September 1st, 2010

Dear Houston: Fatty McFatterson

Dear Houston,

Why are you so fat? I don’t mean “phat” either. I mean “fat” fat.

Chris, Rice Village

First of all, stop using the term “phat,” Kimora. Furthermore, I’m not fat, I’m thick, and some like it that way. If this were the Renaissance, I’d be the belle of the ball, so watch your skinny mouth…Who am I kidding- my ass looks like two hippos fighting over a Milk Dud. If you really want to know why I’ve let myself go a little, let me lay it out for you:

A.) I eat my feelings like Kristie Alley on a cupcake bender. As a city, I ain’t for the faint of heart. I rank as one of the most stressful cities in the nation in fact, and the term workaholic doesn’t even begin to do me justice. From docs and nurses that burn that midnight oil, to the worker bees putting in the hours in my energy sector, to the army of service industry employees it takes to keep me fun, I put in an average of over 40 hours a week. And after a workday, which sounds better to you- grilled chicken on a bed of field greens, or the carnita-chicken fajita combo platter and a pitcher of margs at El Tiempo? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Which brings me to…


B.) This is the land of plenty. If you’re trying to drop a substance habit, whom would keep the better watchful eye: Dr. Drew or Dr. Dre? Well, I’m like the Dr. Dre of food and bev. From Kam’s chicken dumplings and egg foo young to Damian Mandola’s baby on Smith, I got what you need no matter the flavor. All youse gots ta do is pay- with your waistline.

Let’s not get too carried away with all of this though, because it’s not just me with the fattitude. The entire country is looking downright ‘Precious’ and my amigo to the west, San Antonio, and Heavy D up north, have certainly become corpulent slugs too. And yeah, it makes me feel good that I’m not amongst the national top 10 fast food junkies. Arlington ranks number one, but it sounds to me like Dallas paid someone off not to be associated with those guys.

I try to stay positive about my weight. My chunkiness stems from things that occurred to me during my childhood. In other words, what got me onto all of those nasty fat-boy lists are things that were set in motion in the 70’s and 80’s like the founding of the Fast Food nation with preservatives and trans-fats for all.

Now that we’ve identified the issues and have all become a little more health conscious, we expect to see the dividends and a sexy six-pack now. That’s not how it works. This biological mess took decades of perfect fat storms to develop, and it will take diligent years of conscientious action to claw our way out and reverse the societal trend. So yeah, I’m going to keep enjoying my Texas BBQ and my growlers of brew, but at least I know what I’m getting into and that it’s about time that I hit the gym. I’ll be the guy spotting your girlfriend, DJ Qualls.

Big and beautiful,


[Got a question for Houston? Send it to]

— Tea Jones


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