August 12, 2002 update

The Taliban's next terrorist attack is UNDERWAY!

I have finally figured it out. No, it's not any kind of bomb. It's not going to be any killer virus polluting our water supply or nasty chemical sprayed over our cities. It's a lot simpler than hijacking a 747, way deadlier than the World Trade Center collapse and more devastating than the resulting economic collapse.

It's dipping sauce.

Yep - you heard it right. Dipping sauce. It's included with your meal at your favorite food restaurant chain. You can dip your deep fried chicken fingers, your tacos, your mozzarella sticks, your "Summer of Cheese" cheese stuffed pizza crust, your double bacon mushroom burger. The dipping has now reached epidemic proportions!

The virus behind the fall of the Roman Empire is now infecting western civilization and I think the Taliban are behind it. History is repeating itself. What happened in Rome, was the Romans started eating way too much, got really lazy and complacent, and were conquered by the Barbarians.

The Taliban have taken over American fast food franchises and are conspiring to make us fat by selling us really marvelous tasting, jumbo-sized, mega fat augmented foods. Dipping sauce is their secret weapon because it turns an otherwise healthy snack like veggies or even a whole-wheat roll into a greasy, oozing, fattening evil temptress.

And it's working like a charm!

According to a report by the US surgeon general, the United States is the fattest nation in the world! A full 61% of Americans are overweight or obese! That's up from 55% in the early 1990's. Even worse, the percentage of overweight people is higher among young people - our future leaders and triathletes.

And if you are a fellow Canadian, don't laugh. We are definitely a part of the "Western World" and as a result, are also under the Taliban fat attack. According to the Statistics Canada National Population Health survey, 48% of Canadians are overweight or obese. Nearly one out of every two Canadians is fat.

Described by the World Health Organization as an "escalating epidemic", obesity is "one of the greatest neglected public health problems of our time with an impact on health which may well prove to be as great as smoking."

You see, once these Arab fundamentalists succeed in getting us all really fat, we get lazy, and are subject to all kinds of related health problems. Currently, only 39% of Canadians exercise less than twice per week and only 22% of Americans are actively involved in physical activity. The trend is getting worse and I feel that within the next decade or two, our civilization will be ripe for a topple of Roman proportions.

This theory of mine was only a suspicion until I accidentally found the evidence that proves the conspiracy is real.

Dipping sauce for your dipping sauce.

You heard it right. Double Dipping Sauce. I saw a commercial on TV the other day for Lee's Chicken restaurant's new "Chicken Double Dippers". You get deep fried chicken strips with two dipping sauces - a spicy red pepper sauce and a creamy ranch sauce. But get this: the sauces aren't indented as a CHOICE, but intended to go together. You dip your strip into the red sauce first, then dip AGAIN into the ranch sauce. Dipping sauce for your dipping sauce.

And it's working. I found the following evidence at the Lee's web site:

"Not only are Mrs. Winner's and Lee's selling a large amount of the Chicken Double Dippers, the increases are predominately coming from new customers and repeat business. The Lee's restaurants in St. Louis launched the Chicken Double Dippers and have hit comp sales increases of plus 29 percent and plus 39 percent - a company record!

In Memphis, the Mrs. Winner's sales hit a high of plus 18 percent over the previous year, versus prior weeks of minus 9 percent. That's a whopping plus 27 percent swing. The Mrs. Winner's in Nashville hit a sales increase of plus 13 percent over the previous year, versus prior weeks of minus 6 percent - a 19 percent swing.

We are thrilled with the results of the new product launch and are already working on the next phase of Chicken Double Dippers."

The next phase? God help us!