TALE OF A FAT BOY IN THE LAND DOWN UNDER: A Different Sense of Economy

L to R. Skinny. Thin. Fat. Notice the blistering fast movement of fat boy's hand toward pie hole.

L to R. Skinny. Thin. Fat. Notice the blistering fast movement of fat boy’s hand toward pie hole.

Ballarat, Australia – Poor William, he ain’ dead yet, and his wife of mythical proportions, Magical Madge, recently were fortunate enough to have been in ‘A Land Down Under, where women glow and men plunder,’ and such stuff… ‘Can you hear the thunder?’ Men At Work started it!

Anyway…

A cocktail party was being held at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, located in the historical gold-mining town of Ballarat, Australia. The crowd: lawyers, city planners, government employees, some hot chicks, and Poor William and Magical Madge.

The two Delta Bohemians were graciously and nigh on magnanimously invited by Melbourne resident and Clarksdale semi-fixture, John Henshall—city planner, researcher, demographer, blues lover from way-back-in-the-day and a fine, fine man—to speak at a bi-annual, urban and city planning conference in the Land Down Under.

Now, Poor William was not necessarily the fattest thing in Australia, as he was while living in Colorado, though he fits in nicely back in the Delta. But, he nonetheless likes to graze while sipping Aussie brew, and when grazing he has been known to eat like a wooly sheep—nothing left but the root system.

Mateusz Buczko, who Madge thought was adorable, and Poor William share a conversation but not appetite.

Mateusz Buczko, who Madge thought was adorable, and Poor William share a conversation but not appetite.

The Aussies do not waste resources as we do in America, and for sure in our neck of the woods. Example, Cocktail party with a couple hundred folks in it in a large reception room located upstairs in the art gallery and nary a trash can in the room. Why? They didn’t need one!

Servers brought around incredible appetizers on trays—mostly items on skewers and such—with no cocktail napkins. Even the bartenders did not have a trashcan for the wine and beer; they just used one 12-pack cardboard container for their trash. How easy to clean up after that event?!

So, reader, you get the picture? Poor William, a known behemoth, is at a cocktail party—we do those ad finitum in the Delta—and he has no plate, no napkin, a beer in each hand and no place to even put a toothpick. Well, he started thinking…and that’s when scary stuff starts to happen!

The servers, several who were quite lovely, would make the rounds every few minutes among the couple hundred guests, dispensing their culinary wares, while Poor William, as he is apt to do, tried to be innocuous when eating everything in his purview.

It’s hard being a fat fella (feller in the hills) at a cocktail party, even a Delta one, because I just keep eating but I don’t want everyone to know how much! So, I have to wander station to station until someone (usually a hot chick or a waif of a man who just don’t understand the appetites of the Large Ones) at the new station puts the inordinate-consumption eye (think evil eye) on me. Then I smirk, wish I could punch them in the head, and then move on the to next station. See, this ain’t easy!

Back to Australia: So, these servers at the art gallery are walking around and after a while I think that they are thinking, which really is not thinking at all, “Fat pig, wonder how many he can eat?”

“Hey Sheila, it’s like he moves with the food trays! You think he has a doppelganger? It’s like there are at least two of him! Keep an eye on him, Love!”

At first I think they avoided me, knowing that my ability to consume thousands of calories in a single reach was beyond normal, but then something changed…

One came by and waited until I quit typing this Whim on my iPhone—I knew I had to write it down while it was fresh. She just stared at me. I looked up and said, “I’m good!” She probably thought, “I doubt it!” Think double entendre!

No other waiter or waitress stopped in front of anybody else without an invitation—head nod, finger wag, or saliva on the chin. They just kept easing through the crowd, safely, sublimely, and as smooth as a mermaid’s tail in the shallows. Don’t know what that means, but it’s HOT!

Poor William felt trumped by a three drink Aussie.

Poor William felt trumped by a three drink Aussie.

At first I thought it was a conspiracy to keep me from eating like I am prone to do. I wasn’t even sure Madge hadn’t paid them to steer clear of her HONGRY MAN! But then again, one reason I love her is because she gives me the freedom to enhance my already porcine physique!

It really is awful though to be a fat guy at a cocktail party, either in Australia or the Mississippi Delta! One knows this is his or her opportunity to hit a homerun by acting like you normally eat three grapes and two split peas a day like Ally McBeal, before you throw up: (sorry Missie, I gotta go with the Arkansas verbiage here; it sounds better than vomit—such a harsh word, laden with Beowulfesque guttural incantations that sound like vomitus eruptus, cheap Latin is infinitely more palatable than its English derivative).

But said fat boy knows this food is swirling around the room, taunting him, almost saying, “Hey Lil Big Un, you scared of eating in the big leagues? You ashamed of what you are about to receive? Don’t look now fat boy, but nobody’s looking; you can get eight spring rolls down before anybody notices!

I think, “If I avoid notice, then I can eat two more daintily in front of all the waifs around me,” while smiling almost genuinely projecting to the unsuspecting, who really are suspect of a fat boy from the Delta, “If I finish these 15 calories of flora, I swear I think I will burst!” I fooled no one!

Poor William didn't know where to stick his empties so here lie the 35.

Poor William didn’t know where to stick his empties so here lie the 35.

But, I got me some curry chicken, curry lamb, fried barramundi bites, spring rolls, and close to 35 Stella Artois! I was a proud young man.

My everlasting twinge of guilt occurred when I had like a box of used toothpicks in my pocket—remember, no trashcans or napkins—and they were bothering me being there. Hey, I got standards, and food particles in my pocket bother me—they should be in my mouth not my pockets!

I saw only one toothpick on the floor and it was next to the “other fat guy”—who looked and ate like me! So, what could I do? I had to throw one on the floor to mark my territory. This other fat guy may have been from Australia, but he was not my equal in appetite! I grinned, grabbed another barramundi, popped another Stella, and commenced my homespun, Delta dialogue: sure to make ‘em laugh, and not just at me, but mostly at me!

Cheers Mates! It’s good to be in a land down under, but it’s also good to be back home, where napkins, buffets, and big boys are at home like a boar in a mud pit! –Poor William

Magical Madge having fun with servers and cool guy at reception.

Magical Madge having fun with servers and cool guy at reception.


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