American fatness


There are lots of foreign tourists in Disney World and at Universal – an amazing number, actually.  I noticed this trip that they’re starting to put both Spanish and Portuguese on the signs; I assume this is for Brazilian tourists.   There are Brits and Dutch everywhere, and Chinese and Japanese and Koreans.  (There was a Dutch group at our hotel, and I know it’s horrible and bigoted of me, but when I see a skinny Dutchman light a cigarette and hold it between two fingers while surveying the room, I can only think of every villain in every World War II movie I’ve ever seen.) 



But here’s the thing: most of the foreign tourists are not overweight.  Some of the Brits and Brazilians are rugby-player stocky, but they are almost never fat.



For real honest-to-God fat, you really need to go American.



My dear lord!  When you’re walking in a group of Americans, it’s like a herd of mastodons.  The bellies!  The butts!  What do they eat?  How much do they eat?  Are they aware that they look like circus freaks?



Then you notice the people on scooters.  For grandmas and grandpas, and for the handicapped, scooters are great.  But then you see these mammoth sacks of flesh driving their little scooters down the main drag, presumably just because walking is just such a hassle, and you want to knock them over.



Naturally there are a lot of Southern tourists in Florida.  A lot of the men look like football coaches or ex-players: you know, tall, sunglasses, sort of brawny.  But there always seems to be that gigantic belly in front, which sort of ruins the jock image.



And then there are the wives. 



Also (and most sadly of all) there are the children.  There was a Minnesota family near us at the airport gate in Orlando, with two small very active boys.  And both of them had adorable little pot-bellies sticking out in front.  And, judging from the looks of Grandpa and Dad sitting nearby, those adorable little pot-bellies aren’t going away any time soon.



Honestly, folks: why are we doing this?  I tell you that this is not normal.  We need to reassess our national diet and our national approach toward nutrition, but immediately.



And, while you’re reassessing, pass me them there Cheez Doodles.




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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