Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: Oh, the Irony

My favorite kind of humor is found in the ironic. So, imagine my delight when I read this week that Atlanta was selected to be the site for the new National Health museum. Atlanta? A Health museum? Oh, the irony.

So…why is this ironic? Let me count the ways:

1. Guess where the museum will be located? It will be downtown. Right in the hub of activity by Centennial Olympic Park and the Aquarium. And what else is right there? Why the new Health museum will be right next door to the Coke Museum. You know, just in case you need to taste a variety of high fructose corn syrup from all over the world.

2. Oh, and who is funding this museum? It’s our friend Coca-Cola…providing 100 million dollars in seed money. Do you think that the museum will declare Coke healthy?

3. What is one of the healthiest and easiest activities for you to do? Walking (Well, unless you are like me and have heel spurs, then it’s not so fun). And do people in Atlanta walk? Ummm…no. This is a city of cars. Where the average household has more than two cars. Where sidewalks are not really for people to walk, but are referred to by the Department of Transportation as “vehicle recovery zones.” You know, just in case you might have to dodge someone going slowly…or a dropped ladder in the road…you might need to swerve onto that sidewalk. Pedestrians beware! Maybe the new museum will have moving sidewalks so that Atlantans will not have to do the unthinkable: walk.

4. And what does all that driving do for us? Atlanta, according to Forbes Magazine, ranks number one in the nation for the worst traffic …and quite high for road rage. That is how we increase our heart rate here in metro Atlanta…we don’t need to walk or exercise.

5. And even the state government doesn’t advocate walking or exercise – because they know that traffic will solve all your problems. So, what did they do? Why in April of 2000, the Georgia Legislature passed House Bill 1187, which removed the Physical Education requirement from Georgia's public school systems.

6. And if you insist that driving in traffic will not meet your exercise/heart rate needs, you surely don’t want to be outside. Atlanta is ranked as the worst cities for allergy and asthma sufferers. We have that trifecta of pollen, mold and pollution.

7. So all this traffic leads to yet another health issue for Atlanta – smog. Over half the days this month have smog alerts in the “red zone.” Which means that it is not healthy to breathe the outside air. For everyone…not just those asthma sufferers.

8. One of the explanations given for locating the National Health museum here in Atlanta is that Atlanta is also home to the CDC. The same CDC that made headlines this week for containing bioterror bacteria with duct tape. Yes, duct tape. Is that part of the OSHA and CDC protocol?

9. Speaking of diseases…Georgia is home of the West Nile virus and the syphilis capitol. Many people saw the documentary and Frontline special on the Atlanta suburb of Conyers – and know that they are infamous for a syphilis epidemic among teens. And even today, Atlanta is ranked number two in the nation for syphilis cases. (And a total side note – one of my college courses for my major was Physical Anthropology. We learned a lot about how you can tell gender from looking at bones; some hints that bones can give about race; and clear indicators of age. Many of the bones that we had were from people that had syphilis. You can tell because the bones have small holes that look like someone drove a nail all the way through them. Can you imagine the pain of having all those holes in your bones?)

10. Do you think the Health Museum might have a food court? With true Southern specialties of sweet tea, fried chicken, and gravy? Atlanta is home to the largest drive-in restaurant in the world – The Varsity – with its yummy, greasy, artery clogging goodness. And the best onion rings in the world.

11. New York might have the Empire State building; Seattle has the Space Needle; Chicago has the Sears Tower – and what does Atlanta have? The Big Chicken, of course.

12. No list of health ironies would be complete without the mention of a creation by Mulligan’s restaurant in Decatur: The Luther Burger. It is a half pound bacon cheese burger – with a Krispy Krème donut as the bun.

13. And that same eatery created this other chest clutching concoction: The Hamdog. Which is a hot dog, wrapped with ground beef – then deep fried – and placed in a hoagie roll – then covered with chili, onions, a fried egg, and two handfuls of French fries. In the south, it’s a rule that you criticize with love and affection. So, Atlanta, bless its heart, is getting a health museum. Ya’ll come visit!post signature

36 comments:

KimmyJ said...

Ewww, that pic of the burger and dog makes me feel sick just looking at it!

tabbikat said...

Your list is wonderful, I moved here 8 years ago from western NY and still haven't totally gotten over the culture shock!

Rhea said...

No PE required in school?! I'm horrified!!

syphilis epidemic?! I'm grossed out!

You should submit this post to UPTAKE. hehe just kidding.

Wow, what a site for the health museum. Austin would be a better place. Austinite pride themselves on being healthy and all. Whole Foods started there. :o)

Lisawa said...

LOL!!! Oh the irony indeed!!! I am jusct clutching my chest... it hurts looking at that ham dog!!! Holy cow! No pun intended :)

The Q Family said...

I need to hide this post from my health concious hubby. He might want to move tomorrow. :)

But that Krispy Kreme burger.. hm... I don't know.. I just want to try to see how it taste. :)

-Amy @ The Q Family

Peter Plum said...

That is quite ironic indeed! It's like telling me to eat my fruits and vegetables-- like I'd enjoy eating myself or something...

Have a great TT!

Kat said...

Kimmy--The Luther and the Hamdog are pretty famous. Leno even did a whole feature on them. The Hamdog is even trademarked!

Tabbi--I am not quite a native...but have lived here for about thirty years...and the antics of this state still make me smile and shake my head. It does make for some good blog fodder!

Rhea--Another irony...I am working on that entry for uptake on how great Atlanta is. It really is a great place to live - and a fun place to visit! And now people will have one more thing to do :-)

Lisa--Holy cow indeed :-)!

Amy--And what makes this entire post even more ironic is that I,myself, am the antithesis to health conscious :-) I suppose that is why I find it especially funny that we are getting this museum.

Peter--Thanks for stopping by. Oh, and we are big fans of veggies here in the south. As long as they aren't vegetarian. You know, they should be cooked in lard or bacon grease...

texcindy said...

this is probably your best post so far, in my opinion. great job! [it's hard to believe that my fav post doesn't mention me anywhere:)] and trust me, here in San Antonio the Health museum would get narry a trifle number of visitors, no doubt. the doors would eventually close due to lack of interest...

Kat said...

Cindy Sue--Really? Thanks! I can't see the Health museum doing well here either. Unless people just wander in from the Coke musuem...

One of the things I read about it was that it was going to focus on health (of course) as well as have curiosities...like amputated legs from the Civil War. They'll be beating down the doors...

Madeline said...

wow! I agree, definitely the best post I've read of yours and that's saying a lot. I haven't been here long but they're great. It's inspiring me to want to move though - my body, and then the state.

Kat said...

Madeline--Oh, don't move :-)! I wouldn't want the state of Georgia to think I had run people off. And I am so glad my post might inspire you to move your body. I just had a cookie...

Apple Joos said...

Mmmm... Krispy kreme.... *drools*

Brian and Staci said...

Wow! That is a LOT of info! Oh the irony indeed! And that Hamdog...I think I'm gonna throw up right now! Is that a fried egg on top?? Obviously, people keep coming back for them...that's what is sad :( Maybe the health museum will help, crossing my fingers for Atlanta :)

Karen said...

Ummmm, I think I might of accidently replied to this post on someones else's blog. That's what happens when you have an 8 yr old burbling away in your ear and too many windows open on your computer!!

I'm having trouble getting past the hamburger on a Krispy Kreme and that hot dog. A heart atack waiting to happen!!

My hubby would be in hamburger heaven. Me, I'd be sitting there trying to work out the WW points in every serving. Yukkkkkk...

I think the NV State Govt also removed the requirement for PE in schools as well, because many of the schools here have no PE. Many of the elementary schools have also taken away one reccess period, so they can do more intervention teaching. Madness!!

Kat said...

Staci--That is indeed a fried egg on top - it is also typically covered with french fries. I am not sure that a museum will get people to change their habits...or walk in the door to begin with.

Karen--That is too funny that you responded to this in someone else's comments. Can you just see them at their computer, going "Huh?!" And OMG...the WW points...LOL! It would be fun to figure it out for kicks and giggles!

My daughter's elementary school has PE on a rotating schedule of every 4 days. And they only get recess if the entire class is angelic. So, yeah, recess doesn't happen every day.

Jennifer said...

Oh my....... if you stop by my blog today, you'll understand why I say I MUST try both of those concoctions!!! They look just heavenly. Unfortunately, I have terrible seasonal allergies so it would have to be a short visit :)

Great list!!

Heather said...

Oh my stars!! A hamburger with a Krispy Kreme as the bun!! If I ever come visit, that's on my list of things to do. I gotta try it.

Slacker MOM II said...

and that my friend is why I love living in Atlanta...but really how ironic.

Elena said...

You make me want to pack up and head on down right now! :) I'll pass on the hamdog and burger. (A Krispy Kreme donut however, I'll take, but not with a beef patty.) The fried chicken and greasy gravy however, sound divine. This was a hilarious post.

scargosun said...

Isn't it b/c the CDC is there?

Kat said...

Heather--I have never tried it myself...but I must admit it looks intriguing. Do they sell Krispy Kreme where you are? You could make it yourself!

Slacker mom--I love living here too...bless Atlanta's heart. There is so much that goes on...some fun...some blog worthy...some both.

Elena--I prefer Dunkin Donuts myself. But my husband said when he was at Georgia Tech, he lived on Krispy Kremes, taco bell and beer :-)

Missy said...

Yummm...the Varsity...creamsickle shakes...
I think the hamdog gave me indigestion just looking at it!

Kaza said...

Those photos are PRICELESS! I would not have believed they were actual menu items before moving to the South. Now it's just proof (to show my disbelieving family and friends who don't live here) of the insanity that is the Southern diet.

Sandy C. said...

A brilliant post :)

Oh man...those pics, I can almost feel my arteries hardening just looking at them.

Angie said...

Wow, I never knew all that stuff about Hotlanta and I only live a couple of hours away. Yikes! I love irony too and your list definitely hit on all cylinders. Those 2 restaurant dishes are quite possibly the most horrific examples of southern cuisine that I've EVER seen. And being a lifelong southerner...I've seen a lot. Thanks for the schoolin'. I'm off to take an antacid now. Just looking at that hot dog gave me heartburn.

One Wired Woman said...

Wow. I don't know what disgusts me more... syphilis or the hamdog!! Very interesting facts... love this post!! ~Jill :)

Michelle said...

Wow. I was going to suggest some places in the midwest that might be a worse place to have the health museum, but I think you won me over. And that last hot dog thing SO grossed me out.... The cheeseburger though - they have had that at a minor league park in southern IL for the last several years now, and it does sound intriguing (note: sound, not taste).

The Ridge School said...

Well, one good thing, Atlanta has.... ME! LOL
You want some turkey gravy with those fries?


Jenny.... seemly permanently stuck in HOTlanta, Gawga.

Lula! said...

Kat--Coke is HEALTHY, girl. In the world of Lula, that is. I keep telling myself this, and refuse to chance my stance on the issue.

Hilarious post...you touched on all that is wonderful and holy in my favorite city in the world. And the big chicken? MY FAVE! Thanks for sharing that with the world...it's a precious landmark for us Georgians.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Mulligan's closed down a few years ago, so we are left with only the pictures and folks' fond memories as proof that such a decadent treat existed. Boo hoo.

Firefly mom said...

I'm thinking they should hire you for the tourism board ;D

Quesion: since they've done away with PE, have they also done away with recess?? I've heard that schools all over the country have given it the boot as well.

-Bridget said...

I live in Atlanta, but live in a smog filled bubble. I hadn't heard the "museum" was coming. Even without your brilliant post, the irony wouldn't have been lost on me. Thanks for the awesome recap of what makes Atlanta, Atlanta.

Krystyn said...

What about the Varsity? And the onion rings? I've never been, but I've heard if you walk in, your arteries tighten up a bit!

I live in the 'burbs....but I know the smog and allergies are just as bad!

Spry said...

This just made my day. I knew there was a reason I needed to stop by, it was to remind me of that unhealthy southern style food. That Luther Burger and a Hamdog...I'm so GROSSED OUT by the pictures and of course your description of it just made it worse. I can't get past the 2 handfuls of french fries. I'm LMAO b/c you're so funny and so right.

Trish said...

I lived in Marietta for a little over a year when i was in high school (Wheeler HS). We moved there from the Seattle area so my dad could go to Chiropractic college.
Can you say CULTURE SHOCK!?!

First off, we could not figure out what everyone meant when they would give us directions like this "ya'all just go to the big chicken and take a right" WHAT?

Then there was the day that I was sitting in the lunchroom at school and told some friends that I was going to go outside and get a "pop". They looked at me like I was crazy and then when I came back in with my Sprite, one girl said "oh, you'se gonna have a COKE, not a pop." apparently "pop" meant I was headed out to the druggy corner for a hit of something.

And talk about crazy, the first time I went to the Varsity, I ended up not eating because I couldn't order fast enough. Someone should have warned me about that!

Fun memories. Atlanta is one of those places that I would love to take my family to visit.

Karen said...

You know, tried working out the WW points on those two concoctions. When the points started passing the 30 mark, I gave up !!!