Archive for August, 2006

FatLand: The Early Days – 7

August 29, 2006

Late in December, after a strong and windy snowstorm, a man in a wheelchair entered through one of the checkpoints. Since no scales were allowed in FatLand, they did not weigh him, but he said that he had weighed 700 pounds on the Other Side.

The Acting Board, as Charla, Angela, Ronnie, Brenton, Darren, and Evan designated themselves, convened a meeting with the man in the wheelchair.

“First of all,” Charla said, “we’d like to welcome you to FatLand.”

“Thanks,” the man said.

“What we’d like to know now is what kind of help, if any, you would like from us.  I assume you know that we don’t do weight loss surgery of any kind here.”

“That’s fine with me,” the man said, “because even if you did, I wouldn’t want it.”

“What kind of assistance would you like from us?” Brenton asked.

“I’d like some kind of companion to assist me with cooking and household tasks,” the man said. “I get around pretty well in this thing.”

“Will you require special bedding or bathroom space?” Angela asked.

“I saw your bedding and bathrooms,” the man answered. “They look like they’ll do just fine.”

He saw the anxious looks on their faces. “You look like you bought into that tripe about supersize people needing a lot of help,” he said, grinning. “Not this one.  I don’t do any exercises in particular, but I like to race my chair sometimes. Want to see?”

“Sure,” Ronnie said.

He shifted the gear on the top of the right hand side, backed up, and zoomed around the six Acting Board Members. “Hey, stop!” Angela yelled. “You’re getting us all dizzy!”

“We believe you, man,” Brenton said. “Now be so good as to introduce yourself.”

“Bill here,” he said. “William Sender.” William stopped the wheel chair and spun over to the chairs occupied by the Board.

“Man,” Darren said, “you can really run that thing.”

“Comes with practice,” William said. “Actually I do get a check-up every year, and on the Other Side, they gaped every time when my cholesterol and BP came back in their so-called normal categories.”

“That’s fine with us,” Charla said. “We already have four docs, and growing.”

“I hate doctors,” William said. “But maybe here they’ll be different.”

“You better believe they’ll be different,” Darren said.

Poem: To My Grandma Helen, by Frannie Zellman

August 29, 2006

Poem: I Sing The Fat Self, by Frannie Zellman

August 29, 2006

Victory (2)??

August 29, 2006

When I went downstairs on the PATH escalator and through the turnstile today on the way to the train, four workers were standing at different points watching from the second floor, the floor above the concourse, and two floors above the ticket and turnstile section, but they were not  standing together. This had never happened before!Thus none of them could converse or make nasty comments!!! And I thought – can it be? Is it possible? Did my letter actually generate this wonderfully peaceful state of affairs? And if so, will it last?

A Victory??

August 28, 2006

Well, it was like this..

I never heard from the Inspector General to whom the letter concerning harassment by PATH workers was directed. Not knowing what to expect, I took another route to work for about two and a half weeks. Then I took PATH again.

Now I don’t know if the high wooden partitions/blinds on top of the stairs had been erected because of my complaint or for some other reason. But there they were! There was no way in heaven or hell that anyone near the stairs now would be able to see anyone walking or taking the escalator down, or buying a ticket! (And thus no one would be able to call anyone names or commit acts of harassment.)

Let’s see if those wooden partitions remain…

FatLand: The Early Days – 6

August 26, 2006

Brenton stepped up to the podium and blew into the microphone. “Testing, testing,” he said. “Strange how they never came up with a contemporary version of this thing.”

A couple of people laughed.

“Okay, I think we’re going to start,” Brenton announced. “Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to FatLand.”

“Good afternoon,” the majority of the 500 people in the hall responded.

“Nice to see you all here,” Brenton said, smiling into the mic. “You are about to start life in a place that actually lets you enjoy it.”

“Yay!” There was prolonged clapping.

“That’s the good side,” Brenton said. “The bad side is that it is winter and we have only completed 250 houses. The rest are pre-fab.”

“Do they have heating?” a woman asked.

“Sure do.”

“Then how is it so bad?” she said.  “I mean, no public weigh-ins, no calorie counting, no forced exercising, no Big Brother breathing down our necks and threatening us.”

The audience cheered. Brenton cheered with them. “Hey,” he said, “I don’t think you even need any orientation.”

Many of them laughed. The woman laughed too and said, “Oh, come on, give it. We were looking forward to it.”

“Oh, why not,” Brenton said, grinning. “First of all, would you all please repeat the following after me – “As a FatLander, I promise to uphold the following principles.”

“As a FatLander, I promise to uphold the following principles,” the crowd chanted. The woman said, “And what are those principles?”

“The first principle,” Brenton said, “is never to insult or remark on anyone’s size. So it goes like this -repeat after me- “I promise never to insult anyone or make remarks to anyone that mention size.”

The hall rang with the loud repetition.

“The second principle,” Brenton said, “is that you promise never to use a scale or bring one into FatLand.”

“Not even for weighing fish?” the woman said.

“A human-sized scale,” Brenton said, raising his eyes to the ceiling. “Are you always this difficult?”

“Oh yes,” she said.

“Madame, I congratulate you,” Brenton said. “FatLand needs more like you. Welcome.”

FatLand: The Early Days – 5

August 22, 2006

6 months later

“We’re going to get more than 400,” Darren said.

The heat was on full blast; they had just trayed down a hill. Evan, who had gone slightly off his tray, was rubbing his bottom.

“Wow, we’re getting so popular,” Angela said, removing her down jacket.

“The Gluttony Laws are getting popular,” Brenton said. “Or unpopular.”

“I can’t believe that they actually passed them,” Ronnie said, leaning over Evan. “Does it still hurt?” she asked him.

“Not much.”

Charla said, “The worst are the public weigh-ins. That’s so bizarre. I mean, besides violating rights of all kinds.”

“No, the worst is the rationing,” Brenton said. “Like we’re at war.”

“The worst is trying to adhere to some 1500 calorie diet,” Angela said. “A few pieces of apple pie with whipped cream, and- ”

“It’s been proven and proven that dieting just makes you heavier as you diet, then regain, then diet again, then regain,” Charla said. “What are they going to do, keep starving people?”

They all looked at each other. “I think we’re going to get thousands,” Darren said.  “There are some scary rumors about Gluttony Security prisons.”

“Oh God,” Evan said. “Sounds like the places my grandparents escaped. When they were really young. With their parents.”

“We’ve got to figure out how to house them,” Brenton said. “At least temporarily. And on a much bigger scale.”

FatLand: The Early Days – 4

August 20, 2006

As they walked toward the dining hall, they saw a game of jiggle going on.   

Charla said, “I’ll see you guys in a few,” tossed off her shorts and halter top, and ran onto the volleyball court.

“I’m in,” Evan said, jumping out of his shorts and t-shirt.

“Maybe later,” Brenton said. “Right now I have pie on the brain.” But they stood and watched as Charla slammed a wicked spike onto the other side.

“Yay Charla,” Angela said.

Darren said, “I wonder if there’ll be games of jiggle when we have the territory.”

“In the summer,” Ronnie said. “And here, at least.”

“Sometimes I wish life could be an endless game of jiggle,”Angela said. “With apple pie on the breaks.”

“That’s sort of what we’re getting the territory for,” Brenton said. “Isn’t it?”  

FatLand: The Early Days – 3

August 19, 2006

“It’s still like camp,” Charla said. “Just a big camp.”

“That’s because the funds we have are most easily channeled into expansion of existing land,” Brenton said.

They stood on a hill overlooking the valley from which sounds of construction echoed.  “Darren worked out the ergonomics,” Angela said.  She pointed to the basket in which she had been picking apples. “Pie later,” she said.

“We tested the bungalows,”  Ronnie said, wandering up. “And the furniture. Don’t want people going through the floor or the chairs.”

“I love rugged pine,” Charla said. “And the cushions made locally by the tribes.”

“I want them to join us,” Brenton said. “If they’re willing. They’ve experienced enough discrimination in their own lives.”

“Twenty of them joined so far,” Darren said, consulting a printout. “Four hundred people signed up for the bungalows. You’ll have your work cut out for you cooking for them, Angela,” he teased.

“You’ll help me,” she said.

“Hahah.” But he sniffed the apples and inhaled. “You’re talking me into it.”

“I want cheese with it,” Evan said.

“I want whipped cream,” Ronnie said.

“I want it heated,” Charla said.

“We can do all of it,” Angela said. “Come along to the Dining Hall.”

FatLand – The Early Days: 2

August 16, 2006

FatLand Charter

The State of Colorado hereby grants a total of 400,000 acres to the group incorporated as FatLand Charter Group, to referred to forthwith as FatLand, standing for Fat Acceptance Territory Lease Arrangement No Date.

According to the agreement set down here, FatLand shall be developed in accordance with Colorado environmental and ecological laws.

FatLand Statement of Purpose

When a country fails to develop laws that protect more than half of its citizenship from systematic and systemic discrimination and harassment, they are justified in seeking and creating a territory in which they shall be protected from such treatment.  Accordingly we the FatLand Charter Group, to be known forthwith as FatLand, promise to provide a territory in which citizens of any size will not experience discrimination and harassment because of their size.

It shall be a crime punishable by periodic and/or permanent exile from FatLand to discriminate against or harass anyone on the basis of size.

There shall be no scales for the weighing of human beings used in any public or private facility including but not limited to police stations, hospitals, clinics, and gymnasiums.

Anyone who persists in mentioning weight or the weight of individuals shall be summoned to a FatLand court to justify this behavior.

There shall be no mandatory exercise for anyone in FatLand. Doctors, clinicians, nurses, and anyone else identified as a member of the health professions shall not prescribe such exercise. Failure to comply with this law shall result in an appearance in a FatLand Court, with exile from FatLand as the stipulated punishment for a second offense.

We however wish to establish a territory in which all people, regardless of size, are welcomed as long as they adhere to the previous stipulations.  We wish to encourage and honor the contributions of anyone of any size who aids in creating and building our territory and in making it a refuge and home for those who have been discriminated against on the basis of their size or have been harassed on the basis of their size.

We hereby sign and validate this charter accordingly. Let the territory of FatLand be created.