From the December 2005 Idaho Observer:

The Emperor’s New Food (with apologies to Hans Christian Anderson) 

Because satire cuts where other knives dare not go...

by Donna Voetee


Once upon a time there lived an Emperor in Fat City Land who loved

food so much that he spent all his money being thoroughly fed. His only interest was in going to places to eat, or riding around in his carriage so he could enjoy drive-thru fast food. He had a different food for every hour of the day. Indeed, where it was said of other kings that they were at court, it could only be said of him that he was at the Food Court!

Soon, all that food began to take its toll. His body became very large, and it was hard to get in and out of the carriage to go down to the Burger Emperor for a treat. Word spread that the Emperor needed food that would not make him fat.

Soon, two swindler scientists came to Fat City Land. They were of the Lower Echelons of the House of Sewer, for they were low down, despicable rats who took advantage of people’s infirmities, selling them poisonous concoctions at exorbitant prices. Their names were Greedy and Dishonest of the Sewer, L. E., but called themselves G. and D. Sewerle for business purposes. They said they could make a potion that would let the Emperor eat all he wanted and never get fat. This potion could be added to food of any sort, to soda pop and gum and ice cream and jellies and candy, in fact, thousands of foods could be touched with this potion and they would magically keep the eater from becoming fat.

Now Asspirtame was really G. and D. Sewerle’s most potent poison they had ever devised, and they knew it caused much misery to their fellow rats they had given it to. But to cover their treachery, and because they were, after all, Greedy and Dishonest, they said that this potion had the amazing power to find out who was incompetent or stupid. If one ate the potion and got a headache, depression, cancer, or other horrible disease caused by Asspirtame, it was immediately known that they were of those two persuasions.

"It would be wonderful to have food with Asspirtame in it," thought the Emperor. "Then not only could I eat all I want and not get fat, but I’d know which of my men are unfit for their positions, and I’d be able to tell clever people from the stupid ones." So he immediately bought great sums of Asspirtame from G. and D. Sewerle and had it added to all the food of Fat City Land.

So Asspirtame went into the food. Some people began to complain, but they were immediately classified as incompetent or stupid, so most people kept quiet. The Emperor knew he had nothing to fear by eating food with Asspirtame, for certainly he was competent and wise, but nevertheless, he sent his trusted advisors from the Fraudulent Food Detection Agency (FFDA) to see if Asspirtame was really all that the swindlers claimed it was.

So the FFDA advisors tried some Asspirtame for themselves. Immediately, some got headaches, and some got depressed, but they dared not say anything because they all had mortgages and couldn’t afford to be fired for being incompetent and stupid.

Some of the FFDA advisors got curious and peeked into the kitchen where Asspirtame was made. They saw many dead rats and other despicable conditions for a kitchen, but when they tried to tell the chief advisors of the FFDA what they had seen, they were ignored, even laughed at. Unknown to these honest FFDA advisors, their chiefs were secretly being paid great sums of gold from the House of Sewer.

So the FFDA chiefs went back to the Emperor and gave their report. They said that Asspirtame was a magnificent product to help him and the people of Fat City Land lose weight while eating all the junk food they wanted.

G. and D. Sewerle were so happy with the FFDA report, that many of the advisors were offered jobs in the Asspirtame kitchens, where they made much more gold than they did working for the Emperor.

The Emperor, trusting his traitorous advisors, happily started eating Asspirtame in everything. Soon, he too, got headaches, became depressed, even his eyes started failing him and he needed glasses and he became hard of hearing and his muscles started aching and his heart had irregular beats. He knew it was not the Asspirtame causing his distresses, for that would mean he was incompetent and stupid and that his FFDA advisors had been false to him.

So he paid many doctors much gold to try to find out what was wrong with him. They gave him pills of sundry sorts, but the pills themselves had Asspirtame, so his symptoms did not go away, but actually got worse.

The Grand Banquet

One day, the Emperor decided to have a banquet for all the people of Fat City Land, so they could celebrate the wonderful discovery of Asspirtame. Young and old, rich and poor, all came to the banquet. The people began to dig in to the beautiful dishes of food that Mon-stink-o, the official caterers of Fat City Land, had prepared for them. From the appetizers to dessert, every course of food had Asspirtame in it.

Soon, everyone started feeling sick. Their heads throbbed. Their brains were so foggy they could hardly think. But no one said anything, as they did not want to be the first one to be found wanting of competence and wisdom in all the kingdom. So they all suffered greatly, some even died right there. But the doctors, who, like the false advisors, also received much gold from the House of Sewerle, said there was no connection to Asspirtame.

In the southwest corner of the great banquet hall, in the Santa Fe section, sat one little boy who did not like the Asspirtame food. Not knowing what the word "incompetent" meant, he cried out, "My head hurts! I’ve been poisoned!"

All the people of Fat City Land realized that the little boy was telling the truth. They threw out the poisonous Asspirtame-laced food and went home to cook their own dinner.

The Emperor also knew in his heart that the little boy was telling the truth, that Asspirtame really was the cause of all his health problems. But he was a proud man, and said to himself, "The banquet must go on!"

So he loosened his belt, held his head high, and he and his court continued eating great amounts of food with Asspirtame.


The Emperor’s physicians found a brain tumor in him the very next week and he soon died a painful death. His Empress gave birth to a severely retarded Prince who had epilepsy (Of course, the doctors were careful to point out that the ingestion of Asspirtame had nothing to do with these unfortunate events). Many of the people who ate Asspirtame developed diabetes, which greatly pleased G. and D. Sewerle and Mon-stink-o, as they also brewed diabetes medication. The FFDA advisors went on to higher positions in the Asspirtame kitchens while many people of Fat City Land continued getter fatter and fatter because they kept eating more and more Asspirtame

The moral of the story

Some of the people started thinking that it was better to be believed "incompetent and stupid" than to be sick or dead.

But, seriously...

If any of you have had personal adverse experiences with aspartame, please let the New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid know about it. In mid-January, 2006, she will be determining if a hearing that could lead to a ban on aspartame will take place in July, 2006. She needs to hear from us. Send a copy of your letter to Governor Bill Richardson while you’re at it. 

William Blaine Richardson

Governor of New Mexico

4th Floor, The Capitol

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

(505) 827-3000

Patricia Madrid

Attorney General of New Mexico

2nd Floor, Bataan Building

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

(505) 828-6000

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