A Parody in Scientific American Too Early for April Fools

Now They Are Sitting WellScientific American published an entertaining parody last week. It was a bit extreme and too early for April Fools’ Day, but entertaining nonetheless. This essay wove together a litany of absurd rationalizations we hear all the time to tell the tale of a medical breakthrough in obesity taking us down a road to ruin.

Hilarious albeit outlandish material.

An Erectile Dysfunction Gag

To make the parody clear, the author started with a comparison to erectile dysfunction treatment, describing Viagra as “a lifestyle pill pocketed by nervous 30-year-olds heading out on Internet dates.” Clearly, this author is making a joke because aroused young men are not the target market for ED treatment. Very funny.

It’s all the more hilarious because obesity is not a lifestyle disease and it has nothing to do with erectile dysfunction. Most people know treating ED does not prevent heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular mortality. So setting up this jarring contrast is a genuinely comical stunt.

Aqualyx and Dessert

The erectile dysfunction gag was just a warm-up. From there the satire moved on to a fable about giving obesity medicines to “nearly every human on earth.” Trillions of dollars will flow according to this fabulous tale that has everyone in the world lining up for injections. Mixing in a dietary supplement promotion for “Aqualyx,” this thread promises that “the chance to make a fortune is all but guaranteed.”

Having covered lust and greed, the fabulist moves on to gluttony. He tells us this “magic bullet for an intractable problem” promises “a quick drug fix for your worries about weight, no need to give up on dessert!”

To ensure that the reader does not miss this particular jest, the author restates it, saying the world is:

“…launching launching into an era in which the majority of humanity may use injectables not just for obesity control but simply for maintaining normal weight while eating as they please.”

Sidesplitting Mockery for Serious Medicine

There’s plenty of other snide humor in this Scientific American parody. We’ll leave it to you to peruse the drollery in your spare time. We must move on to more serious material.

Click here for the satire, here and here for more on previous quips from this humorist.

Now They Are Sitting Well, illustration by Francisco Goya / WikiArt

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January 29, 2024

One Response to “A Parody in Scientific American Too Early for April Fools”

  1. January 29, 2024 at 10:45 am, David Brown said:

    In December 2008, Discover magazine named Arthur Caplan one of the 10 most influential people in science, for ”translating philosophical debates into understandable ideas” and “democratizing bioethics.” https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/the-10-most-influential-people-in-science

    I don’t see the humor in Dr. Caplan’s article. Somebody needs to explain what’s going on? In article after article about the global obesity/diabetes pandemic, analysts, health experts, and researchers note that no country on earth has successfully reversed the trend. Is it because they don’t have any clues or are they simply ignoring evidence? I’d say the latter.