Thursday, November 08, 2007


Every time I turn on the TV, it is inevitable that within 10 minutes some commercial telling me how to lose weight will appear on the screen. Usually there is some toothpick size actress endorsing the ad sending the message to 14-year-old girls everywhere to start throwing up their salads so they can look like a concentration camp survivor.

Today at my latest job, it was made clear to me just how much they are targeting the wrong group of people. As a nation, we've faced cholera, influenza, and yellow fever. 25 years ago we faced the AIDS epidemic. I will have to tell me children some day how awful it was when I survived the fat epidemic. I looked around the restaurant, and asked one of the hostesses if she noticed anything abnormal about the clientele.

"Sure, you mean the morbidly obese men insisting on me trying to fit them into a booth?" At the time, the restaurant had about 20 guests seated. About 9-10 of them belonged to the over 300 club. Most of them were men in oversize flannel shirts from Wal-mart, but a few were women in floral Mu mus. There was one man I was worried we might have to lube up with a stick of butter to get him out, seeing how several of his rolls spilled out onto the table, and almost onto his plate.

"Yeah, the guy table 30 has to be careful he doesn't mistaken his stomach for his steak, seeing how their both on the plate."

Let me be clear here. I'm not trying to give someone who might be a little overweight a complex. I think having a few curves, or an actual ass you can see is perfectly healthy. But these people are literally eating their way to an early death.

My section was not a booth section, and when all of our popular cushion-assed destinations were taken, I finally began to get seated at my tables. My first table was a couple in their early 50s. The woman looked a little chubby, but she was a healthy weight for a soon-to- be grandmother. Her husband was a different story. He ordered our lasagna, which happens to be somewhere in the net range of 3,000 to 3,500 calories depending on how much cheese they get grated on top. It's insanely big, and I had never seen anyone finish this dish on their own. You can see where I'm going with this.

About 10 minutes after they had sat down, they were enjoying their first loaf of bread, when the man had to use the restroom. He snatched up the entire loaf with his bare hands, and gnawed on it while wandering around the restaurant looking for the bathroom. The hostess finally pointed him in the right direction, and he mumbled a "Thank you," with a mouth full of bread and proceeded to the loaf in with him to the urinals. We just stared in awe. Did that really just happen. When he came back, I couldn't resist.

"Would you like another loaf of bread Sir?" I said, attempting to keep a straight face.

"Oh, absolutely."When the meal came, I warned him that his plate of llasagna was ridiculously hot since the entire plate is put in our pizza oven. I emphasized that touching it would cause excruciating pain. The edge of the plate hung over the table a bit, and the man scooted forward to get a better angle of attack. Naturally, his stomach flab made contact with the plate and I'm quite sure that he will have a permanent lasagna plate scar under his flannel shirt. He paused in agony for a moment, and then asked for more cheese, fork in hand.

His wife, in the meantime had chosen an average pasta dish, with some form of vegetables on the side. I boxed her food up as I watched her husband lick his plate clean. Up until this point she had just sat patiently waiting for her husband to finish, sipping on her coffee. Until then she seemed quite innocent.

"Hunny, did you want to order the smothered chocolate cake?" She asked him. Clearly she was fully supportive of his unstoppable desire to have a heart attack within a year or two.

I realized then, that by allowing things like this, we are all in some way responsible for the fat ass booth nation. But people can make their own decisions right?

I've got to get going now. I'm craving a double cheeseburger. Preferably one with extra cheese.


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