A new study in the British medical journal, The Lancet, shows that leading a sedentary lifestyle now causes more deaths worldwide than cigarette smoking.
The news set off widespread jubilation in the Franklin, Tennessee, headquarters of SLACKER (Sedentary Lifestyles & Avoiding Cardio Can Kill Everyone, Really), the uber industry trade group that represents everyone from manufacturers of Barcaloungers and jumbo TVs to video games and fast food.
Thomas J. Girth, Jr., president of SLACKER, called the news a culmination of a four-decade long consumer awareness campaign. “When fast food first took off in the 1960s, we were hopeful it would lead more and more people to do less and less. But, in hindsight, it really took the technology boom of the 1990s to add the final ingredient needed to create a world full of lazy people. To honor the event, we're asking slackers everyone to inhale a supersized Mickey D's meal while channel surfing from their couches.” Mr. Girth added that SLACKER won't sit still.
“We will sit still in terms of inactivity, but now that we've topped tobacco as the world's number one cause of an early death, we're upping the ante,” barked Girth. “We'd like to be responsible for 10 million premature deaths by 2015, and are more than confident we'll surpass that goal." Girth said his management team considered a celebratory parade, but admitted “No one wanted to expend that much energy.”
Up in smoke
Meanwhile, the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, observed a day of mourning while a Tobacco Institute spokesperson vowed his group would reclaim the top spot.
“The mark of a true champion isn't winning. It's getting up off the ground, dusting oneself off, lighting up a fresh cigarette and getting right back in the ring,” observed Billy Bob Blacklung, IV. Mr. Blacklung cited the tobacco industry's aggressive marketing campaigns in poor, Third World countries as the cigarette’s last, best hope to reclaim bragging rights.
“Have we killed countless billions over the years? Sure. But, that doesn't mean we can't do better. And, by flooding the uneducated masses in Third World countries with free samples at an early age, we believe we're building a solid foundation for future growth,”said Blacklung, attempting to suppress a deep, hacking cough.
Both organizations rejected any suggestion of a strategic partnership. Girth said, “When you're the best, you don't need anyone else.” And, Blacklung wheezed, “If we do strike a strategic partnership, it would be with a group focused on youth. Who wants to partner with a bunch of morbidly obese couch potatoes? Yuck!”