Yo, Ding Dong, man, Ding Dong. Ding Dong, yo.

picture-2

Back off me, man. Back off.

GateHouse — Well, that settles it. I am officially and indisputably fat.

I am fat because the Internet has told me I am fat. And in all its 90-year history, the Internet has only lied to me about three things: that those e-mails from Banc of Amurica were cause for an immediate cash transfer to Botswana; that I needed to quickly purchase a product called a “panther sharpener,” which was neither about a panther nor a sharpener; and that functional political bipartisanship was remotely realistic. Needless to say, I am still sort of getting over the one about the panther sharpener.

But the Internet seems to be serious about my burgeoning plumpery, which it reported via a recent personal study of my own Body Mass Index, or TARP. It’s surprisingly easy to calculate online, in spite of the process being provided by the Federal Government, which polls frequently show is one of America’s least favorite governments.

Indeed, it’s not just the Internet telling me that I’m apparently a porky chubberblub, but also My Tax Dollars. The quote fingers “Department of Health and Human Services,” a fictional outfit that probably doesn’t even have like a secretary yet.

.

.

This department maintains this Web site wherein you calculate your BMI — and you can tell it’s a government job in seconds, since the page appears to have been built in mid-1996 by 17-year-old Myst junkie trying to get an internship a CompuServe while listening to Alanis Morrissette music, and, no, I’m not Googling “1996” or anything.

Yet the process is alarmingly simple: You just type in your height and weight, and using a multitude of calculations and statistics, many of which involve math and at least one of which employs a “cosine,” your personal computing device can tell you, using ice-cold, serrated facts and figures, that you should probably begin hating yourself to a considerably greater degree than you already do.

Because the result of your mathery is displayed — and there is no way I could possibly convince you how very much this is not a joke — on a tragically piteous graphic of a fat pink man with numbers on his chest. So not only are you learning you’re a blimp, you’re learning it from a disapproving Marshmallow Peep. Either the federal BMI-related art directors are fully oblivious to the idea of entry-level design flaws or they are astonishingly big-time jerkwads.

So using my personal statistics, which are that I am 6 feet tall and weigh 185 pounds — thanks largely to a near-criminal sale on Sara Lee butter streusel coffee cakes at Kroger, which are the most delicious foods in the world and are sort of like eating an angel — I discovered last week that my BMI is 25.1, which puts me square in the category of Overweight. Well, not square in it, more sort of lopping over the edge of its belt, but you get the idea. A BMI of 25-29.9 is Overweight; 18.5-24.9 is Normal Weight. To extend things, anything under 18.5 is Taylor Swift, and anything over 30 is getting close to Pizza the Hutt.

Anyway, this was all legitimately alarming news, because never have I spent a lot of time discussing my weight. Why not? 1. As you may have surmised from the mug shot, I am a dude, and 2. Previously, I had no reason to believe I was overweight, as I’ve spent the vast bulk of my years being precisely the opposite, particularly the years that contained high-school gym classes, where I’d have topped out at about a buck twenty if you’d have weighed me while I was dressed in a sopping wet county-fair sumo-man suit filled with pudding.

Overweight is not a problem for me; there have been days I’d have burned down a tree full of singing cartoon rabbits to be a little overweight.

Hilariously, I found myself discussing this issue last week with my wife over, no joke, a pony-keg sized bowl of pudding, which was decorated, needless to say, with about 30 pounds of whipped cream, partly due to hilarious circumstance, and partly due to my newfound love of dessert-based visual irony.

My suspicion is that the BMI Index, like all weight-related things, is designed primarily to verify their users’ lingering feelings of image-based self-doubt. It works fantastically, because I have not been able to get it out of my head for DAYS.

On the plus side, I’ve discovered that thanks to the recent Economic Stimulus Bill, being technically overweight qualifies you immediately for $54 billion in personal carrot money. (Just kidding, Barack. LY, mean it.)

Advertisements

About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

5 responses to “Yo, Ding Dong, man, Ding Dong. Ding Dong, yo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: