Chewing the Fat
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 97 11:50:20 -0800
Subject: Chewing the Fat
CERTIFIABLY INANE April 6, 1997
(c) Patrick C. Ross
Chewing the Fat
Speaking of unindicted co-conspirators, imagine my surprise
when I learned that I was supposed to be having a "dialogue" with
my fat. According to the book (to crib from Dave Barry, "I am not
making this up") "Love Your Looks: How to Stop Criticizing and
Start Appreciating Your Appearance" by Carolynn Hillman (Fireside
Books), you should "listen to your fat nonjudgmentally and
empathetically... to learn more about its role in your life." She
proposes placing two chairs facing each other, ask your fat a
question from one seat, then "shift seats and be your fat and
answer." I've conducted interviews for this column like that when
I was too lazy to interview somebody real, but this was a bit
strange even for me.
Ms. Hillman even includes a sample dialogue, which I will
excerpt: "Freda: Fat, what do you do for me? Fat: I protect
you. Freda: From what? Fat: I protect you from being sexually
harassed by projecting an image that says, 'I'm big and you'd
better not mess with me.' Freda: But I'm not afraid of being
harassed. Fat: Sure you are. Think about it. Freda: (Thinks
about it.) You're right. I hate and dread the comments, leers and
touching or grabbing that men do. I've always known that I can't
stand it, but I never realized the extent to which it intimidates
me. Thanks for helping me. Fat: No problem."
I was stunned by the power and majesty of that
conversation. After I wiped the tears from my eyes, I decided I'd
have a conversation with my fat, although I followed PR's Rule #
600: When carrying on a conversation with one's self, one chair is
sufficient. When I first tried to talk to my fat, I instead
inadvertently channeled Eleanor Roosevelt, but after a few tries I
had it down.
PR: Fat, how come whenever I get rid of you, you come
Fat: I'm a part of you. You miss me. Think about it.
PR: (Thinks about it.) Sorry. I still prefer my physique
when you're gone.
Fat: But if you were truly happy eating Product 19 and
drinking SlimFast shakes, I couldn't come back.
PR: You're right. They don't satisfy me the way a
Raspberry Zinger does.
Fat: Speaking of Zingers, when you had one for dessert
tonight, you should've polished off the whole package.
PR: I thought I heard a voice telling me to do that.
Fat: I talk to you all the time. I'm the guy who gives
you a craving for Velveeta even though you know that gnawing on
rusted tire rims will give you more nutrition.
PR: And I suppose you're the one that encourages me to
have another beer.
Fat: No, those are the endorphins in your brain, but I
benefit from that consumption.
PR: (Taps beer belly.) Don't I know it. But beyond the
pleasure I get from eating, what other reasons are there to keep
Fat: For starters, if you don't lose weight, you won't
have to buy new clothes.
PR: True. I have invested a small fortune in the
Fat: Exactly. And in men, a bit of a paunch can be a
signal to others that you're a success.
PR: I don't follow.
Fat: It's simple. As men become more successful, they
have less time to work out at the gym, to play racquetball, to go
for a jog. In fact, as a man approaches middle age, if his tie
doesn't ride the curvature of a protruding belly, people figure he
must not be very important.
PR: (Mouth agape.) Wow.
Fat: This doesn't work for women, though. People see a
woman's widened posterior and assume she's been sitting around on
her butt watching 'Days of Our Lives' and eating Bon Bons.
PR: Gee. I guess I'm lucky to be a guy.
Fat: Absolutely. So keep eating the way you're eating and
we'll all be happy. Oh, but cut back on the garlic.
PR: Why, is it bad for my health?
Fat: How would I know? Your mouth wants you to cut back.
It told me every time you eat Italian there's a calamitous decline
in kisses from your wife.
The conversation was enlightening, but also a bit
disturbing. Could my fat be exercising (no pun intended) control
over my eating habits? Could I be unwittingly serving it as an
unindicted co-conspirator? I dismissed such trivial concerns and
set out to snack on those remaining Zingers.
"Lotsa laughs... Certifiably Inane lived up to its billing."
Wash. Post 6/27/96 review of this free weekly humor column
Certifiably Inane (C) Patrick Ross 1997
© 1997 Peter Langston