As “Old America'' throws darts at the board, trying to decide how to move forward with life as we recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I will occasionally be writing about a variety of different topics “New America'' should focus upon. Some will be simple and effortless, others not so much, but all of them can possibly enhance our lives and help reform and strengthen the bond between country and citizens. Never before have we collectively had the chance to change things about ourselves and our country; how we interact with families and friends, how our lives affect the environment, how we’re governed, how we learn, how we eat, even something as simple as how we flush the toilet. Everything is up for change. I’ll repeat the country’s need to dispense instant hot water as a mandatory function of home construction and to stop the madness of toilet paper use with mandated installment of the Toto Washlet Bidet (or a comparable system) on every crapper. (I looked at the Thesaurus for “toilet” and nothing fit. Crapper was my choice, however. Thomas Crapper was not the actual inventor of the flushable toilet, the first mention of a “flushable” toilet was first noted in print around 1596, in which a Sir John Harrington is credited.) The main issue I want to focus on today is something that hit me smack in the face on the first day during a recent trip to Disney World as I sat patiently in my manual wheelchair, waiting for the wife and kid to return from a Star Wars show. I made a visual observation that was SHOCKING while I dodged the thousands of mouse-eared Goofy’s (see how I did that?) in my chair (hence, a View From My Wheelchair). After returning from the trip, it seemed like an easy topic to write about, but when actually sitting at my keyboard to concoct something, it became difficult to find a way to express my point without offending those reading the damn thing. When I addressed the issue with my writing coach and mentor, she agreed. There are always so many other subjects I’m interested in writing about so I blew it off, filed it away, and assumed it was a dumb topic, never to reappear. Now that this particular matter is related to the horrific COVID-19 pandemic ripping through our country, I’ve yanked open that file again and I’m ready to share the SHOCKING observation that I only noticed because sitting in a wheelchair gives me a certain unique perspective. Are you ready to be offended? America is fat! At my level in the chair, I’d stare right into the bellies of you walker's while weaving in and out of the path of thousands at the “Happiest Place On Earth.” I saw strained buttons, butts stuffed into pants and rolls of fat hanging over belts of males and females. At a distance, the same thing. I’d sit and observe a continuously moving line of families, some with a turkey leg in one hand and a cup-o-soda in the other, creeping along to enter a ride. Most kids under about 7 had yet to begin showing weight gain. A smattering of pre-teens started showing added pounds, probably because of “Happy Meals”, but the situation really started to show in their older siblings. There came a point when I noticed teenagers with protruding bellies matched by mother and daughter and dad and son, twinsies! I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I kept pointing out to my wife, “Honey, all I see are fat people!’ (like that movie) as she kept loudly reminding me, “Shush, not so loud!” The eating habits and weight problems of the American public have long been debated. In “New America,” we need to end the bickering and fix it to SAVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES LIVES! The nutrition and eating customs of Americans has been discussed and debated as far back as I can remember. We’ve all seen the documentaries about how the production of processed foods has increased since the ’70s, how we eat too much red meat, and how sugar is killing us all. We look nothing like our forefathers. In the pictures I have of my beloved Papa from Kansas who lived through the Great Depression, I’ve been a lot fatter than him my whole life. Nothing in recent modern times has garnered the attention of America like the COVID-19 pandemic and has spotlighted how dangerous it is to be overweight. “Those who are overweight really need to be careful,” said the chief epidemiologist of France recently. “That is why we’re worried about our friends in America.” We don’t eat like the French. Their average male weight is 170 pounds, 195 pounds for an American male. It’s 138 pounds on the average for French females compared to 168 pounds for the American woman. America has eaten itself into this problem. We’ve been influenced by major food corporations who’ve made processed food, grilled meat, sweet drinks, and other delicious poisons, readily available and cheap. Not so much processed food being consumed in France. Aside from recovering from the horrific financial instability of this time, let’s take this opportunity to set a goal of changing decades of poor nutrition by instituting a new set of dietary guidelines, a simple way to correct your family history and possibly save your lives. Not once have I mentioned my own struggles with weight. Eating close to “farm to table”, watching portions and balanced nutrition is how I live my life battling Multiple Sclerosis. I’m the chef of the family and cook as I preach, so my wife and I are good. But my 16-year-old daughter hides Funyuns and brownies in her room and my 25-year-old son has become what my dad used to refer to me as, “the garbage gut.” It’s a work in progress but something I’ll focus on as my family and I begin working on our “New America”. I long for the day when everyone has read this blog and gotten their diet and weight under control so I can go back to Disney World, sit off to the side, and under a tree eating a shishkabob of fruits, pineapple, apple, bananas, and cherries. Put that in a blender with some vodka and it’s “New America” at adult Disney World! Until next time, Wear a mask, wash your hands, and eat better.