The great menace

Those arms may look inviting, but sit there at your peril.

Those arms may look inviting, but sit there at your peril.


While Americans have been watching reality TV, the other reality, the real one, has been walking the empty streets of America, unhindered and free to do its insidious work. Thankfully, I eschew* reality TV and have been looking out of my window with my binoculars, so I know exactly what reality is up to.


What I have discovered is that an ever-growing, never-stopping, constantly encroaching horror is heading our way. Yes, another –ism is threatening our way of life. And this time, I think we are losing the battle. Although we have successfully fought and overcome communism, fascism, chauvinism, sexism, cubism, and tourism, I don’t know if we will be able to stop this new menace: horizontalism.


Don’t let the name of the movement fool you. This has nothing to do with napping, a perfectly normal and healthy hobby enjoyed by many. No, this refers to body sprawl, when ones frame enlarges and takes in more and more of the scenery.


The food-furniture complex, a nefarious alliance much like the military-industrial complex, has created conditions leading to the deliberate horizontalization of Americans. It is a well-known, fully established mythical fact that the size of the tank determines the size of the fish, but did you know that the width of the recliner determines the size of the hips? As recliners have grown larger and wider, so have Americans. And if we dig deeper into recliners, what do we find? Cheetos, jelly beans, caramel popcorn, and broken pretzels. Show me a recliner, and I will show you crumby evidence of the unhealthy food cabal wedged within. If that isn’t ipso facto Nabisco, I obviously don’t know what ipso facto Nabisco means.


The threat grows greater every day. Even as you sit there reading this, horizontalism is spreading. The powers that feed and seat us control millions of Americans, each body a bilateral movement expanding in a parody of Manifest Destiny, seeking to reach from side to side (or thigh to thigh) of that comfy recliner. I have a haunch that it will continue until we get up and do something, anything.


Fight horizontalism today or it will get all of us in the end.





*On this website, each time a writer uses the word “eschew,” a piece of chocolate is released from its wrapper and set free to become one with the universe (i.e., yearstricken).

Sinister recliner

41 thoughts on “The great menace

    • I often find nuts in the furniture, so I have to wait until they get up so I can check the cushions.

      What with the eschewing and the chewing of the chocolate I keep rather busy.

  1. As a person of a certain age ( I’m finally getting used to qualifying as a senior citizen), I embrace not horizontalism exactly, but the right to indulge in it guilt free. After all, our society
    has surrounded us with guilty feelings about so many things, including chocolate–although I guess dark chocolate is now okay in moderation (ha!) because of its antioxidant properties. And isn’t that what we eat it for, anyway? I like taking healthy walks, but when my body wants to flop and watch Masterpiece Theater or a Bulls basketball game, I think I should listen to my body and respect its messages.
    I believe Year Struck is a right-thinking person, and, therefore, I’m sure I have missed her
    underlying irony and that, once again, she agrees with me completely.

  2. I enjoy perusing bumper stickers … I once found one that said “eschew obfuscation”

    1) first, I had to look it up (always love finding a new word)
    2) the meaning delighted me in ways that are hard to explain
    3) it tickled my funny bone so much, I considered having the words tattooed somewhere
    4) alas, no tattoo, but that word, and any reference to it, has continued to incite a smile

    so, thanks, yearstricken, for the smile today … much appreciated

  3. Eschew! gesundheit 🙂

    I happen to know that the most popular/common seat width for wheelchairs, orthopaedic chairs, and medically prescribed riser recliners in Ireland is 18″ wide. I shudder to think what the most common width is in countries where horizontalisim has taken hold!

  4. i had an idea before, all that sitting world eventually take its toll… thanks for giving the phenomenon a name. 🙂 btw, didn’t know that that movement has reached this side of the world… 😉 hello, yearstricken.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s