Beyond the Headlines

Let them eat carrot sticks

Posted: Jun 4, 2012 10:59 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 4, 2012 10:59 AM ET

I have a confession to make. I love cake. I love chocolate cake, carrot cake, strawberry shortcake. Basically, if the snack involves the word cake, I'm there.
I'll also admit to having fond memories of volunteering at our kid's elementary school's annual Spring Fest and watching the excitement of the kids participating in the Cake Walk. For you uninitiated, the Cake Walk involves kids walking round and round a huge circle while music plays; when it stops whoever is on the lucky number wins a cake donated by a parent.
Now we've learned that for the past five years the education department has been trying to get the Cake Walk, and any other fundraisers involving cake and other sweets banned, to be replaced by a more nutritionally healthy activity. The department recently had to send out a reminder memo because apparently most schools either didn't know about the ban, or simply chose to ignore it. (Our kids' former school held its annual Spring Fest last weekend, and I'm told the Cake Walk was as prominent and popular as ever).
Tackling child obesity is a laudable goal, but some may argue that its root causes run far deeper than the school's annual spring fair or the odd bake sale.
But if we are going to accept the education department's logic we may as well go all the way.
Let's take it into the staff room and ban birthday and retirement cakes for teachers.
Speaking of retirement, maybe we should ban cakes from parties in retirement homes. After all, if the kiddies see Grandma enjoying a slice of chocolate cake it could lead to, well, a cake addiction.
Then there's Canada Day.

For the past decade Mayor Peter Kelly has spent the better part of his Canada Day day slicing cakes from Enfield to Ecum Secum. One can only imagine what goes through the children's mind when they see our elected leaders passing out cake to anyone and everyone.
Let's blacken the windows of bakeries so the impressionable children don't spend hours, their noses pressed up against the windows, staring at the forbidden fruit. And of course, they'll have to start checking ID so no one under the age of 18 is allowed in, and we'll need hefty fines for those who dare to sell cake to minors.
Oh, and sorry Susie's Cupcakes, the cake part of your name will have to go. I know Susie's Cups may be confusing, especially for athletes looking for some protection, but I'm sure you'll find a way around it.
And let's not stop there.
History books will have to be censored so kids don't find out their ancestors have been enjoying "des gateaux" for generations. When studying the French Revolution, for example,
we can't have them reading Marie Antoinette's supposed declaration to "let them eat cake."
We'll just change that to "let them eat carrot sticks."
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About the Author

Brian DuBreuil is a veteran journalist with CBC News. He has won two Gemini awards for his work, and neither involved dancing or singing on a reality show.

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