Wendy Rawlings

America s Fat Men and Skinny Women

Little Milagros Rodriguez has blood in her undies. Little Sarah Emily Winston has blood in her undies. Little Precious Lashonda Akolojo has blood in her undies. Except Precious Lashonda Akolojo isn’t so little. Neither is Sarah Emily Winston, and Milagros Rodriguez is not only not little, she’s the downright biggest person at Shady Day Elementary School.

Milagros has an inkling something might be leaking out her coochie and raises her hand to ask Miz Substitute Teacher Lady whose-name-she-can’t-remember if she can go to the bathroom. She fails to get the lady’s attention because Miz STL is otherwise engaged in confiscating weaponry from Little Antonio Buonfiglio and Little Benji Homajiji over by the rat feces and defunct fire extinguisher. Milagros thinks she’ll just dash down the hallway and see what’s leaking out of her coochie and wipe well and be back after Miz Substitute Teacher Lady is done securing the weaponry.

*

A tampon and a super maxi pad sit on a dock in Cancun. Wet-tee shirt contests, Cuervo shots, Rohypnol, etc.

“You know nothing about women.”

“I know a whole darn tootin’ lot about women. I’ve been places.”

“That’s a cheap shot.” The maxi pad has forty seven layers of padded comfort protection and can barely fit in a cosmetics travel bag, much less inside a vagina. “Plus also, you have blood on you.”

“Aren’t you the pot calling the kettle? You have a big blood stain front and center, pal.”

“Don’t even try it,” says the maxi pad. “Fluid soaks right through to the outer layers, leaving the front of me comfortable and dry. Whereas you have blood all over your head and face and even scraps of uterine gore stuck to you.”

*

A lesbian couple and two very large chickens sit in the crowded waiting room of an OB/GYN’s office. The lesbians strike up a conversation.

“What’s the name of the one they gave you?”

The chickens glance at each other and roll their eyes. “Like we know? They keep us totally in the dark.”

“We wouldn’t even have found out they were grinding up beaks and wattles and god knows what else and putting it in our feed if we hadn’t just by chance caught an exposé on CNN.”

The lesbians nod sympathetically. “You know, it’s the Tuskegee experiments all over again.”

“Ha!” clucks one of the chickens. “We’ve been so bio-engineered our legs can’t even hold our weight. Walter here had to design and custom-build these.” The chickens hold up ingenious little lightweight aluminum walkers with tiny wheels on the bottoms. One is painted metallic pink, the other metallic blue. “It took him months.”

“Actually, one month,” Walter says.

The lesbians, uncomfortable now that the specter of disability has reared its head, fall silent. Finally the female chicken that might be pregnant but might just be obese (don’t presume anything, the lesbians tell themselves), tosses aside the Ladies Home Journal she’s been leafing through.

“Are you two trying to have a child?”

*

Why does Little Sarah Emily Winston have blood in her undies?

“Because now you’re a woman, Sarah Emily!” Sarah Emily’s Mom gives her a giant SqueezieHug™.

“But I’m only nine years old!”

“Well, Sarah Emily, remember that four pound bucket of chicken fried chicken you ate last week? Or the seventeen HappyKid™ burgers when we went to Burger Ranch because you wanted to see if you could collect the whole set of action figures from the Mr. Tentacle movie in one night?”

“I sure do, Mom. Those were my favorite action figures for three whole days. That’s some kind of a record for me!”

“Well, Sarah Emily, for years the Federal Food and Drug Administration has allowed ranchers and farmers to pump growth hormones into cattle and chickens, and those growth hormones have been passed on to you, the consumer.”

“So that’s why I have pubic hair and breasts like cow udders already?”

“Yep!”

“Wow. And you’re telling me that now that I have blood in my undies I can make a baby inside me?”

“Sure! If that’s the life choice you want to make. Just don’t expect your Dad and me to put your kid through college. This probably isn’t the greatest time to tell you, but Dad and I have been trying to have a baby brother or sister for you through IVF. I’m pushing fifty, so there’s a one in five chance I’ll end up with a baby with Downs Syndrome. If that’s the case, a lot of our money will be siphoned off to care for our special needs child.”

Little Sarah Emily sits down with a sack of Eatos SuperScoops™ to think this over.

*

“I’ll thank you not to refer to it as ‘uterine gore,’” the tampon says. “A woman’s time is special, even sacred. Think of that giant SqueezieHug™ Sarah Emily Whatshername’s mother gave her when she got her period for the first time.”

“Where are you, the Dark Ages? No one thinks of menstrual cycles as sacred anymore. All they are is a nuisance. That’s where you and I come in.”

“Well okay, smart aleck, but if we’re so unimportant, what are we doing on a dock in Cancun?”

“All we are is promotional products in an on-location television special for wealthy and privileged college students.”

Suddenly a terrible thought occurs to the tampon and it starts frantically trying to splash itself with seawater.

“Hey, hey – relax, buddy. I was just kidding about the uterine gore.”

The tampon slumps, relieved. “And I was just kidding about the unsightly stain. You’re pristine as the underarms of the cherubim.”

“Aw, don’t make me blush.”

The two feminine hygiene products embrace.

From a beachfront bar a chorus erupts.

“Rug munchers!”

*

Both the lesbians start talking at once. Each of them wants to have the experience of giving birth to a child but they’ve decided Donna should try first. However, it turns out that when Donna’s mother was pregnant with her, she was given the drug DES, ostensibly to prevent miscarriage. “Of course, the irony of all this,” Donna says, “is now I’m having trouble conceiving. They say it has something to do with the shape of my cervix. It’s not normal-shaped; it’s like the shape of a coxcomb.”

Now it’s the chickens’ turn to nod sympathetically.

“I’ve heard of DES,” Walter says. “Diethylstilbestrol.”

“They still use it as a growth hormone for animals,” Beth says.

The chickens shake their heads. “You begin to lose faith in your government,” Walter says.

Donna and the female chicken get called by the nurse at the same time. Walter gives his wife/girlfriend a tender peck and whispers something to her as she uses her pink metallic walker to hoist herself out of her chair.

When their partners have disappeared behind the door, Walter hangs his head between his wings. Beth has never comforted a chicken before, but she figures his blues can’t be all that different from hers.

“Is she . . . pregnant? Forgive me for prying –“

“Oh, she’s pregnant all right,” Walter says. “The issue is, can her heart take it. That’s what they’re trying to figure out. You know, she really doesn’t eat much. It’s bad genetics.”

“Oh, I hear you,” Beth says. “I can eat pretty much whatever I want. But Donna, she just looks at a can of FrothUp and gains ten pounds.”

*

With the help of a Bowie knife Miz Substitute Teacher Lady never got around to confiscating, Little Antonio Buonfiglio persuades Little Sarah Emily Winston to lie down behind a wall upon which he has graffitied his name and hers inside a bubble heart. It’s okay, Sarah Emily figures, since she’s not bleeding out her coochie anymore and besides, she really didn’t want to get sliced with that Bowie knife, especially after seeing the Miz Substitute Teacher Lady’s lacerations. Besides, no matter what Little Antonio has in store for her, you can’t get pregnant the first time, is what Milagros and Precious say. Also, Antonio is the one boy she loves more than any other boy in the whole world, even if he has kind of a bad temper and once punched her in the face and another time called her a big mooing cow in front of everyone at the Food Court.

“You don’t have to keep waving around that Bowie knife,” she says. “I mean, I know it’s supposed to distract me from noticing how little your tiny little Eyetalian pecker is, but Antonio, I’m nine years old. Size doesn’t matter to me.”

“Well, size matters to me, you big fat mooing cow. Didn’t you hear on the news about how America hearts fat men and skinny women? Look at you! You have three tires around your middle, you’re worse than the fat Oprah!”

Little Sarah Emily’s udder-like breasts heave with sobs.

Just then Hymen, the anthropomorphic force that, in much of Shakespeare’s work, was invoked to encourage happy marriages, arrives on the scene.

“An intact hymen is a prerequisite to a good middle class marriage.”

Dr. E.S. McKee of the 1906 Cincinnati Academy of Medicine leans over Hymen’s shoulder. “However, unlike Kentucky whiskey, hymens do not improve with age.”

Sarah Emily, completely befuddled and also embarrassed to be discovered with her pants half off by a doctor and a giant talking piece of flesh, tries to crabwalk backwards to the graffiti wall. What are these guys talking about? What’s a hymen? What’s middle class marriage?”

*

That’s an attractive woman, Walter the Chicken thinks. Even though this is the femme-looking one and the other looks much more androgynous, it’s the other one who’s trying to get pregnant. He wouldn’t go near that other one with a ten-foot pole. Whereas this one naked in a pile of silage would be enticing.

“Would you like to go get a coffee?” he asks.

Usually Beth balks when men hold the door for her, but this after all is a chicken, and she wants to show her respect or appreciation or whatever she’s supposed to show toward his effort to hold the door open for her while managing his walker (not disabled, differently-abled).

Three fat girls are drinking CookySlushies at the front counter of the coffee shop.

“Could I have just one more CookySlushie?” the white girl asks the barista.

“If you have another three ninety nine.”

“Put it on my card. Them, too.”

The fat brown girl and the fat black girl give their fat white friend boisterous high fives.

“Look,” Walter says out of the side of his beak.

“Nothing worse than a fat kid,” Beth agrees under her breath.

“A fat girl,” the chicken points out. “It’s not so bad to be a boy. Look at John Belushi.”

“I don’t know if he’s the best example.”

“Look at John Candy. Or Chris Farley.”

“Those guys are all dead, too,” Beth points out.

“Yeah but, people still loved them. No one loves Rosie O’Donnell or Roseanne Barr. No one loves fat Oprah. It’s thin Oprah everyone loves.”

“I loved fat Oprah.”

“But you’re a lesbian,” the chicken says.

“What’s THAT supposed to mean?”

The chicken tries to stall by looking around while he wonders why this cute little lesbian is getting so bent out of shape.

“Well?”

“I just mean . . . nothing! I meant nothing. Just that — don’t all lesbians like the fat Oprah?”

All lesbians don’t anything,” Beth says, her face flushed.

The three fat girls laugh loudly.

Just then, Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro walk in together and order the exact same thing: skinny cinnamon soy latte and a garlic bagel with low fat chive and carrot cream cheese.

The chicken winks at Beth. “See?”

*

Sarah Emily vows to starve until she weighs less than either of the anorexic movie star twins she worships. As she currently weighs more than both twins combined, she has a great challenge ahead of her, which is why the best way to go about losing the weight is not to starve, but instead to get enough money to permit her to buy and ingest quantities of EZ-Lose™ Foods. They’re the

Snacks that come up

Easy as they go down

EZ-Lose™!

*

Uh-oh, now Little Milagros has gone and done it. It’s due in seven months and she’s going to name it Jesus Porfirio or just Rosita if it’s a girl but it won’t be a girl, she’s telling people.

There’s a new program at Shady Day Elementary called

WAIT TO DATE™

and it’s mandatory for all girls, who must buy the Wait to Date Workbook for $59.99 but along with that get to have a special hour each week with Assistant Principal Malcolm Barlow who has to wear dark glasses for his cataracts but other than that looks just like Jesus in his sandals and beard and really nice hair. The deal is you go sit in Mr. Barlow’s office with him for lunch and it’s just the two of you and you can ask him as Jesus any question you want about boys or the blood leaking out of your coochie or your mood swings or breasts big as udders and he answers it in an honest and straightforward and entirely Christlike way. Then you take this information and incorporate it into your life and most importantly your daily routine, which should include regular powdering and douching. Everything’s going along fine the first week of Wait to Date. It’s Sarah Emily’s turn for Lunch with Jesus.

“Here’s your FrothUp, Bucket o’ Chicken n’ Ribs, and CookySlushie,” Mr. Barlow-as-Jesus’s secretary says.

“Amen,” says Mr. Barlow-as-Jesus.

Sarah Emily takes a deep breath. “I’m totally grateful for your generosity, especially considering how expensive that Wait to Date™ workbook was, but I hope you won’t think I’m being ungrateful when I tell you I’m on a diet and can’t eat any of that stuff.”

“Sarah Emily,” Mr. Barlow-as-Jesus says, drawing close to her with his lustrous hair, “I’ve noticed in recent weeks you’ve been losing weight at a remarkable pace. That shows real self-control and go-getterness, which are just the kinds of qualities we want to promote in our students. ”

“Well, actually, it’s not so much a diet as a really great purging program. Have you every heard of EZLose™ Foods?”

“Heard of them? I’m one of their major stockholders!”

*

“The more things change, the more they stay the same,” Geraldine Ferraro says.

“Men,” Hillary sighs. “It’s amazing we still live in a day and age when a tampon and a maxi pad can’t share an embrace without being called lesbians.”

The two women simultaneously take bites of their bagel schmears, at which point Caloriemeters above their heads light up and play the theme from “Jaws.” On television screens across America, cameras cut from coverage of a minor faraway war to an image of Clinton and Ferraro with their mouths full. Ferraro, the newscaster reports, has remained a svelte size six since her unsuccessful run for the vice presidency. “Be warned, Hillary,” he intones. “No one wants a fatty running the country.”

“But what about my husband? That pig was never without a Twinkie in his gob.”

“Listen to the chicken. America loves fat men and skinny women,” the newscaster says. “The best thing you could do right now is to go regurgitate that schmear and start subsisting on ice chips.”

“And stop hanging out with confirmed losers,” says the chicken, who has managed political campaigns before and isn’t above elbowing a former Vice Presidential candidate out of the way.

*

“The good doctor’s quip, if you don’t mind me saying so,” Hymen intones, “is an example of a long-standing male interest in the act of defloration, the rupture of the virginal hymen. In ribald, off-color stories and conversations, generations of men have reveled in the erotic pleasure said to be associated with that act. Words such as ‘maidenhead,’ ‘virgin knot,’ and ‘cherry’ are often used as colloquial stand-ins for the actual anatomical name.”

“No one says ‘maidenhead’ anymore, you dork.” Little Antonio Buonfiglio takes a swipe at Hymen with his bowie knife.

Dr. E.S. McKee rushes over to the bleeding Hymen.

Little Antonio shrugs and slouches off to bum a cigarette.

*

WEIGHT TO DATE™ UPDATE
Hillary Clinton has gained three pounds on legislative breakfasts
Little Precious Lashonda has porked up on CookySlushies
So has Little Milagros with all those food cravings
The maxi-pad can’t get off that weight plateau
Lucille’s lost 3 lbs on Atkins
Lesbians holding steady at target weights
Oprah’s still the thin Oprah, though plagued in nightmares by massive fat Oprah
With EZLose™ 5x a day, Little Sarah Emily has lost nine pounds!
Geraldine Ferraro remains a svelte size 6
HEY GALS, WHAT’S YOUR WEIGHT TO DATE™?

*

“I can eat all the EZ-Lose™ I want and still lose weight,” Sarah Emily tells Mr. Barlow-as-Jesus at another of their lunches. “I guess you could say there’s one teensy problem insofar as the pipes in my house have burst from all the vomiting, but the good news is I found this excellent new toothpaste made just for career purgers. It keeps the enamel on your teeth.”

“And that’s important, because someday you’re going to want a good middle class marriage, and you can’t get one without a decent set of choppers.”

“That’s just what my doctor said.”

“You’ve got to keep your eyes on the prize. Little Milagros Rodriguez has gone and made herself a statistic, and if I know anything about statistics, that Little Precious Lashonda Akolojo will go get herself knocked up, too. But you’re a white girl, and if you keep that body skinny, your teeth white, and your hymen intact, you’ll land yourself a nice lawyer who can pay for a lifetime supply of EZ-Lose™ and maybe even a deluxe home gym.”

“Gee, Mr. Barlow — I mean Jesus — that sounds just swell!”

“Now, is there anything else you want to talk about, Sarah Emily?”

“What?”

The aroma of real actual meat has gotten Sarah Emily distracted.

“I said is there anything else you want to talk about? Eternal redemption? Original sin? Geraldine Ferraro still being a svelte size six?”

“Maybe my grades.”

“Grades? With a body like that, you don’t have to worry about grades. A year from now you’ll be America’s next supermodel!”

“Maybe just go get my folder and see. I want to do better, Mr. Jesus. I want to make you proud of this lamb in your flock.”

“Well, if you put it that way,” he says, and goes to ask his secretary to pull Sarah Emily’s file.

As he steps out of his office, Sarah Emily leaps up and devours the chicken n’ ribs, the CookySlushie, all hundred and thirty two ounces of FrothUp.

“What have you done?” cries Mr. Barlow-as-Jesus, for he has failed to reach his lamb and take her out of temptation’s path. The Caloriemeter is already lighting up over his young charge’s head, and all of America is watching.