important sounding, though he does at one point use the phrase, “Webster’s Dictionary defines obesity as . . . ” which is like a paper-writing 101 no-no.

El Bloombito wants everyone to know that he’s not actually trying to ban anything. Rather, he’s just helping us help ourselves: “If you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16-ounce cups,” he said on “Face the Nation” this past weekend. “But it’s totally your choice. We’re not banning anything. It’s called portion control.”

So try to think of him less like a despot and more like your mother, sitting next to you with a dismayed grimace on her face as you reach for a third helping, muttering things under her breath about how if you’re really still hungry why don’t you just have some fruit. When you’re thinking about buying that pair of 16-ounce drinks, pretend he’s her and he just said something like, “Sweetie . . . are those new jeans? They just look a little tight is all.”

I assume he’ll be accompanying everyone to all the pizza joints, ice cream parlors, fast food restaurants and burger stands in the city soon enough, harrumphing loudly and rolling his eyes and saying “oy, honey, it’s your life” when we choose fries over a baked potato and a sundae instead of a low-calorie frozen yogurt.

And I can’t wait to see him at the gym, which will be commandeered by the government and where we will be mandated to go at predetermined intervals throughout the week for marching lessons and calisthenics training.

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We’ll all be fit as fiddles in no time.