Let’s Lay Down Some Ground Rules

4 Jun

Last night I sat in the cafe, casually writing this post while drinking a hot chocolate the size of my face.

The size of my face!  Literally! This thing was enormous.  I probably could have dunked both my hands in the cup and given myself a decent handwash with a little soap and water.  It was a basin of chocolatey goodness and mild regret.  

It was my fault.  I ordered a large without asking what size a large is.  Because after all, we’ve managed to suck all possible meaning from the word by making it relative.   Very relative.  A large is not to McDonalds what a large is to your favorite cafe, which has a large that is not as big as the large at the Piggly Wiggly.

That’s right: the Piggly Wiggly.

Apparently a large at my favorite cafe is a basin.  You know, relatively small for a basin and relatively large for a typical serving size.

File:Big gulp6480.JPG

And this is a 7 Eleven Super Big Gulp. I've actually seen people with these. Walking around like 44 ounces closer to a killer case of diabetes is not big deal. (Image from Wikipedia - Click to go).

This has all gotten very confusing.  What if we just all agreed on keeping things around the same size as other things by the same name?  Maybe I could order a medium coffee and have it be always be within the same few ounces of play room, regardless of where I order it? Or better yet: what if all businesses in America just sold smalls.  Just small.  Can you imagine the implications!? 

I had a musician friend of mine (let’s call him Zulu, because he could pull it off) who went to Switzerland to play music and be a hippie.  While there, he Skyped with Dave and I and told us how he asked for the biggest milkshake they had.  They handed him the equivalent of an American ‘small’.  He thought they got the order wrong so he inquired and they assured him that it was indeed the largest size they carried. He asked if they could find something bigger, make two, and put them in the something bigger together.

They said no so he bought two and had them back to back.

Can you imagine the implications should America choose to not be a bunch of fatty fats?  That would be awesome.  For me, especially.  Because it’s super easy to be a fatty fat when everything I ever order is enormous.  Then again, it would take a revolution to handle restaurant portion control in America.

And if I’m going to start a revolution, I’m going for the 3-day weekend first. 



17 Responses to “Let’s Lay Down Some Ground Rules”

  1. bridgesburning June 4, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I love…chocolately goodness and mild regret….well said!


    • Jackie June 4, 2011 at 11:01 am #

      🙂 Well thank you!


  2. Jessica June 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Love your post. I completely agree that portion control in America is nuts and needs to be redefined. I hope to see a food revolution in America in my lifetime. I laughed out loud that your friend had to order two milkshakes and drink them back to back because he couldn’t just be happy with the one. SO American!


  3. My English Thoughts June 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    I completely agree with you about the size! I’ve never been to USA but I’ve been to England, and even then, size of plate / drinks are bigger than in France, not as much than in USA or Canada but still bigger than in France ! (except maybe for Starbucks… I think/believe that it is still the same everywhere in the world. Am I wrong about it ?)
    My parents have been to BC last summer and they just ordered a breakfast. They didn’t eat anything else of the day !! The breakfast was so big, just like a normal meal… Well yes size are really not the same anywhere in the world, that’s quite confusing isn’t it ?!


    • Jackie June 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

      Oh man I really expected England to be better than us in this respect. How interesting to hear that it’s not.

      Starbucks is living in its own little world. Their sizes here are “tall” (12 oz) “grande” (16 oz) and “venti (20 oz). Unfortunately, they’ve also introduced a “trenta” this year, which is a whopping 31 ounces and only available for iced drinks (usually the fattiest of all. ugh.)


  4. Jules June 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    ProTip: Just order the small! If you aren’t satisfied after the first drink, then go ahead and get another small. With this method, you don’t force yourself to finish a portion that’s waaay too large.


    • Jackie June 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

      Jules, you must be the most fit gentleman to read my blog. What, with all your biking and nutrition-savvy feedback and whatnot. 🙂


  5. Gypsy Queen June 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    while you’re starting a revolution, can you address the fact that no clothing sizes are the same? How about we standardize those as well?


    • Jackie June 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

      Man I’ve got a bit list of revolutions to consider. I’ll add it on.


  6. Robin Waller June 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    All i have to say about portion control being out of control is ….Lugia’s


    • Jackie June 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm #



  7. tammy June 5, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    I agree with you 100%. It would be so much easier on my weight control if there was only one size.When I was little my eyes were always bigger than my stomach but my parents knew that so they usually ordered me the small size. Now I can do as I please so I order the large to make up for it. I’m only hurting myself but a large shake is so much better than a small! If it wouldn’t all go to my butt and stomach I’d be so much better of.


    • Jackie June 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

      Yes! Just always order a small. That’s what I’m doing from now on. Most of the time, even that’s too much anyway!


  8. pegoleg June 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    Some fast food place I used to frequent did away with their small size drink and added an extra-large. Next time I went there I ordered a small and the girl said, very seriously, “We don’t have small; just medium, large and extra-large”.

    I burst into incredulous laughter. “Just because you renamed them, doesn’t mean anything’s changed. I’ll take the smallest one.”

    I’ll be @#$* if I play along with their word manipulation games, just like Starbucks. Small, medium and large is it.


    • Jackie June 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

      LOL yes – Starbucks’ entire menu is a hot mess of Italian, Spanish, and stupidity.


  9. kitchenmudge June 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    Naturally, I have to bring up the politics.
    If we eliminated the subsidies for corn, the resulting rise in the price of high-fructose corn syrup would shrink the size of sugary servings faster than you can say “Diabeetus!”

    I was about 35 before I learned how crazy clothing sizes were for women. Ladies, you need to talk in inches and centimeters, waist, sleeve, and inseam measurements, etc. Don’t let them put this “size 6, 8 10” stuff over on you.


    • Jackie June 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      You are a wealth of information, mudge. Thanks!


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