| Fat Project Penn - 10/24/00
In my opinion, the man who
understands how to do art for the Web best is the
unfortunately named, Christian, at Spark.com. He started
with "Stinky Meat" where he left meat out in someone else's
back yard, and took pictures and reported on the smell every
day. It was funny and cool.
Then he did "Stinky Feet" where he walked around a YMCA and
then put plastic bags on his feet for weeks. He took
pictures and reported on the smell and the itch. It was
amazing. The drama unfolding in real time as his Mom begged
him to stop the project and wash his feet. It's very Tom
Green, very funny, very wonderful. And he does it for
"Science." He really makes me laugh, and I go to his
website every day. It's very pure, and wonderful, and it
wouldn't really work in the newspaper, or on TV. These are
Web ideas. The lack of editing helps, the hyperlinks help,
the real time helps.
Well, the beginning of this month, he started the "Fat
Project." He moved two sexy young people to Boston and
challenged them to gain 30 pounds in 30 days. He would
coach them, feed them, weigh them, photograph them in their
underwear (no reporting on smell was promised) and if they
made it, he'd give them three grand each. A perfect idea.
They would be weighed in every day, and photographed. And,
he gets to write about their adventures. I won't go into it
any more, just go to the Web page
http://www.thespark.com/science/fat/ and get yourself up to
I couldn't resist any longer, I had to write a fan letter.
I wrote to Nicole, the fat woman, because I'd rather write
to women, and it was harder to find Christian's (I hate
typing his name) address. It took calls to our theater in
Raleigh for her to believe it was me, but she finally turned
my address over to Christian, and we started writing. I was
going to be in Boston the last week of the project, so why
not invite them out to lunch?
I picked Durgin Park, my favorite restaurant in the world.
Krasher, Adam, the guy who booked me for this speaking gig
that brings me here, and my Jungle Sibling, David Shaw were
on my team. Christian brought his partner, Chris, and the
Fat Folks. Well, let me tell you, if these people are fat,
then I'm . . . well, I guess I'm really fat. Way fat. Big
fat. When you see the pictures of Nicole before and after
in her underwear, you can really see the weight she's
gained, but in person, in her clothes, she's just a sexy
young woman. And Eric, the Fat Guy, is just a tall, thin,
alternative punk guy. The freakiest thing about them, is
that she's from Alabama, and he's from Cincinnati. It's
amazing. They've put on over 20 pounds each in a few weeks,
and it's nothing.
I arrived with Godiva chocolate truffles for them. Everyone
else is sending them Hostess products and cheese food, and I
wanted to be classy. Krasher and I were afraid that we
would eat more than the fat people, and . . . we did.
Kids trying to gain weight for an art project are no match
for middle-aged guys trying to pretend they eat sensibly.
We creamed them and then ate the cream. It wasn't an eating
contest but we won. Krasher and I were trying to take in
fewer calories and that was more than their big calories.
Krasher said his cholesterol is higher than their combined
Desert was "Indian Pudding" which is some sort of cereal,
with molasses, and vanilla ice cream (I guess the Indians
invented ice cream). My favorite restaurant and some people
doing a really cool thing on the Web, but let me tell you,
if Krasher and I needed to put on 30 pounds, we wouldn't
need a month, and . . . I don't think we'd really need any
incentives. As a matter of fact, we've done that and more.
We're real artists.