Thursday, November 7, 2013

Home of the Midgets, Part II

 (Smart Ass Cripple Disclaimer: Once again it is my sad duty to report that the following story is true.)

Some people will track the beginning of the collapse of American society to a cataclysmic event that occurred in  December 2012 in Cranston, Rhode Island. It was the day Michelle “Chelley” Martinka went grocery shopping.

Chelley came across a jar of Cains brand pickles called kosher dill midgets. This disturbed her. Her eight-month-old daughter,  Adelaide, had recently been diagnosed with Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism.

So Chelley made a video and put it on YouTube. It’s more or less an open letter to the distributor of the pickles. Over a montage of pictures of Adelaide, she gently but firmly explains that a lot of little people think the word midget is deeply offensive. About a month later, she was contacted by a representative from Gedney Foods, the distributor of the pickles, who informed her that the word midget would be dropped from future labels.

The news spread fast through a lot of media outlets.  Chelley wrote about her pickle adventure on her blog.  Here’s a small sample of the hate mail comments her action inspired:

Idiot A: Dwarfism is genetic. She should be mad at herself and the child's father....not a pickle company.

Idiot B:  It scares me that this type of hyper-political correctness is threatening our First Amendment right to free speech… Let me enjoy my pickles with the original name printed on them. ..You are an unbelievably pompous ass. .. The truth is, you’ve been dealt a card you’re not comfortable dealing with and the shame lies within you about your daughter. You’re the one who is small.  Shame on you.

Idiot C: Maybe you shouldn’t have been shooting herion (sic) during your pregnancy… Where’s the dad? Do you even know him? By the looks of it ET is the dad.

Chelley says someone even tracked down her street address and sent a scornful (and anonymous, of course) letter to her home. “It was amazing,” she says about all vitriol. “At first I cried a little bit and then I said ‘This is dumb.’ People are reacting from behind a screen. It feels like bullying. Adult bullying.”

But Gary Arnold, president of Little People of America,  has Chelley’s back. His letter of inquiry to the U.S. Department of Agriculture prompted a review of what the agency calls its Commercial Item Descriptions for food products. USDA discovered  that the term midget is one of its official description categories not just for certain pickles but also for shelled pecans, canned lima beans, processed raisins, canned mushrooms and trail mix. Arnold has received assurance from the FDA that this language will be updated soon.

So the idiots better hurry before all is lost.  They need to organize and launch a campaign to pressure the USDA to stand up for traditional family values and retain the word midget. Like Idiot B says, if they can’t call their favorite pickles midgets anymore, they just won’t taste the same.