The Unbearable Banishment: how to slowly murder your child

Thursday, January 22, 2009

how to slowly murder your child

I've had enough of the politics of pigment for a while. Back to what I enjoy the most: bitchin'!

* * *

7-Year Old Daughter was give the "reward" of a coupon for a free pizza at our local suburban Pizza Hut for reading five books. I love junk food as much as the next guy but, holy Mother of God, why do they feed this stuff to kids?

The salad bar had four metal containers filled with gooey dressings in various shades of grey, yellow and brown. One container was filled with chocolate pudding and another with vanilla pudding. I commented to the waitress that it was the first time I'd ever seen chocolate pudding offered at a salad bar and she said, "Oh, yeah. We do it for the kids. They love it." Yea, I'll bet they do.

I saw a mommy share her Coke with her 18-month old. At another booth were two brothers, about 9 and 11, who where a bit “weight-challenged.” One had a t-shirt that read “Thing 1” and the other had a t-shirt that said “Thing 2.” Their faces were buried in a Game Boy Advanced. Neither spoke to the other. They would only pause their game long enough to shove more pizza in their faces.

The desert menu featured Hershey’s chocolate dippers. Here's the menu description. Remember, these are supposed to be consumed right after you've eaten a pizza.

Freshly-baked, soft, melt-in-your-mouth dessert sticks topped with white chocolate and HERSHEY’S® milk chocolate – served with rich chocolate dipping sauce!

I wanted to fucking puke.

Now, ain’t that America? Look, I know I'm suppose to set a good example for my daughters and be humble and not put on airs or do anything to appear elitist, but sometimes it's hard not to feel just a wee bit smarter than some other parents I run across. Please forgive me. As far as I'm concerned, the reading program should be restructured so that if you don’t read five books, you have to eat and work at Pizza Hut. Forever.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't they reward them with by giving them a book of thier choice? I would have thought by now that program would have changed since my girls were little considering all the information about obesity out there. I think you should write to Pizza Hut Corp. at least it will be a start!

January 22, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MT: Perhaps the Pizza Hut Board of Directors will stumble acroos my blog entry. Hope I haven't hurt their feelings.

January 22, 2009 at 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are they still doing the pizza hut reward thing? We used that program back in the early 90's and I always questioned the idea of food/candy as rewards. I moved away from dinky reward based teaching pretty early in my career.

BabyD's bud driver always gives the kids gift cards for fast food for xmas and we have made use of Mickey D's for her when we are on long road trips, but we rethought the latter after the last trip to the States. Fast food is okay for a treat on occasion. But we are pretty careful about what she puts in her mouth regularly.

January 22, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those Hershey things look and sound revolting! I like your idea that eating at one of those places should be considered a punishment for not reading.

January 22, 2009 at 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a kid, one of the coolest 'reward' programs was cincinnati reds baseball tickets (two per student) for a 3.7 or higher GPA (junior high and up). sure, the seats were in the nosebleed section of Riverfront Stadium, but i really looked forward to taking my Dad to those games...

candy, fast food and ice cream for rewards? probably not a good plan. like the 'free book' idea much better...

January 22, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

Christ! This is one of my many pet peeves, this rich, disgusting, nutritionally empty shit that is solely marketed to kids. You know, if someone set up a stand selling heroin outside a school gate people would go absolutely insane, but you can sell shit to kids that will kill them in a much more painful way and it's not only legal, but endorsed by society. Don't get me wrong, I don't want kids doing smack - but equally I don't want them eating chocolate pizza sticks. Where is the common sense?

January 22, 2009 at 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay. I just had a brainstorm. Next time 7-year old daughter gets one of these coupons I'll trade it in for a half hour of solid Mom or Dad time (sans 2-year old Daughter). She'll love it even more than pizza (I hope)!
- Wife

January 22, 2009 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Annie: I wouldn’t want to ban junk food entirely. That’s a recipe for disaster. But using it as a reward is an even bigger mistake.

Pop: It IS revolting, right? It’s not just me.

Daisy: Oh, I like the baseball game reward. Can I steal that?

AFM: Doing the wrong thing for the kiddies. Same theme as your most recent post.

Wife: ANOTHER great idea! Where do they come from?

January 22, 2009 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Pearl said...

You know why you feel superior? Because you are.
We are so afraid -- because we're all "equal" -- to step up and say, "I'm thinking that the dollar menu is not the way to go". But the fact is that there are people feeding their children chocolate covered pizza crust dipped in chocolate sause before they eat any "real" food, people putting pop in bottles.

January 22, 2009 at 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, i liked it when my kid got good grades and the reward was a game to the local pro baseball game. and we are teaching our children to be fast food junkies. it just seems easier to let them eat than teach them good habits. bad one on us. and i can see why... i found myself drooling at the sight of the chocolate... [shaking my head]. how to beat this?

January 22, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Suzer said...

Pizza Hut is not pizza, yet here in Oz, it seems to be the only thing my husband likes. I come from a family that makes healthy, home made pizza for xmas dinner. I'm with you.

January 23, 2009 at 12:52 AM  
Blogger kyknoord said...

This is so unfair! To think I've read thousands of books and I did it for free. Man!

January 23, 2009 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pearl: Sorry. I was raised a Catholic in Ohio. We’re just not hard-wired to feel superior to anyone or anything.

Gnu: I love chocolate as well but for some reason this left me wanting to urp. Perhaps because it comes at the tail end of a pizza dinner.

Suzer: A new comment from OZ! Hello! And I thought it was going to be just another dull Friday morning. Pizza for Christmas? What’r ya from Chicago or sumpthin’?

K: Ha. Sucker. Always hold out for some form of compensation.

January 23, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um...I'd totally tap that. Maybe it's because here in S. Ohio, that IS healthy food. What. It's not battered and fried, is it? My kid brings home those Pizza Hut coupons too and so far we haven't gone. I don't agree with that being a reward for good studentry. Bad Bad idea. But still, right now, this minute, I'd hit that.

January 23, 2009 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger ~E said...

Wow. For a second there after I read your title I became concerned. Im hoping that when I finally grow up and have little crib midgets of my own I'd have enough sense in my head left to avoid places like that. In my fantasies if Im gonna feed something to my kids that will accidentally kill them then it will be home cooked food by golly!

January 25, 2009 at 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought, er, hoped, that they did away with the whole pizza-for-books thing.
Great, now I'll have to add this to "the list of irrational fears stemming from motherhood".

And those chocolate things peeked my interest, until your description.

After reading this, I'm not so sure I even want pizza at this point.

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