Monday 10 January 2011

My 15 Minutes of Fat

These past Christmas holidays saw some articles in various papers about one Donna Simpson, a New Jersey housewife who has given herself the personal and very dubious goal of becoming the world's fattest woman. The connection with the holidays seems to have been reporting on what she ate for the usual Christmas feast. This seems to have consisted of a 30,000 calorie Christmas dinner. According to the Daily Telegraph of December 28, 2010:

The single mother-of-two, from New Jersey in the US, tucked into two 11kg (25lb) turkeys, two maple-glazed hams, 6.8kg (15lbs) of potatoes - 4.5kg (10lbs) roast, 2.3kg (5lbs) mashed, five loaves of bread, 2.3kg of herb stuffing, three litres of gravy, three litres of cranberry dressing and an astonishing 9kg (20lbs) of vegetables.

After polishing off her enormous main course, she still had room for dessert and ate a "salad" made of marshmallow, cream cheese, whipped cream and cookies.

As I look through all the information about her which entails an article on Wikipedia, her own web site and countless newspaper articles, I am amazed at how Ms. Simpson has placed her bet on getting her fifteen minutes in the spotlight.

"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
- Andy Warhol (1968)

Andy Warhol's comment about fame is very much pertinent to each of us in that sooner or later, we will have some sort of moment in front of the microphone when the rest of the world waits breathlessly for whatever pronouncement either wise or stupid will cross our lips. Ms. Simpson seems to have discovered her niche and looks to exploit this vein of gold for what it's worth. While some strive to run faster, jump higher or swim longer, Donna is just going to sit there and eat more than any of us... combined!

In my blog My 15 Minutes, I jokingly talk about my turn on bat. Yes, the whole stadium is watching me and am I now going to whack it out of the park or am I going to be soon walking back to the dugout, my head held low, humiliated at being struck out? That is the crux of the matter. I would hope that when my turn comes for 15 minutes, if my turn comes for 15 minutes, it would be for something noble, worthwhile, something about which I would want to brag to Mom and Dad. I would not want my 15 minutes to be for something of a dubious worth, something stupid or for that matter, something downright criminal. Stupid? Come to think of it, isn't this what the Jackass movies are about? (see my movie review Jackass 3D)

I have seen various articles about how in the past 10 years or so with the advent of so called reality television, that the mundane has been elevated to entertainment, the unimportant has become significant and the pedestrian has been transformed into the profound. Even things like Facebook, Twitter and blogging are allowing everyone to turn their everyday lives into supposed stories of depth and complexity. Instead of being great, it almost seems like we want to experience the moment of greatness which is nothing more than the fleeting recognition by the unknown and uncaring masses that turns on a dime in the fickle pursuit of the next piece of amusement. I have to chuckle when thinking about the expression "the attention span of a gnat" and associating it with Twitter distilling our communication down to a length of 144 characters.

What other nutty things are people doing? What other crazy goals are people giving themselves so they can proudly stand up and be counted? Over the years I've seen pictures of people tattooing themselves to a point where there doesn't seem to be any skin left which is not covered in ink.

Julia Gnuse, The Illustrated Lady (b 1959) has 95% of her body, including her face covered in tattoos and is in Guinness as the most tattooed woman in the world. A picture of her says it all. I can't say that I would be doing that to myself.

Dennis Avner (b 1958) is known as Cat Man and Google images gives us numerous examples of what this gentleman has turned himself into. My first reaction? "Ah... okay..."[furrowed brow, perplexed expression as I ask myself why]

Elaine Davidson takes the Guinness prize for the most pierced woman in the world.

Donna Simpson is going to, well, eat her way to the top. I wonder though how her health is going to suffer for all this. Paul Mason from England is described by the Daily Mail newspaper as costing taxpayers a hundred thousand pounds or about two hundred thousand dollars per year. He used to weigh 70 stone or 980 pounds (454 kg) but has recently undergone some medical operations and has lost weight. I look at a picture of him and think to myself that this is no way to be living your life. Donna, good luck but I would think you could and you should choose some other lifetime goal.

15 minutes. Your 15 minutes of fame. What are you going to do when your turn comes up? As I said, I hope that I will be remembered for something good, not something bad or just plain stupid. In my blog My 15 Minutes, I talk about how I've already had 1 second of fame when I was in the studio audience of the David Letterman show and the camera panned across the crowd. This means I still have 14 minutes of 59 seconds of fame to come so I am hoping that I am up to this noble moment and won't embarrass myself by leaving my fly open.


Wikipedia: Donna Simpson (internet personality)
Donna Simpson (born 1967) is an Old Bridge, New Jersey woman who has expressed a desire to become one of the world's heaviest women. Specifically, she wishes to attain a target weight of 1,000 pounds (450 kg). As of June 2010, Simpson weighs 602 pounds (43.0 st) down from her weight of 630 pounds (45 st) in 2008. Simpson maintains a website where fans pay to watch her eat. She is also the heaviest woman ever to give birth. In September 2010, the Guinness World Records have honored her as the "Heaviest Woman to Give Birth".

official web site: [March 25, 2013: I discovered this no longer exists.]

The £1million cost to the British taxpayer of caring for the world's fattest man
By Daily Mail Reporter - Jan 5/2011

More pics of Donna and some supplemental information


Site Map: William Quincy Belle

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