Fill ‘er Up
by Harris Tobias
They’re after me. I haven’t much time to write but I’d like to get my story down before I’m caught, strapped to a table, and forced to surrender my precious fat. Ever since passage of the Liposuction Act of 2012, it’s no longer safe to be a fat man in America. If you’re even 20 lbs overweight you must pay the fat tax. This is not a tax you pay with money, rather it’s forcible liposuction. Our fat is sucked from our bodies then turned into a bio fuel and sold back to us at the pump. Our government has marketed this unjust law to the people as a virtuous act. As if trampling on the rights of fat people was the right thing to do. I have to admit, it is a win win situation for the state, it solves two of their big problems—obesity and our dependence on fossil fuels.
No one ever asked us fatties how we feel about it. Well I’ll tell you how I feel about it: it’s a violation of my civil rights not to mention a damn inconvenience. If you’re fat in America these days, you can be marched against your will to a suction station and your weight reduced by ten percent. For a guy my size, that’s thirty pounds. Sure, maybe I look better to you skinnies, but who gives a damn what you think? For months after, nothing fits right. Let’s face it; it’s a pain in the butt, literally.
Well they’re not getting any more of my fat. Not this time, not if I can help it. They caught me twice before. They got their pound of flesh and I don’t intend for them to get anymore. The suction reduced my waist size by several inches and a lot of skinny people remarked that I was ”looking good”. Their idea of looking good looks like anorexia to me. What they don’t seem to realize is that I like the way I look. It takes me months to put the weight back on and feel myself again.
You want to look undernourished, that’s your choice. Me, I like the well upholstered look, big. round, meaty. Another thing no one talks about is that liposuction hurts, and that sound… it sounds like fifty teenagers sucking up the last of their milk shakes from the bottoms of their cups.
I’ve heard all the arguments about lipo-fuels being the patriotic thing to do; about it being for the common good, in the nation’s best interest and, as they’re only too happy to point out, in my best interest too. Well, the national interest be damned! What about a man’s right to look the way he wants to look? It’s my blubber and I intend to keep it. I’m not a national resource. I’m a thinking, feeling human being for God’s sake not some stinking oil well.
After the fat riots in 2013, things simmered down some. The National Fat People’s Alliance (NAFPA) succeeded in winning a few protections. The much heralded Fat Person’s Bill of Rights guarantees that fat folks cannot be subjected to more than two lipos a year and that no more than ten percent of body weight can be extracted. Even with these restrictions, 25% of the nation’s fuel comes from its fat citizens. I’m secretly proud of that fact despite my public statements to the contrary.
Our lipo-fuels program has become a model for other countries. I recently read that Brazilians have changed their national diet from rice and beans to Doritos and cookies. It’s estimated that America has the largest fat reserves on the planet and it’s a renewable resource. Most of the world envies us. Those skinny Arabs are eating their hearts out. They simply don’t have the long cultural tradition of unhealthy eating and sedentary living that we do, not to mention the poor snack infra-structure in much of the undeveloped world.
My girlfriend Shirley and I are on our way to seek asylum in Mexico. We’ll miss the easy availability of high fat, high salt snacks and thousand calorie bacon burgers, but we value our freedom more. There are plenty of fat Mexicans who are free to live their lives as they see fit and not forced to surrender their precious blubber to some misguided notion of public health and fuel economy.
It’s a long drive. We’re taking back roads to avoid roadblock weigh-ins. They’re another humiliation we fatties are forced to endure. They make us get out of our cars and get on a scale. If your weight doesn’t match their chart, you get a summons to report to a lipo center. If you don’t show up, they come and get you. It’s worse than a speeding ticket—it not only slows you down, it ruins your appetite for the entire day.
The trouble with taking back roads, though, is the limited eating choices they offer. But we are managing. We picnic often and eat at small restaurants only. The bigger places, especially the all-you-can-eat places are always watched by the fat-baggers, that’s what we call the lipo-cops. You can always tell a fat-bagger, they’re invariably thin with a wolfish look, like food was a personal affront rather than the pleasure it is.
My name, by the way, is Oliver Hardy, the same as the silent film star. Unfortunately, that’s where the resemblance ends as I weigh 308 pounds and stand five feet five inches tall. Shirley is built the same. We’re both fat but it’s not our fault. I have a gland condition and Shirley was abused as a child. I love Shirley. I love her roundness, her acres of flesh and her unending plumpness. And I’m sure that she loves me. She calls me her ‘rolly polly’ and I call her ‘quivers’. All we want is to be left alone, preferably with a double cheeseburger and a large fries. It used to be that a man could be as fat as he wanted but those days, it seems, are gone for good. A man’s fat is his castle and no government should be able to take it from him. Revolutions have been fought for less reason.
Shirley has been driving while I write. She has one hand on the wheel and the other deep in a bag of potato chips. She points a greasy hand at the road ahead and sprays the windshield with soggy crumbs. Her arms are the size of Virginia Hams, I can see flecks of salt on her lips. It makes me hungry just to look at her.
Shirley sees a Dairy Queen up ahead and wants to make a pit stop and maybe get a bite to eat. I think that’s a good idea and she pulls into the parking lot. I decide to wait in the car and write. The car alongside of us is filled with skinny teenagers. I hear them hoot and jeer as Shirley makes her way toward the counter. “Hey, fatty, how about a fill up,” one of them yells. Rude and nasty skinnies. Don’t they realize that their hurtful remarks only add to Shirley’s insecurity? If they mock us in Mexico, at least we won’t be able to understand them.
Shirley returns with a double cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake for each of us. It feels good to eat. It’s stressful being on the lam. I pull in to a filling station and get out to fill the tank with bio-fuel. I chew my burger and sip my shake while the gas pump ticks off the gallons. I wonder if I’ll like Mexico. I wonder if Shirley is going to finish her fries. I wonder what will happen at the border. It may cost me thirty pounds of lovely fat to be free. I snitch a couple of fries from Shirley’s pack. She slaps my hand away and pulls out into traffic.