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Alex McRae Columnist

Published Sunday, August 05, 2012

Big city, small mind

Once upon a time, if America’s big city mayors made sure the garbage was picked up, the streets were policed and the graft and corruption was held to a socially-acceptable level, they were doing their job.

But New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg — who made a fortune running his own private business — decided his job was telling New Yorkers how to run their personal lives. He was particularly obsessed with controlling what New Yorkers put in their mouths.

Since taking office in 2002, Nanny Bloomberg has mandated a smoking ban in bars and restaurants, parks and other public spaces. He also forced the city’s restaurants and food vendors to reduce the use of artificial trans fats.

Since Bloomberg wasn’t sure if New Yorkers knew that fast food has more calories than tofu, he forced restaurants to post the number of calories in each dish they dished up.

So far, 2012 has been a banner year for the nation’s top food Nazi. He started off by banning the use of food stamps for the purchase of sugary soft drinks. (Food stamps are still used to purchase lottery tickets and tattoos.)

Then Bloomberg became a national laughingstock when he proposed a ban on the sale of sugary soft drinks larger than 16 ounces.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers continued to grow as obese as the rest of America and traffic deaths skyrocketed as Big Apple residents raced across the Hudson River to smoke cigarettes and eat Big Macs in New Jersey without fear of prison time.

In his latest leap forward in public health policy, Bloomberg has ordered that baby formula be kept under lock and key in New York hospitals because Mr. Mayor thinks breast milk is better. He calls this latest infringement of freedom “Latch On, NYC.”

Under this program, mothers of newborns can still get baby formula. But first, they have to beg a nurse, who must go and fetch the dangerous formula, which is kept locked up alongside the narcotics. Then the nurse won’t pass out the formula until mom gets a lecture on why “Breast is Best.”

What a guy, this Bloomberg. He supports a women’s right to choose an abortion, but makes her beg for permission to feed formula to a living, breathing infant.

Hitler was more tolerant.

And while Bloomberg’s efforts were aimed at reducing heart attacks, he may suffer a stroke once he hears about a new food fad hitting the market.

If you don’t like mashed potatoes and gravy, you’re either a Godless commie or a ‘tater hater. Don’t take my word for it. It’s in the Bible. (3rd Deuterenomy). And now, thanks to the taste-makers at 7-Eleven stores, the world’s favorite comfort food will soon be easier than ever to get in your hands and down your throat.

After successful test marketing in Asia, 7-Eleven stores in some parts of the country are featuring a Slurpee-type machine that dispenses mashed potatoes and gravy. Be still, my belly.

A customer places a cup under the nozzle, presses the “mashed potatoes” button and waits for smashed spuds to slip from the spout. Press the optional “chicken gravy” button and golden-brown goo plops on top. Some have wondered why 7-Eleven doesn’t allow customers to add gravy to everything. I’m wondering if they’ll let you lay under the nozzle and do an “all you can eat” deal.

So far Bloomberg — unlike the mayors of Boston and Chicago — has been smart enough not to try and come between New Yorkers and their lone Chick-Fil-A franchise. If he’s really smart, once 7-Eleven’s new treat hits town, the mayor won’t mess with the mashed potatoes, either.

(Send your email comments to: alex@newnan.com )

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