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Friday, March 11, 2016

The Forgotten History Of Fat Men's Clubs

In 1903, in a cheery local tavern tucked away in Wells River, Vt., one of America's most successful fat men's clubs was launched.

"We're fat and we're making the most of it!" was their mantra. "I've got to be good-natured; I can't fight and I can't run," was their motto. Members had to be at least 200 pounds, pay a $1 fee to enter and learn a secret handshake and password. Twice a year, members gathered, with meetings announced in advance to allow the men to stuff up in order to meet the minimum weight requirement. A 1904 Boston Globearticle described the biannual meetings colorfully:

"This village is full of bulbous and overhanging abdomens and double chins tonight, for the New England Fat Men's Club is in session at Hale's Tavern. The natives, who are mostly bony and angular, have stared with envy at the portly forms and rubicund faces which have arrived on every train."

The fat men's clubs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were spectacular celebrations of the wealth and chubbiness of a bygone era. At once sociological curiosity and anthropological artifact, these clubs were a vestige of perhaps the last time society found corpulence to be worthy of celebration.



Anonymous said...

We still have one.It isn't actually called a fat mans club,but that's what it is,and we can be seen congregating in local buffets.We don't carry cards identifying us as fat men,but we're darn proficient with a knife,fork,and spoon.Our secret code name is AYCE.

Anonymous said...

ye love my local OC feeding troughs

- Bonfire (pricey without the senior discount, prime rib yesyesyes)
- Embers (very good senior discount)
- Sheraton (AK legs and more legs)
- Paul Revere's (a summertime slime extravaganza)
- Phillips (yuck yuck and double yuck)
- Tokyo Buffet (surprising new and exciting last year..we'll see in 2016 if the standards stay the same)

side note, love AYCE flap jacks when IHOP has them....great eat when you have trouble oh my!!

Anonymous said...

A time when people could have fun and laugh at themselves.

Today this would be some weepy society of victims with metabolism disorders. They would be demanding special accommodations, government money, and censorship of 'insensitive' fat jokes. And Hillary and Bernie would be falling all over each other to pander to their 'special needs'. Fat Lives Matter!