Opinion| Circus Sideshow TV

Back in the day, you had to go to a circus to see abnormal curiosities, now all you have to do is tune into one of several cable channels for hours of mindless entertainment.

The Learning Channel (TLC) or, as I like to refer to it -The Freak Show Channel™-is a case in point. Here you can watch one of many show about irregular human beings: Strange addictions (more like ridiculously fictional); Midgets in family life and the professional world (Are the lives of tiny people all that compelling?); Women who weren’t aware that they were pregnant (WTF?); and, of course, my favorite, the grossly obese.

Attention Whores

Let’s start with strange addictions.  Yes, this is actually the title of the show. If you haven’t yet seen it, then you’re in a for some knee slapping fun.  I watched a block of shows for grins & giggles on a Saturday night and laughed my ass off. Of course, I had company at the time, so that probably contributed to it, but I think the viewer would be hard pressed not to be amused by the chuckleheads on the show simply because their alleged addictions are so astonishingly unbelievable.

The Freak Show Channel would have the viewing audience swallow that there are people in American society that snack on toilet paper and foam cushions. Seriously! Both of these nutjobs were female, and one consumed multiple rolls of toilet tissue throughout the day by tearing it into handy-dandy little squares for her snacking enjoyment, while the other would reach for a couch cushion and rip off bite-sized pieces of foam to pop into her mouth whenever she was hungry.

The families & friends of these women weren’t all that alarmed, but merely concerned. As if it was just a simple case of, say, fingernail biting. Personally, I couldn’t stop imagining the hilarity of both of these women hanging out at the same friends house eating the friend out of toilet paper & couch cushions.

The midget and I-didn’t-know-I-was-pregnant shows weren’t all that interesting to me. But for the little people’s short legs, their lives would be just another case of everyday human behavioral dysfunction just like normal sized people looking for attention and easy money. If I wanted that, all I’d have to do is go anywhere in public where I would no doubt find numerous, self-important, attention whores yakking on a cell phone inappropriately and at full voice decibel levels –Where’s the fun in that?

As to pregnancy, the cases profiled were so extreme, it’s comical.  A woman who doesn’t take note that she has skipped her period for several months is, well, just a clueless bimbo.  Let me pose an obvious question –How do you not notice the stoppage of a re-occurring event every thirty days or so that involves bodily fluids? It’s not like forgetting to wash your crotch or use deodorant, for crying out loud.

Fat Bastards

Face it.  People don’t watch these shows for any other reason but to laugh. Personally, I want to see the four hundred and some odd pound mass of quivering, fat fattiness just for the entertainment factor, particularly when they act like this.

Not to sound smug, but how, exactly, does one allow oneself to inflate to wide load status and not take notice until they can no longer fit through a door frame?

Do folks like this wake up one morning and call in too fat to work?

Of all the fat people shows I’ve seen, the one I’ve enjoyed the most debuted during the end of January on the A&E Network called Heavy. It’s not so much a competition to lose weight as much as it is a fat farm docudrama.

The show is filmed in one of two different country club resorts in South Carolina, and, consists of two hefties -male & female- (usually from Texas).They are on-site for thirty calendar days, and, for five months thereafter, return home under the supervision of a personal trainer at the local gym. If someone gains weight during that time, then a trainer from the club pays a visit.

The trainers are there to provide workout routines and encouragement, but occasionally have to act in the capacity of exercise Nazi, as well.  Hey, these fat folk didn’t grow into their condition overnight, and, not all of them are 100% vested in losing the weight. But at least they’re not fused to the mattress. (Yet).

In the first episode, Tom & Jodi, both 37 and from Houston, did not disappoint.  Tom lived at home with his father & two other 6XL-sized brothers.  Food was their thing and they weren’t shy about supersizing it. He drove a brand new pick up and enjoyed grilling from the end of his bed. Jodi was a drama queen and otherwise not very noteworthy but for the female trainer having to motivate her like a drill sergeant from time to time.

In another episode, Kevin (age 39) weighing in at 597 pounds, was on the verge of losing his job as football/basketball coach at the local high school. (Tell me how someone THIS large gets a job as an athletic coach?) The female on the show, Flor, wasn’t quite as interesting as Kev-O.

From the moment of check-in, it was apparent Kev was not quite into the whole weight loss thing. When the male trainer asked if he brought food with him, Kev’s response was a resounding no.  But upon closer inspection of the luggage, the trainer found a few candy bars and a half a dozen bags of candy. Kevin said that the luggage handlers at the airport must have put the candy there.  (As if airline employees are in the habit of supplying wide load fat asses with high fructose corn syrup because they feel sorry for them.)

Throughout the sixty minute show, Flor continued to go balls to the wall trying to sweat off her Michelin girl like appearance, while Kevin exhibited a lackluster ‘tude and whined about the exercising and otherwise not liking the club’s cuisine.  He did eventually lose about fifty pounds, but it wasn’t a tremendous improvement.  Halfway through the show, there were complaints of missing leftover food items from the personal refrigerators of other fat farm attendees.  When Kevin’s ‘fridge was examined, the trainers found not only his own leftover healthy food he refused to eat at the cafe, but also remnants of food from others plates. When asked as to how the other food got there, Kevin insisted that it was there when he arrived at the club.

Suffice it to say, at the end of the thirty days, as Kevin was travelling back home, he commented to the camera that he wasn’t going to give up his bad eating habits cold turkey because it was food he had become accustomed to eating his entire life.  Shockingly enough, he gained back fourteen pounds within a week of having returned home. Meanwhile, Flor went home, informed her fat-assed family that she wasn’t going to be able to join them at the deep fried Twinkie festival, and proceeded to drop even more weight. No word on how Kev-O faired, however.

I’m not even going to pretend that I like to watch the fat people shows for any other reason but to laugh uncontrollably at the utter ridiculousness of morbid obesity.   If these folks are collecting public assistance, then why the hell aren’t they forced to undergo bariatric surgery –Wouldn’t that make the most sense to get them off welfare and to work ASAP?   And since most of these people don’t work, where does the money come from to survive on 10k calories per day? You don’t bloat up to six hundred pounds or drive around in a brand new truck while collecting unemployment, that’s for damn sure.

For your viewing pleasure, check out fat people on scooters.

©2011 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


5 Responses to Opinion| Circus Sideshow TV

  1. Hilde says:

    Well, they simply may be fat admirers, feedees, etc. And for sure more than just “human fat blobbers”, but people with either extreme fetish or serious deseases, for sure no people to laugh about nor to talk respectless nor mean. And some of them may simply like it the way. One does not need to understand, but there are worse things on that planet. Often wondering about the aggressivity of slim people in their talking and judgement of obese, as if they are personal in danger through there appearance. I ten times prefer a man which a belly towards a meagre bone stick, as I ten times enjoy myself more with some kilos too much compared with my meagre times. That just as a personal statement.

    • I think you may be misunderstanding me here, Hilde. I don’t have a problem with fat people per se. Everyone carries around a few extra pounds –We are all most assuredly quite far from perfect. My point is that morbid obesity is a 100% completely preventable condition. It’s not like being born with a horribly, disfiguring, congenital disease from which one cannot escape. And to watch these folks that become so ::LARGE:: they eventually fuse to the mattress due to the inability to move is the height of ridiculousness.

      Everyone working for a living has to pay for these people because they’re all just sitting around collecting welfare in nursing homes that taxpayers are financing. This is what I have a problem with. If they were fat bastards on their own dime, I wouldn’t have an opinion.

  2. Hilde says:

    i disagree to the point that it is a 100% completely preventabe condition. We still do not know all about genetics, enzymes, mind disfunctions, etc – besides, people in depressions react different. There may be so many reasons behind obesity, I met too many people who deeply won my respect and feeling with them, after learning more of their stories, and there is so much more behind it, too much than to simplify it that way – I may misunderstand you, yes, I believe that, knowing you a bit better already, but I deeply dislike that kind of finger pointing without looking behind the stories. Good, I have to admit, that I don’t know nor watch those TV shows and that was your original point – and I remember when zapping years ago through the channels – how disgusting was the sudden spreading of attention seekers with all kind of idiotic issues. Nobody needs to watch that crap.

  3. […] candy, cheese spread & frozen dinners equals a nutritious meal only if  you want to be a circus sideshow featured on fattertainment TV.  Hello? Where is the fresh produce?  I don’t see anyone […]

  4. I agree that those morbidly fat people didn’t get there by eating healthy and exercising as they should have. The problems starts with their mentality and a military coaching attitude might not even be severe enough to realize the situations they are in. The fact is these people are going to die, if they don’t loose weight. I don’t think that such thing was mentioned on the show, however correct me if I’m wrong since I don’t watched that.

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