FatLand: The Early Days – 6

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.”

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