09 NovInterview with Trans Fat



LARRY KING: Good evening. We begin tonight with one of the world’s most hunted figures who’s not living in western Pakistan or eastern Afghanistan or wherever Osama bin Laden calls home. He’s banned from Disney World, an outlaw in Denmark, persona non grata in New York, and as of last week he’s even no longer welcome at your local KFC. Trans Fat has become an international pariah on par with that JonBenet creep. In the studio we welcome Trans Fat.

TRANS FAT: Thanks for having me, Larry. It seems like it’s been one grease fire after another.

LK: No doubt. So tell me: Why does everyone hate you?

TF: Larry, you got it all wrong: Everyone loves me! I’ve been around since 1903. I make your french fries snap, and your cookies crunch. I put the crisp in crispilicious.

LK: So why are cities, restaurants, amusement parks and even nations lining up to ban you?

TF: Some, well, almost all of the so-called experts — “scientists,” if you will — maintain that I clog arteries, raise bad cholesterol levels, lower good cholesterol, cause heart disease and contribute to diabetes.

LK: That’s some resume. Whaddya say we go to a call — Hollywood, Calif., you’re on with for Trans Fat, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, Fen-Phen here. I actually know Trans Fat. …

TF: Yo, Fen, how’s it going, diet babe? Still have that killer bod?

CALLER: Sure do, no thanks to you. But I’ve been having those heart palpitations again, so I’ve been laid up. My question is: Shouldn’t people be allowed to weigh their own risks in terms of what they digest?

LK: Good question.

TF: Fen makes a great point. Look, Larry, if people didn’t want me, I wouldn’t sell so well. Now that I got booted from KFC — KFC, for Crisco’s sake! — let’s see how that turncoat Colonel Sanders does when his extra crispy chicken has the consistency of a boiled dumpling.

LK: Is anyone left on your side?

TF: I have The Center for Consumer Freedom.

LK: Sounds impressive. Are they scientists? Health experts?

TF: Actually, they’re a PR machine for restaurateurs and the food industry. But they’re taking on the food activists, trial lawyers and diet fascists determined to make us all trim and healthy. Larry, if these “food cops” get their way, billions of dollars will be drained from the health care and mortuary industries alone.

LK: So what about the fact you’re blamed for more than 30,000 premature deaths each year?

TF: Those are estimates, Larry. Estimates. Let’s stick to the facts.

LK: You don’t mind being a mass murderer?

TF: Larry, find me something that people like that doesn’t quote-unquote kill you. Cigarettes, alcohol, illicit drugs, steroids. Fried chicken. Well, it used to, anyway. The good news is I make you real fat. What symbolizes America more than good ol’ patriotic obesity? I make Santa Claus that jolly fellow with a stomach like Jell-O every Christmas Eve.

LK: Santa Claus is American?

TF: Basically.

LK: From an Indiana rest area, go ahead.

CALLER: Thanks, Larry. My name is Olestra, and my experience is similar to Trans Fat’s. All I have to say is … Oh, shoot: I have to go. Again. Sorry …

LK: Thanks for the call. From Raleigh. Nick, you’re on with Trans Fat.

CALLER: Trans Fat, cough, cough your problem isn’t that you kill people. Your cough problem is public relations. I’ll hang up and cough-cough-hack-cough …

TF: That’s what I’ve been saying. Vegetables are good for you, right? So how bad can vegetable shortening be? I’m in that too, you know. Crackers, cookies — I’m in a lot of things, even when I’m not listed in the ingredients. You can find me under partially hydrogenated oil in your snack aisle. Plus, you even find traces of me in meat and dairy. I can do the all-natural thing, too.

LK: Could it be your time has come and gone, like cocaine in soda or Liz Taylor’s career?

TF: You could argue that I’m not essential. You could make the observation I’m a health risk. Say I killed a few dozen-hundred-thousand people? I can live with that. But give me this: You’ll miss me when I’m gone.

LK: What’s next for Trans Fat?

TF: I’m thinking of going to Spain. They just outlawed skinny models there. I go where I’m needed, Larry.

LK: Well, good luck with that, and thanks for coming on. Up next: Catching up with Red Dye No. 2.

Written by: Mark McGuire, Times Union