The large and larger in Mississippi
Leada Gore, Editor
Let me state this from the beginning: I like the state of Mississippi. My husband’s family lives there and it has some delightful aspects.
Also, as a life-long Alabamian, I would hate to think what things would be like without our western neighbor, in that we couldn’t say “thank God for Mississippi” every time some national ranking placed us at 49 just above, you guessed it, Mississippi.
Still, there are some things about the state that confound me. Mississippi has lots of dirt roads. Tons of them. Everyone in Mississippi seems to be used to them but they drive me crazy. My guess is Mississippi has a large car-wash owners lobby, since that’s the only group I can see benefitting from dirt roads.
The other frustrating problem in Mississippi is also road related. The roads – and yes, they are dirt – near my in-laws homes are marked with numbers, not names. I do not understand this practice.
The residents of Mississippi are accustomed to these travel issues. Apparently, so are the legislators, none of whom seem to be in much of a hurry to either pave or name the roads. And, just this week, I learned why.
Instead of worrying about things like pavement or street signs, a legislator in Mississippi has introduced a bill that would prohibit restaurants from serving food to obese patrons.
The lawmaker, Republican John Read of Gautier, Miss., said he didn’t intend for the bill to be taken so seriously and instead introduced it only to highlight his state’s obesity problem.
It turns out Mississippi has the highest percentage of obese residents in the country. It is followed by – you guessed it – Alabama (See above note on “Thank God for Mississippi…”)
Read, who carries 230 pounds on his 5-foot, 11 inch frame, has taken a lot of heat on his proposal. Restaurant owners and other legislators said it was impossible for commercial businesses to judge, monitor or restrict someone’s food intake.
Read’s idea is goofy, something I suspect he knows. He introduced it to raise awareness of a serious problem and ended up becoming the butt of plenty of jokes. But his message did get out there and maybe somewhere in Mississippi today someone will opt for grilled chicken instead of fried pork chops with gravy.
I hope so.
Maybe if Mississippi’s legislators weren’t wasting time on things such as over-eating restaurant patrons, they could invest some time and money into pavement and signs with actual street names.