Monday, March 26, 2012

:: Fat pants ::

There was a time, about seven/eight years ago (shortly after I returned from my brief sojourn to northern Alberta), where I was as big as I've ever been. It was one of those things I didn't really notice at the time – it's always sort of a gradual fattening when you're in it.

But in reality, it wasn't that gradual. I left for university weighing, as best as I can remember, about 220-225 lbs. – still fat, but not that fat. Two years of school, 9 months on my own in Alberta, thousands of beers, plates of nachos, perogies, pizzas and fast-food burgers later, I came home and did not step on a scale until my own mom mentioned I'd gained a couple pounds.

Pffft, maybe a couple, I reasoned. But how bad could it be?

Well, pretty bad, as it turned out. I don't remember all the gory details – it was a long time ago, after all, plus I've probably blocked most memories of that era out – but I do remember that first scale reading: 288.5.

Yes, 288.5.

Shocked, sad, and angry I set out to fix the problem, and got down to about 240 or so, which is where I've basically sat ever since – yo-yo-ing between about 235 and 255. But before then, there was not a lot of clothes I could wear.

I couldn't shop at the mall for almost anything, and most of my pants were by necessity very forgiving. I never got to wear the clothes I wanted to wear because the clothes I wanted to wear never fit. It was, looking back, pretty painful.

At one point during my Alberta days, I was wearing size 44 jeans. (There may well have even been a 46 thrown in there, but I know 44 for sure). And let's be reasonable, it's hard to look good in clothes that big, no matter where they come from.

I still remember, once I got down to the 240-range about seven years ago, how happy I was when I went to American Eagle in the mall, and pair of size 38 jeans actually fit. It was the first time since I was about 19 that I was able to buy "mall pants." For most people, that's probably a nothing moment, but after you've come a little too close to 300 for anyone's liking, it was a good moment for me. There's a reason I remember it.

Last weekend, I had a similar experience at the same store.

My 38-inch jeans are all too big. Some still look OK, but without exception, I can take all of them off without undoing them. I take my belt off, and they just fall down to the floor. So off Christene and I went to the mall, on the search for cheap "transition" jeans (because I plan on getting skinner still). Well after a few aborted attempts at other stores, I went back to the ol' standby, American Eagle.

I picked out two pairs of 36-inch pants – one of which were straight legged (and for the fat or formerly fat folks out there, you know that straight-leg jeans are nobody's friend). To my surprise, they both fit. Sure, the straight-leg pair juuuust fit, but they fit nonetheless.


I haven't worn 36-inch pants since at least Grade 10.

I went home and immediately began rifling through my closet, trying a bunch of things on, and throwing most of them out. I tossed away about 6-7 shirts, a few hoodies and nine or 10 pairs of pants, including one pair of dress pants that were so baggy I told Christene "I could only wear these to MC Hammer's funeral." Another pair of old khakis, found at the back of the closet, had a 42-inch waist.

I packed em all up in a heap and put them in a garbage bag, bound for Value Village.

If I could've burned 'em, I would have.

Good riddance.

Friday, March 23, 2012

:: Mind. Blown::

One of the best parts of the The Simpsons, for the die-hard fans anyhow, are all the little moments that make things way funnier. The words on the church sign, the sometimes-vague references to pop culture in Bart's chalkboard scribblings, or in later seasons, the self-referential comments made by the characters, referring back to old episodes.

And as something of a veteran watcher of The Simpsons (to put it mildly), I cannot believe what I'm about to tell you has escaped me all these years. I'm not surprised that I didn't figure it out, mind you, but I'm just surprised I never heard of it.

What I'm referring to is the McBain movie franchise, which stars Springfield's Swarznegger-esque Ranier Wolfcastle. Clips of the McBain franchise were especially prevalent in the show's early seasons. Maybe they showed the Simpsons family watching it for a few minutes, before going on on some zany adventure. Maybe there's 20-seconds of a throwaway of Homer watching it in a video store. You know, background stuff.

But the thing is this: if you combine all those little throwaway scenes together, which appeared on the show over the first few years, you actually get a complete story. So I present to you, McBain: The Full Movie.