I’m Fat and Weak

It’s none of my business
But you have to eat
Your appetite is appalling *


I have resolved to have a dinner plate of salad before I dig into what else is offered. I plan on sticking to a palm-sized piece of meat. I will go for veggies before anything else, and then I will hardly have enough room on the plate for other things, but I do plan on having a tablespoon or two more (definitely not more) of anything else that looks interesting.

Are these the ravings of a lunatic? The crazed ramblings of a madman? The incoherent gibberish of a psychopath? (I think everyone gets it.—Ed.) No, these are just one Weight Watcher’s thoughts on Thanksgiving dinner. Someone who is trying to take a sensible approach toward food during a stressful holiday. Someone who is obviously a lunatic.

Yes, I know we’re supposed to focus on things other than food at Thanksgiving: family, friends, being thankful, . . . um, . . . family. But to that I say, bullshit, sir! Yes, that’s what I say. Because I’m thankful for all that stuff every day of the year. Thanksgiving is the only day I’m legally obligated to force food down my gullet until I puke. Can I have that one simple pleasure?

It turns out I can. When our little family—my husband and I, my brother and his girlfriend, and my mom—get together, we all enjoy a nice, big peaceful meal. Well, maybe not completely peaceful.

Thanksgiving means Pie Rage.

Pie Rage was born three or four years ago, when my mom and I decided to get 3 pies for Thanksgiving. The reason for 3 pies is simple: We wanted 3 pies. Anyway, who can pick just one? It’s like going to the bakery and buying one donut. Insanity!

So, after our huge dinner and way too much pie, there was still enough for each of us to have a few slices as leftovers.

Do you know the intense pleasure of having a slice of French Silk pie in your refrigerator? It’s not like I go out every day and buy myself a pie. This was a special occasion. How I looked forward to the creamy topping, the whipped filling. I could visualize each whimsical chocolate curl, taste the tender crust, smell the fat grams.

But when I got home and opened up the fridge, the pie was gone.


Had Dave eaten it? There were two slices . . . could he be that selfish, that greedy?

As it turned out, what Dave had done was far more evil, far more incomprehensible than eating the pie.

He had thrown it out.

“We don’t need pie in the refrigerator,” he explained. “We ate enough yesterday.”

“But I wanted it!” I whined.

“I did us a favor,” he said. “No more pie!”

“But . . .”


Thus Pie Rage was born.

Pie Rage rears its ugly head every Thanksgiving. This year, we planned to go to a buffet, where we would undoubtably encounter many delicious desserts, including pie. After dinner, we were going to my mom’s house . . . for pie.

I told Dave about my conversation with my mom.

“How many pies should I get?” my mom had asked.

“None! None pies!” Dave spluttered, reverting to Spinal Tap language in his fury. “We’re having dessert at the restaurant. That’s the dessert we’re paying for, and that’s the only dessert we’re eating. No pie!”

“Well, I plan to eat dessert at the restaurant, but my family likes the tradition of at-home pie . . .”

“They like the tradition of having pie for leftovers all week. When you buy pie for the sole purpose of leftovers, that’s how you get fat.”

“But maybe we just like pie, like normal people.”

“Then you’re weak!”

Oookay, so I’m fat and weak. But if we didn’t have at-home pie, then we couldn’t have the Noise Ritual.

“Noise” is my brother’s childhood term for canned whipped topping, so named for the noise it makes when you shoot it out of the can and into your throat. The Noise Ritual was originally designed to infuriate my mom (no holiday is complete without some healthy anger!) by spraying as much Noise on our pumpkin pie as possible. My brother and I elaborated on the ritual each year by taking as long as possible to spray on the Noise, making fancy designs, and usually creating a huge mess. The typical Noise Ritual—yes, 40 years later, we’re still doing this—involves a slow, deliberate spraying of the topping followed by a huge blast that covers the plate. My brother and I dissolve into hysterics, other guests are baffled, and my mom, bless her, now just sighs in a resigned fashion.

Watch the 2006 Noise Ritual!

Watch the 2007 Noise Ritual!

I hope everyone had a wonderful, fattening Thanksgiving with family and friends. May your pie be free of rage and may your Noise Rituals be messy and fun.

If you want to be fat and weak:
  • Buy at least 3 pies at a time.
  • Have extra Noise on your pie.
  • Make pie a year-round treat!
If you want to avoid Pie Rage:
  • Have a cake.
  • Eat your pie in the closet.
  • Hide your pie behind your cans of SlimFast. He’ll never find it there.

* Today’s lyrics are courtesy of the Sugarcubes