health & medicalpolitics & government

Anonymous Donor teaches Missouri women’s college a big fat lesson

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Naturally I am concerned about overweight people. I am concerned because I have a big heart. Not an enlarged, unhealthy heart, like thickset people, but rather I am full of concerned feeling for them. I want them to be healthy. Even if they don’t want to be healthy themselves. I want this for them because I am healthy myself. I run almost every day. I eat healthy foods. And I feel great! Except for all this concern that I have for people who don’t run, and don’t eat healthy foods.

When I think of those butterballs, I feel sad.

But then I feel happy again when I think of the people who are actually doing something about our country’s obesity epidemic. People like me, who make enlightened food choices, and who exercise regularly. I am a lean and healthy 154 pounds, and at 6’1″, I am an appealing ideal to which others can aspire.

And then there are those who are affluent enough to make an active difference in others’ lives.

People like Anonymous Donor. Anonymous Donor is my new hero. She’s the 117-pound woman from the great, enlightened state of Oregon, who agreed to donate $1 million to a women’s college in Missouri.

An anonymous donor has promised to give $1 million to a Missouri women’s college if school employees collectively shed at least 250 pounds by the end of the year.

The donor, who weighs 117 pounds, told [Stephens College president Dianne] Lynch she could “lose a little weight.” Lynch agreed and suggested a $100,000 donation in exchange for meeting the graduate’s challenge.

The school president returned to campus and realized she should have asked for a larger gift. The donor agreed to a school-wide weight-loss campaign, which starts Sept. 1.

First of all, kudos to Ms. Lynch for not taking it personally when someone who is clearly in better shape than she is points out that she is suffering from an overabundance of flesh. That’s an enlightened position for a fatty to take, and her attitude only serves to further my own point:

That the most roly-poly of us need motivation to change their lives.

She heard the concern of this affluent and obviously, at 117 pounds, healthy woman, and thought to herself, Here’s a chance for me to lose some of this lard, and make a little scratch for the institution of higher learning where I work.

Second, I would like to congratulate Anonymous Donor for having the courage to call out a tubby to her face. If more of our healthy citizens did this, we might not be suffering from our current obesity epidemic.

She’s certainly inspired me. “You could lose a little weight” is going to be my new “Hello,” from now on. Of course, I can’t promise anyone $1 million, but I wouldn’t mind offering some unenlightened pudge five dollars to do, oh, let’s say ten push-ups.

That’s fifty cents apiece! But they’d have to do all ten. I wouldn’t give them four dollars for eight. In that case, I’d probably just lean down and pat them on the head as they lay gasping on the ground and say something encouraging like, “You’ve just taken your first steps toward a healthier life. Good luck!”

To be sure, Anonymous Donor’s actions are a welcome salvo in our country’s war on obesity (as a former surgeon general has said, obesity is as bad as terrorism), but it’s important that we not leave this fight only to those of us who are healthy and enlightened. After all, our ranks are “thinning” every day, as more and more people succumb to the disease of obesity. Add to that the fact that we’re all svelte (Anonymous Donor, after all, is a healthy but slight 117 pounds) and can be too easily crushed beneath the massive waves of flesh that roll over the bodies of poor, ignorant Double Downers, Krispy Kremers, and McRibbies. We need all the help we can get in our quest to educate the chunkies about their obesity.

Of course, that is where the government comes in. And, thankfully, government is stepping up. Our first lady has made the childhood obesity epidemic her main priority. The recent health care bill contained a provision similar to one in New York City requiring fast food restaurants to post calorie information on their menus, to inform the ignorant masses about what they’re ingesting. In Los Angeles, the city council has taken it upon itself to protect people who live in certain lower-income areas from the scourge of yet more fast food chain restaurants. In San Francisco, the city council is considering a ban on selling enticing toys at fast food restaurants. A tax on sugary drinks is also gaining momentum as a great way to curb people’s enthusiasm for unhealthy choices, while raising much-needed revenue for basic government services such as guaranteed return pension plans for retired government workers.

No one could seriously argue that the government doesn’t have a vested interest in ensuring the health of the people it serves. After all, there are laws to protect the citizens against bodily harm. Actions such as murder, rape, assault, drug use, and prostitution are crimes because the state understands that we must be protected. We implicitly accept the idea that it is the state that owns our bodies, not ourselves. That’s why it was so important that the government take over the health care system. It’s why we all have a vested interest in ensuring our neighbors take care of themselves. We are the state.

Remember, as the Constitution says, it’s a government of the people, by the people, and for the people that ensures our pursuit of happiness for four score and seven years. In other words, if we’re all going to be happy together, we need to use every tool at our disposal to protect our safety and health.

That’s what’s so inspiring about Anonymous Donor. And that $1 million? That is a small price to pay for 117 pounds of inspiration:

“If faculty and staff do participate, it will encourage students to also take on a healthy lifestyle, and maybe motivate students to change unhealthy habits,” said Amanda Roberts, director of career development.

Stephens is a 177-year-old women’s college best known for its theater, dance, fashion design and performing arts programs. It enrolls fewer than 1,000 undergraduates.

Stephens is a women’s college. As we all know, plump people are sad, but there’s really nothing sadder than a chubby college girl. Let’s hope that Ms. Lynch and the other swollen women on Stephens College’s staff will inspire those corpulent girls to change their lives.

Actually, I would like to suggest that Anonymous Donor is misnamed in the article. As Merriam-Webster tells us, a “donor” is someone who gives, donates, or presents something. But Anonymous Donor has done much more than that. Like Guy Grand, the eccentric millionaire from the film “The Magic Christian,” she is a teacher.

Anonymous Teacher, you have inspired so many people, just like me. On behalf of the rest of America, I say, Thank you.

Ricky Sprague occasionally writes and/or draws things. He sometimes animates things. He has a Twitter account and he has a blog. He scripted this graphic novel about Kolchak The Night Stalker. He is really, really good at putting links in bios.
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2 Responses to “Anonymous Donor teaches Missouri women’s college a big fat lesson”

  1. God, I’m starting to love my fellow Oregonians. Tears are streaming down my 245-lb thunderchub ass.

    It used to be that when I said I “love” my fellow Oregonians, I meant it in a snide, spiteful way. But now I think I really mean “love.” This state is a living laboratory of Crazy Phat Awesome.

    Anonymous D sounds representative of our populace, in both stature and ennobling goodness. Plus, like most people here, it’s clear that she can’t mind her own business, which is common among those who enjoy being heavily taxed and governed.

    But the whole skinny thing — Christ, I almost wish I were joking, but I saw an emaciated Portland hipster on the bus today who had perfected the “Jockey” fashion aesthetic — knee-high socks, trim/effete mustache, ironical presentation, 130 lbs of DIY (if that)…I suppose it’s not enough that the cool people in town have perfected the postmodern Quaker look or whatever that whole Decemberists-faux-Yiddish-thespian-pink-sunglasses thing is. Now these ironical trendsetters are starting to dress like lawn ornaments. God bless these goddamn Micronauts. They KNOW that living LARGE is a hate-crime. Time to downsize everything.

    Anonymous D, wow…I can only hope that she lives here in Portland because I just know that, somewhere there’s a whole population of lard-ass Fat Acceptance Movement militants…maybe they’re living beneath the street like Morlocks. I want a confrontation…and ringside seats.

  2. Well, you’ve succeeded in making me feel like a tired old slug who could lose ten or thirty. I hope you follow this up with a travel piece on those tweeting Korean taco trucks in Southern California.
    You could run after the truck and shoot video.

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