If on a Winter’s Fat…

In-N- Out Burger , Double DoubleAbout ten years ago, I made a deal with my body.

Every winter I am allowed to plunge into the depths of the fat ass lazy bastard. I drink too much beer, eat frozen pizzas, stow peanut butter sandwiches in my desk. I am allowed, nay encouraged, to lay on the couch eating potato chips dipped in cream cheese and watch reruns of shows that haven’t been on real television since my weight started with a one. I can eat chocolate ice cream sprinkled with crushed Oreo cookies, and fry eggs and bacon in last night’s grease.

I scoff at the suggestion of fruit, walk as little as possible and actually say, “cholesterol, shmolesterol!”

The payoff is that for the rest of the year, I have to act like a responsible adult and be healthy. So when that sun comes out of its hiding spot and spring springs, I have to change my tune. I have to jog, walk, eat carrots and elect chicken over, say, cheese filled sausages wrapped in bacon. I have to say no to the cheeseburger, eat gravel/muesli for breakfast and walk a mile every morning.

In total, I have to cut down on the basketball shaped parts of my midsection.

In theory, this is perfect. But there is a level of withdrawal that shouldn’t occur with anything other than heroin.

Now, as I run down the Vltava, I am surely paying for my crimes. I am sweating straight bacon grease and puffing away plumes of stale air; I feel cold. I have just implored a police officer to shoot me in the knee (ain’t my fault if I get shot!). Objects in my path are turning into food. A telephone pole is a giant hotdog, a mailbox is a Reuben and a homeless man is a roasting pig. My body serenades me with its spring time aria: Song to the Chunk.

Still, suffer though I am, today I have the benefit of some perspective.

Yesterday, I watched an episode of a television show with my students. The class theme was on excess, the show Extreme Pig Outs. In this episode, they featured an ER-themed restaurant which served hamburgers named after heart operations (single bypass, double bypass, etc) and an all you can eat French fry bar. The waitresses were dressed as nurses and a ‘doctor’ checked your vitals—aka: wallet—before they waddled over to a giant seat and stuffed themselves in.

The patrons were both uniformly obese and wearing the uniform of the obese: sneakers, gym shorts with elastic waistbands, sleeveless T-shirts decorated with the logo of a professional sporting club, and baseball caps with the name and insignia of another themed hamburger joint. As most of them were dressed to partake in a game of pick-up football, it occurred to me that the clothing style of the obese is beautifully ironic.

As the living pears stuff burgers into their throats, I looked around at the students and the looks of abject disgust on their faces. I was ashamed to admit that my mouth was watering.

When it finished and we discussed the show, one of the students raised her hand. “Don’t they ever walk?” She may have asked this because one of the patrons was rewarded a wheel chair ride to his car after his successful completion of a ‘quadruple bypass burger.’

“Actually, no.”

Another student. “How are they alive?”

“Muscle memory.”



“Does everyone eat like this in the U.S.?”


“Many people?”

I betrayed my answer with a sheepish look. “Welcome to America,” I said. “What are you all having for dinner tonight?” I asked.

Everyone was having a salad, including myself. For it is time to pay the yearly health piper.

And now as I run toward a bridge that in my Delirium tremens resembles a double stacked burger covered in barbecue sauce, I realize an awful truth: I like the healthy life. Still, a part of me wonders if I can get a daily handful of waffle fries to act as gastronomical methadone.

Another part of me can’t wait till next winter.

  1. #1 by Emma on March 7, 2013 - 1:39 pm

    Tip: coat cheese filled sausages in a thin layer of honey before wrapping bacon around them and cooking. It will caramelise to deliciousness. That’s for next winter, obviously.

  2. #2 by greg galeone on March 7, 2013 - 4:33 pm

    if the vltava looks like a milkshake-don’t drink it.

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