Thursday, January 7, 2010

How I Became Fatnip and My Review of "Youth in Revolt"

What you catch with fatnip

A few weeks ago I blogged about the Santa Fe Film Festival and mentioned that I was going to see "Youth in Revolt" starring Michael Cera. You can read the original post here. The cast also includes Jean Smart, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, and Ray Liotta.

"Youth in Revolt" is scheduled to be released nationwide tomorrow,so, as promised, (and to maintain my reputation as the greatest theater critic in all of Santa Fe), here is my review:

First of all, "Youth in Revolt" has a pretty remarkable cast so I had really high expectations for the film. I went with Neezy who is a huge movie fan. I ran into Neezy a few days ago at a dinner party and he told me that he really enjoyed the film—but Neezy likes just about every movie as long as he sees it in a theater.

The movie is kind of funny. There are a few good chuckles here and there—no big laughs for me. Honestly, I was a little disappointed (although Neezy was laughing his ass off).

There was one joke that was repeated several times that actually bothered me.

When Nick (Michael Cera's character) gets into so much trouble that the police start to look for him they begin broadcasting his description on radio and television. Part of that description is the fact that he has brown hair and is 5 feet 9 inches tall and 135 pounds. This description is repeated several times during the film and each time it received a big laugh from the audience. Even Neezy was laughing—I just wasn't getting it.

Then it dawned on me. They were all laughing at his size. They were laughing because he is 5'9" and 135 pounds!
Now, a little funny facty about the Teezy. I am 5 feet 8 inches tall and weigh 130 pounds. I have been 5'8" and 130 since I was a teenager—granted that was like 100 years ago so, over time, I have become comfortable with my size.
When I was young I really wasn't into sports, but I was on the gymnastics team and, during the summer, I was in the pool every day. I may have been 5'8" and 130 pounds, but I was very fit and healthy—it wasn't like you could see my bones or I looked malnourished.

That didn't matter, I was still teased and tormented about my size. At a very early age I was called "bunny" (because of the fact that my father's nickname for me was "bunny"—I will blog about that childhood trauma later), but the kids who called me "bunny" were doing it out of malice, not affection like my dad. The name calling eventually turned a term of endearment between me and my dad into something I hated (although my father continued to call me "bunny" and still does to this day). The name calling progressed all through school to the point that I began to think that my name really was either "bunny", or the ever popular with the jocks "twinkie".

I don't know if you can even imagine being a teenage boy riding your skateboard around the school campus or just walking down the hall and having the other kids and especially the jocks greet you with "Hey bunny" or "What's up twinkie". Pretty awful.

I tried everything to gain weight including those vile protein weight gain powders to no avail. It wasn't until I was in college that I realized that there are whole groups of people who find us small guys attractive. Granted they are usually large, aggressive and dominant women and large, aggressive and dominant gay men, but hey, my philosophy has always been "take what you can get". Besides, the rope burns and scratch marks usually fade after a day or two and the nuns in prep school did a really good job of teaching me to shut up and do as I am told. (Thanks Sister Margaret for the sex tips!)

Now that I am older I am completely happy with who I am and what I look like and I am still 5'8" and 130 pounds. The only thing that bothers me now is that with the numbers of obese rising in the world and obesity becoming the primary health concern in the United States, there seems to have been a paradigm shift that makes little guys like me the enemy and a target for the fatties.

During the summer I take my lunch break on the Plaza here in Santa Fe and several times every month some fat-assed tourist will waddle up to me, Haagen Dazs dripping in one hand and a huge greasy fajita from a street vendor in the other, and say "You're so skinny." Like a random everyday comment.

Mind you these are strangers—I am usually just sitting on the Plaza reading a book—I haven't even made eye contact with them. I feel like responding with "That's funny, I was just thinking about how FAT you are, but I thought that it would be RUDE to say anything."
You know if I called some troll fat I would be considered mean if not cruel, but if some chub can manage to jiggle it's way in front of me they seem to have every right to comment about my personal appearance and I am supposed to be OK with it.

It actually got worse a few days ago.

I was sitting alone at the bar of a local semi-upscale restaurant having a beer. I had decided to get my beer on in the early afternoon (don't judge me) so there were very few people in the restaurant and only one other person sitting at the opposite end of the bar from me. Some rather large, but proportionate guy walks in, looks around, hangs up his jacket and sits down on the bar stool right next to me. I don't mind that he sat next to me, interacting with people is one of the nice things about sitting at the bar, especially if you're alone. What irritated me was the mostly one-sided conversation that followed.

He began with the typical pleasantries of "Hey, how are you?...My name is..." but then he started asking me things like "What gym do you go to? you know of any good trainers?...did I know that the average beer has 150 calories?...etc..." He still wasn't bothering me, I just though that his choice of topics was a little odd for a conversation with a stranger who was drinking in the middle of the afternoon.

I responded that I didn't belong to a gym, that I knew one person who taught yoga, but didn't consider him a personal trainer and that I wasn't counting calories but, if I were, I would certainly find something to cut from my diet other than beer.

He then started to drone on and on about how he is constantly struggling with his weight (mind you he's a big guy but doesn't look overweight to me), goes to the gym at least four days a week (probably why he doesn't look fat), has hired a personal trainer, blah, blah, blah.

OK, so I am still not irritated. Yes, my eyes were glazing over and I was starting to stare blankly into space away from him but, you know, whatevas, it's just some dude at a bar trying to make conversation in the middle of the afternoon.

He proceeded to tell me about his therapist (yes, like "I'm a psycho"), and how he thinks that his "issues" contribute to his weight and body image. Again, he really doesn't look fat, he is just a large person—so I'm thinking that he is just mental.

Believe it or not, I am still not freaked out by this guy. I think that it is perfectly fine to seek psychiatric care if you happen to be whack. I do find discussing your mental illness with a stranger at a bar in Santa Fe a little bizarre.

He must have noticed that I wasn't responding and had started to stare blankly at the back wall of the bar because, for a brief moment, he stopped talking.

What this guy did next still creeps me out.

He reached over and put his hand on the lower part of my stomach right over the button on my pants. He then started to move his hand back and forth up my torso briefly pausing here and there until he was up to the top of my chest.

This definitely jolted me out of my mellow afternoon beer buzz. I was shocked at first. For a split second I just looked at him—what was happening had to sink in.

He proceeded to move his hand back down to my stomach and, not looking at me but at his hand, he said "So, how much do you weigh?"

I'm sorry, but is that ever an appropriate question? Could you imagine what would happen if I said to some fat person "So, how much do you weigh?"

I was in total WTF land.
My response was simply "Um, dude, stop touching me."

He then looked up at my face, moved his hand and started rubbing my shoulder at the base of my neck like we were buddies and said "Oh, sorry man." "So, how much do you weigh?"

Of course by that time the reality of the moment had sunk in and, since he had just told me that he is all mental about his weight, I decided to be a jackass and lie and tell him that I had no idea how much I weighed, that weight simply had never been an issue with me and that I thought it was great that he was finally seeking professional help for his problem before it got even more out of hand.

I continued by bringing up and feigning concern about the health risks associated with severe obesity. I also suggested that he should start watching "The Biggest Loser" for inspiration.

I ended the conversation by telling him to stay determined and patient because loosing such a significant amount of excess weight would probably take quite some time. You know, just a little something for him to discuss with his therapist at his next session.

I paid my tab and got the hell out of there.

Fucking self-imagined fat-ass.

I don't know why all the plumpers are honing in on me like I am fatnip. But, obviously, I am getting tired of it.

Honestly, I don't care if someone is overweight—It is their life and their prerogative. There have even been several overweight people that I have found to be quite attractive. The ones that piss me off are those who seem to focus on my appearance, have no qualms about commenting about it, and treat thin people like we are some sort of abnormal freaks.

What those overweight individuals fail to realize is that there is a direct correlation between the amount of food they shovel into their mouths and the size of their asses, and the only real way to loose weight is to put the fork down and step away from the buffet.

There I said it.

So what gives? It's OK for the jocks to call a little guy like me "bunny" or "twinkie"? It's OK for a complete chubalito stranger to comment on how skinny I am? It's Ok for some self-imagined pudge-ball afternoon drunk to grope me at a bar in order to determine how much I weigh?

But, if I go around calling people fat or chunky or blubbery, people will think that I am an ass.

Such a double standard, but, unfortunately, in our trans-fat super-sized frappalatte society, I have become the minority.

Now nobody calls me "twinkie" anymore (at least not to my face). Just about all the jocks I went to high school with are fat and/or balding and are living in the glory days of their past.
Some old friends from prep and college still call me "bunny" although, like my dad, they say it out of familiarity and friendship, maybe even love.

I don't really exercise anymore—I walk a lot since I work downtown, and the occasional hike in the mountains. But you know what, I don't have to. I am a proud 5'8", 130 pound bundle of happy little guy.

Now if I can just get the chubs to stop poking me with sticks.

So, in conclusion, "Youth in Revolt" is kind of funny. Although I do find it disturbing that the description of a thin person is the punch line of a joke. I had a great time hanging with Neezy. And, to Michael Cera and all my thin brothas: Red New York has built an empire on male models who start at 5' 9" and 135 pounds and just get taller and thinner from there—let the fatties revolt!

She Smells Fatnip!

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  1. Anonymous7.1.10

    its me in santa fe

    i think ive figured out who ur

    if ur really 5 8 & 130 then your avatar photo really gave it away!!

  2. Hello again Anonymous (or should I call you Sherlock?)

    There are a couple of flaws with your theory:

    First the avatar pic isn't the best photo. If you notice, the head appears abnormally large for the body and in reality, my head is proportionate, if not a little small.

    Second, perhaps due to the perspective, the arms and legs appear strangely short in the photograph when my arms and legs are normal size.

    Third, and probably most important, is the fact that the avatar pic is of a dog. And, to be perfectly honest, it is not even my dog.

    Granted, I am probably not the most handsome man in the world, but I do not resemble a Jack Russell Terrier, nor have I ever been mistaken for one.

    I am glad that you seem to be enjoying the blog and I do like to get comments—so why care who I really am.

  3. Anonymous8.1.10

    my name is jacob

    its the glasses on the dog. ive seen you around town and you have glasses just like the ones the dog is wearing.

    am i right?

    do you know brent corrigan is 5' 7 and 132lbs?

  4. Hey Jacob

    As I said, the dog isn't mine but I was told that he suffers from a severe astigmatism, hence the glasses. I also think that it is inappropriate for either of us to publicly discuss his disability. : )

    Sorry, I don't think that I know Brent, although I meet a lot of people and am really bad with names.

  5. Anonymous11.1.10


    I had no idea that you were being made fun of because we call you bunny. I never meant for that to happen.

    I chose the nicknames for you two boys based on your personalities more than your appearance. Yes, as a child you were little and cute, you were just born that way. I decided to call you bunny because your mother and I would watch as you seemed to hop through your life, wide-eyed and bushy tailed like your world was one big green lawn filled with candy eggs and daisies. You approached everything as if it were shiny and new. The reason that I picked the name bunny was not solely based on what you looked like but because of your sense of wonder, curiosity and excitement, your quiet demeanor and your effortless charm.

    Even now that you are a grown man, whenever your mother or I look at you we still see our bunny, I am just sorry that you grew up hating it.




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