THE BLOG
11/06/2012 04:12 pm ET | Updated Jan 06, 2013

An Issue All Americans Need to Weigh In On

So I'm walking around downtown and suddenly I feel heavy, like my legs are working extra hard, and guess what? There's no place to weigh yourself on Main Street America anymore! Zero. Zip. Nada.

Take a good look around next time you're at a supermarket, bank, Starbucks, gas station, brewpub, video arcade, cutlery dealer, fruit stand, used car lot, hardware store, laundromat, real estate office, baseball card shop, gardening center or tattoo parlor. No scales anywhere. Not even the Goodwill. You know what IS available? Blood pressure machines. They're in drugstores all over the place. You sit down, put your arm through a sleeve, it inflates and the numbers pop up on a video screen.

A simple bathroom scale would take 1/50th of the space but forget about it, the pharmacy honchos obviously have other priorities. They probably think it'd be a great idea to modify the blood pressure machine so it comes with a rectal thermometer.

There are scales in post offices and airports but they aren't for people. If aliens landed right now they'd slap a tentacle against their giant foreheads and say, "Dangmeister! These creatures are obsessed with the weight of their mail and suitcases, but they don't give a moon monkey bite about themselves!"

Hello, Health and Human Services Department: this is your conscience calling. I keep reading news stories about rampant obesity in this country and the one piece of equipment that can empower individual citizens make informed decisions about whether or not to order the Super Slab Scramble on their next visit to Fatty Bo Bo's Grease Barn are unavailable for public use and I'm the only one who seems to be asking "WHERE DOES THIS BUCK STOP?"

Wake up and turn on the high beams. Name, age, sex and weight are simple facts of life we all need to know every day, rain or shine, coming or going, for better or worse. Measuring body massiveness isn't some kind of secret ceremony that needs to be hidden away in society's shadowy fringes and anyone who says so is obviously filled to the brim with stinking sewage abominations and you can quote me.

Ronald Reagan had that great scene in 'King's Row'when he woke up in bed with no legs and yelled, "Where's the REST of me?" and I think about him every morning when I open my eyes and wonder, "How much IS there of me?" and this is not a once-a-day inquiry.

Metabolism never takes a vacation. Calories come and go. Some of us like to know what we weigh every hour or two, sitting on the dock of the bay or walking on the wide side, and while my estimating powers are excellent it'd be nice to have calibrated confirmation readily available across a wide spectrum of venues. As the Gipper also famously said, "Trust, but verify!"

A scale on every street corner would make it easy to verify sudden changes like, for example, a 10-pound gain between noon and 3 P.M. which, upon medical examination, might turn out to be the first known appearance of a mutant fast growing super-tumor and give scientists a head start on finding a cure before humanity is wiped out. You laugh and say, "Nothing like that has ever happened before!" and my response is two simple words: PEARL HARBOR.

We have this great web technology now and you can get pictures and videos and music on your Smarty-phone thing and stay current on the intimate details of almost everybody but you can't point and click and calculate your own personal poundage because there ain't no app for that.

Knowledge is power. Are you with me or against me? Nothing will change when everyone sits on the sidelines. If there's flab piling up in the forest of humanity and no way to measure it, the noise you can't hear is all those fat cells laughing at us. Public scales now! Yes, it's going to take some heavy lifting on the political front but we'll all be better off in the long run. Can't play small ball on this one. Time to go big. Do the math. It's really simple: Every ounce of prevention is worth ten tons of cure.