by Mad Dog
Cheesesteaks have 1,320 calories (half a
mans recommended daily intake), 85 grams of fat (more than you should consume in a
day), 76 grams of protein (the equivalent of a cow or two), and taste great.
|| Philadelphia has
a new claim to fameits been crowned the flabbiest city in the United States.
So instead of conjuring up images of the Liberty Bell, American Bandstand, the signing of
the Declaration of Independence, and Rocky Balboa beating the crap out of a side of beef,
from now on when we think of Philadelphia were going to picture people waddling down
the street stuffing cheesesteaks in their mouths and chasing it with a side order of
scrapple. Its official, the City of Brotherly Love is now the City of Brotherly Love
Im not making this up, Mens Fitness
magazine did. Having already run through the obvious article ideas, like " "Buns
of TitaniumYou Can Have The Body of the New Millennium!" and
"Pilates, Greek Philosopher or Todays Torture?", they decided it was time
to rate the 50 largest cities in the United States in categories like exercise habits, the
number of junk food restaurants, smoking, and how many people can see their feet while
standing up. Philadelphia won. Or lost, depending on how you look at it. Id make a
toast to their being Number One but Im afraid some Philadelphian would grab it out
of my hands and eat it.
Some of the reasons behind this honor is that the city ranks
number one in pizza parlors, only 16 percent of the people exercise on a given day, and it
turns out a whopping 30 percent of them are overweight. On the other end of the
tipped-over scale are San Diego, Minneapolis, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and San
Francisco, which are the most fit cities in the country. People there eat better, work out
more, smoke less, drink less, and hence are more miserable for more years of their longer
life. Nice choice, huh?
Go into any diner and order a sandwich and youll get enough food for four. If
theyre not careful theyre going to have to change the state motto to
"Pennsylvania, what a waist!"
|| Obviously food
consumption, or should I say overconsumption, plays a big part in Philadelphias
being Blimp City. This isnt surprising since its the home of the cheesesteak,
a huge pile of thinly sliced steak which is fried in oil, piled on a sub roll, smothered
in cheese and onions, and often slathered with mayonnaise. Tofu and sprouts this
isnt. These suckers have 1,320 calories (half a mans recommended daily
intake), 85 grams of fat (more than you should consume in a day), 76 grams of protein (the
equivalent of a cow or two), and taste great. I was in Philadelphia a few days ago and I
have to admit I made a special trip to Jims on South Street so I could get one. But
this was before Mens Fitness released their Rotund Report. When it did, which was
the next day, I went on a very strict diet of rice cakes and bulimia. Just kidding.
Actually Im not bulimic. I threw up because the rice cakes tasted like, well, rice
Another thing that contributes to Philly Phatness is
that they serve monumental food portions everywhere. Go into any diner and order a
sandwich and youll get enough food for four. Get a blue plate special and
youll go through more courses than a 5th year undergrad. And the Cokes? A small one
comes in a 55-gallon drum. If theyre not careful theyre going to have to
change the state motto to "Pennsylvania, what a waist!"
They could make a fortune selling wide
angle lenses to visitors who want to take their photographs. They could sponsor the
Cheesesteak Bowl for the college football teams with the biggest defensive lines.
|| This would be an
improvement, especially if theyd use it on their license plates. For years
theyve been using the motto "The Keystone State" because they enjoy the
baffled look on our faces when we try to figure out what the hell theyre talking
about. Theyre certainly not the only ones with esoteric license plate slogans. Utah
is "The Beehive State" and Ive never seen a bee, better yet a hive, there.
Idaho is "The Gem State" and theyre known for potatoes, not diamonds. And
what to make of South Dakota, which claims to have "Great faces, great places"
at the same time South Carolina has "Smiling faces, beautiful places"? Maybe
Pennsylvania needs to join this license plate competition and go for "Who cares about
faces when our butts are so damned big?"
didnt. No, in their infinite wisdom they scrapped "The Keystone State" and
started issuing license plates with their web site address: WWW.STATE.PA.US. I guess
WWW.DUMB_SLOGAN.COM was already taken. Why they did this is a mystery, much like who makes
the crop circles and how it is Jon Stewart keeps getting new television shows. Gone are
the days of driving down the highway wondering what Pennsylvanias web site address
is. Of course, on the plus side it will give new life to Spot-The-License-Plate games,
meaning children will have more to do on long car trips than puke, kick each other, scream
every five minutes because they have to go to the bathroom, and generally be an 8-hour
testimonial for birth control.
If Philadelphia was smart theyd capitalize on their new
title and use it as a tourist draw. They could make a fortune selling wide angle lenses to
visitors who want to take their photographs. They could sponsor the Cheesesteak Bowl for
the college football teams with the biggest defensive lines. And they could convince Jose
Manuel Barros or Porrino, Spain, who was named the fattest mayor in the world by the
Guinness Book of Records, to move there and run for office. Besides, dont you think
it would be a nice touch to be driving along I-95 and see a sign welcoming me to the city
that says: "Philadelphia. Its worth the weight"? I do.
©1999 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them, but try not to smear your cheesesteak on them.