Three men sit to the left. A woman sits to the right. They address the audience.
ROB Before I was skinny, I used to be a real fatass. But before I was fat, I was skinny like this. Minus one summer I spent in Canada as a teenager, the trajectory of my life is: Baby–Skinny–Fatass–Skinny. Now I’m skinny like a 9 year old girl, and staying that way.
RICARDO My father is a gardener. Mexican. But like, high-end stuff. Gardener isn’t the right word. [rolls his eyes] He has some poser pseudonym for ‘guy who plants trees in other people’s yards’. Like make-up girls who call themselves ‘estheticians’. [he thinks] Ummmm…..fucking…”landscape architect”, that’s what it is. God.
ROB I’m like a buck thirty now, but not long ago I was over 260. And not in a muscly way. In a fatass way. I packed it all on. On purpose. 130, then 260, then back to 130. That was the plan. My greatest gift, the only thing that ever came easy to me, was being skinny. So I put it to use. I got to 260 lbs., then wrote Wendy’s and asked them if they wanted to sponsor me losing weight on an all-Wendy’s diet. They did, but they made me sign stuff that said I couldn’t tell anyone about they were involved unless it worked. Well it bigtime worked.
ALANNA The last guy I was with told me he broke up with me because I wasn’t feminine enough, but I think that means he just didn’t want to have sex with me. So what do you do when you’ve exhausted the other ‘normal’ channels? Go online? That feels like throwing in the towel. And I met people in bars. Trust me, I met people. But I never met any interesting people. I’m not even interesting in bars. And I’m interesting. I went to Brown.
RICARDO So my dad did this high-end yard work for this producer guy, and the guy insulted him because my dad had this younger white guy working for him and the producer guy of course assumed the white guy was in charge of the whole bunch. So he felt really bad, he said. And wanted to be all conciliatory so he asked my dad how he felt about being on TV sometime.
CHRISTIAN Usually, I think people who name their dog people-names can mouth-vacuum my asshole. If I can name something Bruiser or Bandit, instead of goddamn Michael or…Leonard, I’m going to seize that opportunity. Bottom line, dogs are not people. They are canines.
ALANNA My friend Gretchen from Brown is a beat poet, and she has this great line in one her pieces about being 30 years old and alone. This poem is all about love at different ages, and makes it all sound like some kind of sporting match. Like a Tennis match. It’s really clever, all the words. Anyway, she’s talking about being alone at thirty, and she quotes the ‘score’ of the match. So it’s like “I’m alone at 30. blah blah blah blah.” [She takes a dramatic Gretchen-esque pause] “Love: 30. 30: Love” Isn’t that good? Like 30 has no points, like ‘love’. Isn’t that good? I’m not 30 yet, but sometimes I like to pretend I am so when I say I’m lonely it’s all like a bigger deal. More urgent.
ROB Gaining 130 pounds was not easy. But that had to be the deal, from 260 to 130. I wanted to be the guy that cut my weight in half. That was my angle. But do you know how hard it is to double your body weight? I had to stay ahead of my metabolism. It was a sprint the whole way. I tried donuts and candy and red meat, but nothing. Finally I discovered GNC. All that weight-lifting protein creatine bullshit. I took as much of it as I could stomach and didn’t exercise an ounce. I mean NO exercise. That’s why all those meatheads get fat when they’re older. You stop working out, and all that girth goes south.
CHRISTIAN But I didn’t name my dog. I let my little niece name her, my brother’s daughter, when I realized I hadn’t gotten her anything for Christmas. I know, but the kid was only 3 years old, I never see my brother, and I forgot she was in the family. I panicked in the moment. My parent’s had just given me this dog (which I knew was coming), so I told her that her present was she could name it. Everyone thought that was really sweet. Real thoughtful. So it saved me from looking like a prickface in the moment, but it came around and bit me in the ass. My niece named the dog after my deceased sister (which is it’s own set of weird). We all tried to talk her out of it, but she insisted like only a 3- year-old could. So now here I am with a chocolate lab named Miriam.
RICARDO So he has the chance to be on TV, but of course my Mexican dad is all worried that if he goes on TV, Dick Cheney is going to find out that one time my dad hired an illegal- immigrant nephew to mow a lawn and get deported so he’s all nervous and scared. Buuuuut, also my dad sooooo wants to be American so he totally buys into the whole culture of celebrity worship and doesn’t wanna pass up the chance to be famous. So, instead he volunteered his son to be on TV. [Sarcastically] Ohmigod! Jazz hands! [He does jazz hands]
ALANNA When I showed it to her, Gretchen pressured me into responding to this craigslist ad for this dating thing. As like an experiment. And then when they said I was a finalist, she pressured me to follow up. Then when I got the offer, she comPLETly pressured me into accepting. Well I was really scared and nervous and angry with myself for even considering this option, because I’m, you know, a feminist. But I showed up anyway.
ROB The tricky part was putting on weight in places other than my torso. The arms. I couldn’t get any weight in my arms for the longest time. There were months where I just looked like the chick from Popeye had swallowed an oil drum. But then I kept racing. And I learned, that if you try hard enough…you can make your arms plenty fat.
CHRISTIAN Years later, I met a girl and it started getting pretty love-y, and she moved in. Sounds peachy, but as shit luck would have it, her name was Miriam. And trust me, you can’t have a dog and a girlfriend who are both named Miriam. “Hey Miriam!” Who are you talking to? And you can’t abbreviate Miriam. Try. Mir? Mirry? Riam? It all sounds totally gay. And she hated it, anyway. So I had to call her Miriam…if I ever wanted my johnson to see some tang again. Which I did. I thought about Miriam 1 & Miriam 2, but it stinks of something rotten when you have to assign a number to your girlfriend. And you can’t change a dog’s name after 12 years of loyal service. That’s animal cruelty.
ROB It took me the better part of 2 years. The final 40 pounds were a bitch. That was the hardest I ever worked in my whole life. Just shows how much neglect these other fatass losers have for their health to get that disgustingly fat. And I can call ‘em fatass losers, I used to be one.
CHRISTIAN My friend Scuddy had a little saying about the double Miriam, sorta like a poem. It rhymed: ‘Miriam. Man, what a bitch,
You got that right. Wait, which?’ I know, pretty solid, right? Scuddy was always good for something solid.
ALANNA There’s all this champagne in the other room and I drank a whole lot of it because I was so angry. And nervous. And everyone’s really nice and offeriing it to you. And there’s all this food too, but like I wanted to make a good first impression and I didn’t want to be like that bloated greasy girl. So now I’m just that drunk girl. But I’m not really that drunk. I went to Brown.
RICARDO Really my dad wanted to prove I’m not gay because they don’t really put gay people on TV. Not really. So like I’m here. And when I get picked by this chick on National TV then my dad will show the tape of the show to the whole church and he’ll be right. And Jesus and the Virgin Mary and Father- Lazano-who-kissed-me-in-3rd-grade will love me because they’ll know I’m not a fag. Because they care.
ROB Losing the weight? I didn’t even have to try, the weight just slid off of me. I swear to god I didn’t do a thing. I didn’t even exercise. All I did was play World of Warcraft and NOT consume 6 tubs of MetRx every hour. I mean, Christ, I was eating Wendy’s every meal, and no joke, from 260 back to 130 in 8 months. And now? I’m rich as shit. Nasty rich.
ALANNA I majored in Women’s Studies. And I took lot of Women’s Studies classes and I was really close with Professor Barmuth. She wrote that book about men being the lover/opp– lov– lover/oppressor, excuse me sorry.
CHRISTIAN It was definitely worst on the dog. Every time Miriam and I would fight or have sex, the other Miriam would get confused and piss herself. I’ll leave you to sort out which is which. Anyway, it was rough. We broke up and three months later…Miriam was dead.
ROB They’ve got a life-size cutout of me in every Wendy’s now. You’ve prolly seen it right? I never have to work again. So fuck you Wendy’s, I can play World of Warcraft all fucking day. I’m a genius. Chicks love money.
ALANNA Anyway I’m scared of being alone. I’m not scared. I hope my Dad doesn’t see this.
RICARDO I hope my Dad even sees this. He only watches Telemundo.
CHRISTIAN From 2 Miriams to none, just like that. So here I am.
ROB Chicks love money.
ALANNA I’m not scared
RICARDO I’m not straight.
CHRISTIAN It was rough
Intor music plays, and an enthusiastic pre-recorded voice booms over the crowd.
VOICE Alright America! Let’s play everyone’s favorite datinggame….”CHOOSE…ME…FOREVER!”
The studio audience speaks the name of the game show along with the announcer.
The contestants smile for the camera. Applause.