Wednesday, May 21, 2014

food desert

This is a long screed.  If you happen to suffer ADD as we've seen previously in comments, then let's say fine, goodbye, right here. 

The term "food desert" caught my attention. Odd, that. I just put up a video of food extracted from near desert.
A food desert is a geographic area where affordable and nutritious food is difficult to obtain, particularly for those without access to an automobile. Food deserts usually exist in rural areas and low-income communities. Some research links them to diet-related health problems in affected populations. Food deserts are sometimes associated with supermarket shortages and food security. 
Usually
Some
Sometimes
So far so good, makes sense, especially with these buffering qualifiers. No problem here.

Definitions of food desert are all over the place, you'll have to pick one or two or all of them. The idea originates in the UK. Always such a good Idea to look to island socialist countries for a template to overlay our own regarding legislative and regulatory ideas.
1) 1995 UK      
a) populated areas with little or no food retail provision  
b) areas of relative exclusion where people experience physical and economic barriers to accessing healthy foods 
2) counts the type and quality of foods available for purchase and the neighborhood residents being impoverished and unable to buy such foods 
3) access, or the degree to which individuals live within close proximity to a large supermarket or supercenter offering consumers a wider array of food choices at relatively lower costs 
4) urban areas with 10 or fewer (grocery) stores and no stores with more than 20 employees.
Wikipedia states the origin and theories for development 

Land-use policies that facilitate development of predominantly wealthy and white suburban neighborhoods have altered the distribution of food stores. Where policies and legislation in the form of regulations by government departments separated from republican form of democracy. They are top down rules originating from studies, themselves originating in foreign countries. Tap into the whirling gears and you will hear, "wish I had thought of that." We will be studied as subjects from afar and regulated from on high. 

So we see racism as impulse right off the bat. Straight up. Apparently somebody noticed all those lily white neighborhoods out therein the suburbs, those awful suburbs where people set up to avoid inner city crime and pollution have awesome grocery stores that the cities lack, with their fine expensive restaurants that sell only the best of all food. Can you imagine why? How many studies are needed to sort that? And what can government types do to remedy this lopsided situation? White people have it so good, they always did, and people of color always end up with the short end of the stick.  
Wealthy and white suburban neighborhoods. Apparently leaving urban people of color behind. There are no poor whites living in cities in these models, conversely no wealthy people of color to speak of in suburbs.  
I must note at this point the attitude is broadly shared. When I told my family I intended to rent a place downtown they were all against it citing crime statistics published in the newspaper. They were of one mind. 
Back to the article, land use policies facilitate mostly wealthy and white suburban areas have altered the distribution of food stores. 
You think? The box stores must be located where expansive warehouses can be built with large lots for parking or else they are useless. For the most part that precludes inner cities but not necessarily. 
Prevalence of food deserts in poorer neighborhoods is driven by lack of consumer demand as the poor have less money to spend on healthful, nutritious food.
Not so. Consumer demand is driven by consumer preference. Not by lack of money. Food and housing is subsidized and those subsidies are subverted. That is where the change needs to take place, if it is felt change must be forced then at least get that part right. The food made available in inner cities will be the food the customers in inner cities demand. If demand is for fast food, convenient food, processed goodies, then that will be the food that is provided. If natural food, basic elemental food, nutritious natural items used to make home meals is demanded in inner cities then that will be the food that is sold there. Transportation, storage, refrigeration, are needed for both processed and unprocessed food.
But then this.
From an economic standpoint, low demand does not justify supply.
That sentence is why I am writing this post. It could not be more wrong. Low demand exactly justifies low supply. That is basic economic law of supply and demand. It took studies to come up with a statement that seriously wrong.
Food retailers are also discouraged from opening chains in low-income rural and urban communities because of crime rates, transportation costs and low return of investment.
Discouraged from opening, all wise economic decisions from supply point of view. But supply transportation and crime are not chief problems nor insurmountable not the thing preventing natural food being supplied. Take a car tour of any length and you will notice an unseemly plethora of Walmart trucks crisscrossing the nation. They enter the cites as readily as they enter suburban areas.
Furley et al. describes food desert creation as arising where "high competition from large chain supermarkets has created a void."
Well Furey and others are flat wrong. High competition from large chain supermarkets means they are filling a void or else they would not, could not exist. The void is in inner city demand for natural food.
As a result, the food supply within inner-cities includes less variety, denying some urban residents the benefits of healthful foods at affordable prices.  Remaining food retailers in inner-cities are gas stations, convenience stores, tobacco stores, drugstores, and liquor stores. A diet based on foods from these locations consists primarily of processed foods high in calories, sugars, salt, fat, and artificial ingredients.
Bull. Those items had to be transported just as natural food must be transported. Refrigerated just as natural food does. The problem is natural food does not turnover and so cannot be justified being stocked. So canned food, bottled food, frozen food, prepackaged processed food wins the day and it wins it by demand. Inner cities apparently demand crap food and so that is what is offered. Supply is responsive to demand.

That prejudicial word "remaining," Furley missed the previous assertion of startups being discouraged. It implies a fixed number leaving cities for suburbs and ignores startups making a studied choices for location. No internal change in this model. Gas stations, convenience stores, tiny grocery stores, bodegas, 7-11 stop and shops will stock whatever is demanded. Liquor stores appear in suburbs too. You will find huge liquor stores smack in the center of cities, in suburbs and beyond in exurbs as well. They and bars are everywhere demand supports them, and that turns out to be everywhere.
Remaining food retailers in inner cites are stocking their shelves with the items that sell. If fresh vegetables and fresh meat sold then that is what would be carried. If those items fail to turnover then it is obvious, even to government bureaucrats and unelected officials without economic education, that it is unprofitable for sellers to stock them. That is the reality of the situation as it exists. Not some odd and nefarious off kilter conspiracy of white people. 

Denver is a good example. There is a grocery store across the street that I do wish carried fresh vegetables and meat. But those things do not sell. Turnover is required or fresh food goes off and is wasted. For proper food I must go just a just a little bit further by a few blocks in any direction to find proper grocery stores that are alway packed full. It has nothing to do with transportation. Two very upscale markets within walking distance even for a fellow who does not walk all that well. And excellent sources within brief driving distance, biking distance, cab distance, bus distance, with excellent restaurants as well all available on foot. Food all around. Transportation is not the problem of obesity on supply side of the equation nor the demand side. However poor food choices is. There are also poor food choices supply points dotted all around.
The section on access to quality of food begins with a confused statement. 
The main factor used to classify a community as a food desert is distance from nutritional food retailers. There is no standard for "inadequate" access or "adequate" access to food. 
Well then, charge right ahead to conclusion, and they do with studies that use distance to markets measured various ways. Centering on closeness to food but the food too expensive. Yes, more expensive when overhead is more expensive and crime makes doing business more expensive, and low turnover makes food more expensive, then more expensive all around, the same applies to turnover of fresh items, waste of unsold items, parking, and the junk food that is still the choice of the subjects under study is still more expensive by weight and by what can be done with it than natural food. It is not possible for highly processed food to be less expensive than natural food because so much more is involved between production of raw ingredients and consumer. The emphasis is why people are fat. Specifically, and racially, why poor people of color living in cities are fat, never mind the astonishing number of obese suburban wealthy white people. The answer to the question with distorted emphasis on race is poor food choices all around, and those choices are driven by 1) marketing, goodness just look at the cereal aisle. It is all highly processed grains and packaging and cartoon figures looking down. 2) government jacking such as food pyramid and war on fats, salt, sugar, carbs, what have you, emphasizing the use of grains as with feedlots, and instruction through schools, manipulation of federally subsidized school lunch programs, and agency propaganda and lobby influences  3) ease and deliciousness and novelty of highly processed food. The joy of unwrapping things. Subsidize all you want for good food, whatever system is contrived will be subverted to preference, and preference is strongly in favor of convenient delicious satisfying processed food. That is the thing that must be addressed for change, if change you must. Everything else follows naturally from that. Stop buying crap and it will cease being sold, or at least slowed by comparison. Insist on natural food, buy it where and when available, go to it, and it it will be supplied. It does not get much more straighforward than that.
Residents of food desert areas have no alternative but to utilize private cars, travel several miles on foot, or use public transit to gain access to healthful food. Consumers without cars are dependent on food sources in their closest proximity. 
Pow. My aching heart. You got me. Same holds true for rich white people in suburbs. You think those splendid stores are always right next door? For I too must seek out good food, and I don't walk so well, and my truck is old. What if it breaks down? I live on the edge. If only it would come to me. We do have milk delivery, but not to me. I live in one of the rare no-go areas.
Make up your mind already. And they leave out of their analysis, getting someone to drive, pooling resources,  and bikes, motorcycles, and as obese urban poor and disabled are the subject, they will naturally have one of those get around power wheelchairs paid for through medicaid. Doesn't everybody?  I had one offered to myself.  Now how am I to remaster walking when tooling around in a motorized chair? They pass me up constantly on the sidewalks as I walk to the grocery. I see the back of their heads speeding off as they blur past me, like Stephen Hawking speeding by in their motorized chairs but fatter, an arm straight up int the air flipping me off from an increasing distance. 
A study by Inagami reveals that the distance traveled to food stores is an independent predictor of BMI. The problem increases in rural food desert areas, where closing the distance to nutritional food access is impossible on foot.
Somehow they are getting enough food. Enough to stuff in their pie-holes to keep them obese. It does take a lot of work to get and stay fat. One must constantly think about food, constantly do something to acquire food, if not prepare it, continuously shove it in one's mouth, constantly get up and poop it all out and continuously wipe one's own butt.
Of course rural life increases BMI, a development so natural by restricting access to good food.  If only one could raise chickens out there in rural areas. What a bummer. One cannot raise chickens within most U.S. cities, by law, and now we learn impossible in rural areas too. Eggs can come only from grocery stores too distant to be any use. Just think of all the difficult to obtain natural food items unavailable in rural areas. Such food deserts, those rural areas. If only gardening were possible out there and the science of caning sufficiently advanced. If only people in rural areas could have horses and carts. Do beekeeping and such. Damn those Mennonites for not sharing their closely held secrets of survival and wellbeing. If only bicycles and adult tricycles snow mobiles, tractors and sleds were not withheld from rural poor people of color, forget about whites, they are not part of these studies. 
Researchers have determined that distance to food is also psychological
You think?
The physical distance from fresh foods determine eating behaviors and preferences for palatable, processed foods. To create a healthy relationship with food, researchers recommend creating a direct connection between fresh produce and consumer. Examples of this include urban farm programs and incorporating healthful foods in schools.
Finally. Getting close. Here's the chance blow it, here comes the chance to seize control of school lunch programs, subsidized, of course. Time for an anecdote. We're leaving wikipedia. 
I want to see if Denver has food deserts because I'm feeling kind of dry.

Denver’s ‘food desert’ mirage: the road to health is paved with good intentions
(… ) I sat next to one my students who had her newly mandated healthy federal school lunch in front of her. She wouldn’t touch it. Instead she pulled out a black plastic bag from under the table, put her finger in front of her mouth, told me not to tell, and showed me her Hot Cheetos. Later, she took her banana from the school lunch and smashed it against the stairs.
That does blow my mind. Blam. All over the place. I despaired when I read it. My earliest memory of food-related concupiscence is for bananas. Bananas were like an amazing dessert to me except better. A real if not rare treat. All fruit was a treat to my child self no matter the type no matter how often I had them, because they came from trees and bushes and they are sweet, but especially bananas. I wanted to peel it like an ape, wrongly it turns out, they actually just break into it, and pretend I'm a monkey and hop around reverting evolutionarily to monkey noises, but I especially wanted to eat banana's soft smashy delicious fruity goodness. Then toss its wonderful peel on the ground  and try to skid like they do in cartoons. I was obsessed with bananas. Mum put up a bunch out of reach, they were green and she was having them continue a few days to turn yellow, but I did not know that. When I opened a door to a forbidden basement stairwell, this was in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, and not yet enrolled in kindergarden, I discovered them up there on shelf above stairs impossible to reach, even for a monkey. I concluded she was hiding them from me, damn her, because she knew I'd devour them. Her putting those green bananas up there really bugged me. Now the thought of children passing the chance of such a fruit treasure like that in their lunch and then not appreciating such a fine gift, is impossible for me to process. I do not understand it. I just do not. But that is the problem here pinpointed. Not subsidized lunches. Not distance to groceries. Not wealthy white people living in suburbs and poor people of color stuck in cities, rather the problem is attitude about healthy food starting in childhood propounded by adults. Everything follows from that. If one perceives your people of color choose to eat poorly then talk to them directly about that and stop finding other areas to place blame. Especially as it is presumed to use government resources outside democratic principles to attain well-meant goals by misidentified problems. This is especially galling arising as it does from an unelected wife of chief executive with no genuine power to affect government agencies, yet she does. That should not be allowed to happen, but it does. If she wants to be racist about it, and she does, the studies cited do, and by appearance of deeds she does, then she must talk to her people about what good food is, what good portions are, what food sources to support and which ones to dismiss. I sense she is doing all that too, but that is all she should be doing. Start a national garden, yes, but stick with it through shutdown just as farmers must suffer setbacks. We see reported her setting poor examples of eating. The goodies she and he are seen scarfing. Fine. But not as spokesperson or high priestess for good eating. She goes for the junk just like the rest. From what I can make of these recapped studies they appear to be largely bogus with far too much prejudice and too much emphasis on race and leave out the market distortion and damage done by government jacking. Nowhere is marketing mentioned. Good natural food needs no marketing. Crap food does need marketing. Nobody gave Mrs. Obama official power, she took it, and that is possible only because her supporters give her unofficial power over everyone, and it is employed through government agencies. But preference will rule. It always does. 

30 comments:

Sixty Grit said...

Pie is good for a food dessert.

virgil xenophon said...

A minor (or perhaps even major) masterpiece, Chip..

Unknown said...

Like most store fruit, Bananas do not taste as good as they used to. The other day I was delighted after I discovered the newly opened Trader Joe's carried DOLE bananas.

I'm a fan of Dole, for various reasons. and I'm not just saying this - but the DOLE brand organic bananas were actually tasty. (for a change. I often throw the bananas I buy out because they taste like crap)

Apple bananas are the best bananas in the world. Grown in the tropics and best eaten In the tropics. (in the nude)

There is a lot of resentment with the new school lunch requirements. ooo"requirements".
Even little kids hate nanny state telling them what to eat. Sure, our children would prefer to eat junk-- And that is equally sad. I don't have the answer. (I had a mother who was a one-woman Michelle Obama. My packed lunches were so boring and healthy I thought I would starve.)

I have cousins in Fort Collins who have middle school aged kids. They are young, healthy and active - but they all eat way too much sugar. I see the beginnings of a small weight problem.
They mentioned last summer how they HATE the school lunch requirements. They said all the kids do.

Unknown said...

It is my opinion that inner city schools (all government schools for that matter) need to teach home-economics and basic cooking skills. One reason we are so fat as a nation is that no one cooks anymore. No one wants to learn or take the time.

Alas - there's no money in the budget. All while the top brass in the School districts make 6 figures and the teacher's union demand more budget busting perks.

As an old friend of mine from the south used to say when I asked her about her positive obsession with cooking meals for her family:
"I am sick of eating crap." The only way to not eat crap is to learn how to cook.
You don't need to be a gourmet chef to make simple basic meals.

Unknown said...

I submit that the left want to take control of the food distribution system. After they take over health care, food distribution is next. (you too whole foods)

No more private enterprise. Big Government knows best.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I agree 100% with every single thing that Chip said. Including eating bananas like an ape and making monkey sounds.

To set the scene: We live in a very rural area. There are less people in the local town than there are in most high schools. I would hazard a guess of about 4000 people in the surrounding 50 square miles...maybe. The nearest large town of more than 100K is about 80 miles away.

We are fortunate to have a little grocery store in our town. It doesn't have a wide selection for the very reasons that Chip pointed out. Supply and demand. It carries the basics at high prices because of freight and smaller stock. It carries a basic selection of fruits, vegetables and meat. Basic. But adequate. Probably more fresh ingredients than usual because we have so many people who actually COOK. Lots of Mexicans so we get a nice selection of that stuff as well. Helados Mexico. Nom nom nom. I love the coconut!

If we want something special or different, it requires a 160 mile round trip. So, when we do go, we make a day of it and buy a ton of stuff. Store it in the pump house or freeze and put into one of two freezers.

As to the BMI or fatties. Yup. We have those out here in rural America. Each and every one of them that I encounter in the grocery story are on food stamps. They COULD buy healthy food and cook it. They just don't. They fill their cart up with junk food and buy cigarettes at the check out stand and then waddle on out to their cars. It is a choice that they are making. To eat crap and get fat.....and we are paying for it.

Like April. I think we need to have mandatory home ec in schools and teach the kids how to cook, among other life skills like how to balance a check book and deal with the basics of daily living.

I would say go back to government cheese. Commodities. Give the food stamp people an allotment of good food ingredients. Beans, meat, onions, canned tomatoes, milk, cheese etc. EXCEPT....they would just throw it away, like the banana, and waste it.

I don't know what the answer is. Maybe we should just let it be and let them either eat themselves into oblivion or die of some dietary induced disease. But....then we will all have to pay for THAT too.

My EMP event is looking better all the time. We have available chickens, cows, deer, ducks, geese, orchards, gardens, running water in streams, rivers and springs (some of them even hot), guns, bows, ammo. AND WOOD STOVES!!! We will survive :-)

Just kidding. I really don't want to go back to living like my Great Great Grands did. I like the internet and my automatic coffee maker.

Known Unknown said...

Why is the font so damn big? Why is there no "read more" button so that readers don't have to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll ...

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

(1) One of my favorite bits from Mad Men was when they were discussing whether to pitch for some company's advertising business and Don counters an objection by saying something like: "Come on, this is the greatest marketing opportunity since cereal."

(2) The thing that disappoints me the most about Mad Men is it nearly always pulls its punch, never goes all the way.

Well, it's easy enough to see why. They make money from advertisers.

(3) I haven't yet watched last Sunday's episode. I'm curious to see what they do with Don trying to engratiate himself with tobacco advertisers, after he bit the hand that fed him.

Right there's a meta-opportunity, for certain.

Trooper York said...

Great post Chip and I agree with almost everything you have said.

In Brooklyn you enter a different world within a couple of blocks. In the gentrified hipster area you have a bunch of organic health food specialty stores with huge selections of esoteric fruits, veggies and meats. Walk six blocks to the projects and you have old school bodegas that have your basic old school low rent foods. You know Little Debbie Cupcakes, Hellmans mayo and cheap white bread. You know the stuff I like. So I go there to shop sometimes.

Trooper York said...

I wish I could be in charge of the kids lunches. It would be pizza, sloppy joes, mac and cheese and burgers every day. Then a recess where they could run around and fun off the sugar.

Then they could go back to class and sleep away the rest of the afternoon.

Unknown said...

I eat a relatively healthy diet. I don't push my eating habits on others.

I live in a town that looks down on you if you don't follow the food religion: Non-GMO, organic, & cruelty free - ONLY ONLY ONLY. No exceptions.

I actually like organic products and produce, and I'm fortunate that I can afford them, but I don't buy organic as a rule. I pick and choose based on other criteria. The organic produce at Whole Foods is way over-priced.

Mostly I'm in for the flavor. I think organic milk tastes better, for example.
I think the non-GMO craze is similar to C02 alarmism. Buncha crap.
( oooo the leftists scowl at you if you dare tell them their non-GMO obsession is ridiculous.)

Yeah - I'll admit I like the idea of eating animals that were raised in a humane manner. But that's my choice.

ricpic said...

Couldn't disagree more that crime is not a major factor in the lack of supermarkets in black neighborhoods. Supermarkets operate on a profit margin between 1% and 2%. Shoplifting occurs everywhere and at a low level, relative to the volume of product moved, it is bearable. At inner city levels shoplifting wipes out the supermarket business profit margin.

Unknown said...

King Soopers offer delivery.

Chip Ahoy said...

Ever see kids grow vegetable gardens? They love the whole thing from planting, tending, to harvest. I think that is a very good approach to change attitude. It's too spotty to be relied on for sustenance but eating carrots you grew, radishes, lettuce and such does go a long way in changing the relationship with food.

But unlike Michelle O, you have to stick with it. Not abandon it to make a political point.

The home economic idea is a great one too. But parents involving children in cooking also goes far. Children will eat food they make. Even if it's food they dismiss when provided already prepared.

Both can instill attitude of good planning. For example soaking dry beans instead of buying canned beans. In addition to growing beans then eating them.

A child will make an awful pile of poorly prepared mashed potatoes dyed green with food coloring and eat it because they made it. And learn from that why green is not such a good idea. But they'll eat it. While refusing perfectly good mashed potatoes because it's always there. And mum will cop out and buy potato flakes because she perceives they're easier to make.

TrooperYork said...

You are absolutely right Chip. I always engage with kids by cooking with them. Even when they are really young they love to be engaged in putting together a meal if you make it fun. As they get older you can teach more and more of the basic skills. So much so that they shock their parents when they whip up a quick sauce or make a steak with mushrooms or something like that.

Once they get good habits when they are young it will carry over.

Junk food has its place but good food is never turned down if it is tasty and well prepared. Just sayn'

ricpic said...

I wonder whether Michelle is still as passionately concerned about the fate of "Our girls" as she was ten minutes ago? Or is her concern wobbling. Of course at the Wookie's exalted level there are so many things to be concerned about so much to do to help US! Ya know, that was mean of me...I take it back. You Go Girl!

Amartel said...

"Food desert" is one of those phrases like "trigger" or "microaggression" which is adopted by morons to manipulate even bigger morons and flood the zone with rage and resentment over non-existent and/or self-induced problems and shift blame to other people. Like, oh shoot, I have to get in my car and drive SEVERAL MILES to the food store in order to buy chips. Help me, Obama! I'm being OPPRESSED. Come and see the fat ass inherent in that CORPORATE CONSPIRACY.

ampersand said...

By some of the criteria, Manhattan,one of the wealthiest places on earth , is a food desert. Is there one chain grocery store there?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

So let me get this right.

If you live in a food desert for 40 years . . .

Does it turn into a neighborhood flowing with Whole Foods and Trader Joe's?

Trooper York said...

There are many chain supermarkets in Manhattan. Pathmark. Shop Rite. IGA. And several Gristedes which are an sort of upscale supermarket.

Manhattan is a bunch of different neighborhoods much like the rest of the city. There are rich areas and poor areas. Bodegas and Whole Foods. Most only a few blocks from each other. But worlds apart in the type of people who shop there.

I'm Full of Soup said...

I wish I could find that Sam Kinison bit where he yells "move to the food!"

I'm Full of Soup said...

I wish I could find that Sam Kinison bit where he yells "move to the food!"

Trooper York said...

The local Met Food Supermarket on Smith St.was recently sold. For 18.5million dollars. That's right! 18.5 million for the space which will be knocked down for development.

They are saying they will be putting in retail stores. Who could possibly want to go there? I mean there is a Barneys five blocks away. Macy's is just ten blocks away on Fulton St. Unless it is chain that is not saturated in NYC like Nordstrom the I don't see how it is feasible.

But this is what is happening to all of the supermarkets in NYC.

Sixty Grit said...

Saint Sam Speaks!

Sixty Grit said...

Some humor transcends its original time and place.

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aridog said...

Awesome post, chip...and I read every word. I agree with almost everything you said, and where I have questions I am going to re-read (imagine that) and think more about it. You obviously have done so.

I am lucky I guess to have grown up in a household where scratch cooking was de rigueur. We were at war, food was rationed, and even after WWII ended it took some time before "super market" and such became common. You went to the butcher for meat, to the green grocer for fruit and vegetables, the dairy would deliver your milk & cheese...in my early youth by horse drawn wagons (Brown's Creamery, Detroit Metro Area). You had to go to where the food was, by street car, by automobile, or on foot. Therefore you shopped carefully.

Today I live in a small urban neighborhood where one again there are butcher shops, green grocers, and dairy is now sold in both. I can walk to acquire any food I need, and many do here. I'm old and lazy now so I drive, but it is nice once again to shop with vendors who specialize. I am blessed that we still have a relatively large Italian family owned market as well.

When some fools ask why I still live in an Arabic neighborhood, next door to a Mexican neighborhood, I can only guess what they think...they certainly do not know.

Aridog said...

Sixty...thanks for that. I'd forgotten just how funny Kinison really was...that's an early bit and cracks me up even today.

I'm Full of Soup said...

60:

I owe you for finding that and posting it. I am still laughing....the best line was "we have deserts here too but we don't fing live in them!"

Sixty Grit said...

There are times that I think Sam was over the top, but that is usually a fleeting feeling. I was cleaning out my truck and found a cassette tape of his work - that son of a gun was right on the money. Hysterically funny stuff.

"I WAS MARRIED FOR TWO YEARS!!! ARGHHH!"

No telling what direction he might have taken had he not died so young, but I am glad he did what he did, when he did. Comedy is not funny these days, at least compared to what he accomplished.