The elephant in the dining room

Here’s a new psychological syndrome: Attention Whore Disorder. I was amazed that bloggers would be bummed not to be swept into the Phat Phuck corral. They not only admitted it, they posted at length. As I said before, 8 is the new 12. Now I want to add: Obese food writers are so last century. The one time I went to the Pillsbury Bake-Off, in Miami sometime in the Eighties, I was horrified at the herd of lumbering food editors engaging in gavage at the breakfast buffet in our hotel. All of them were women. Today they would be aberrations. Which is just one objection to that silliness in search of a nut graf. It should have been headlined Boys Don’t Scarf and Barf. Only one woman was quoted, and she happens to be one renowned for wrestling with the object of her profession. (I was happy to see the only other one mentioned, and photographed, was not allowed to sell herself as a role Moss, not with a full Olsen left to drop.) The one story no one could ever do would cover the extent of eating disorders among people who eat for a living; I can’t remember how many press events I’ve been to where women (and one particular guy) disappeared into the bathroom after inhaling everything in reach (one was renowned for an accessory worn to cover the external damage she was doing to herself). So I thought this piece was all about piggishness, then I opened my magazine to see the lithe spirit had not moved the Omnivore to reconsider his intake — he was writing for the shape issue. Don’t read it if you don’t want to think about him in “the teensiest bathing suit,” though. I had to go back and brave the photo of the creature from the gluttonous lagoon to flush that image out of my cranial sieve. And that made me wonder: Forget a gut you would have to lift to be able to pee. Wouldn’t skin the color of a Silkie chicken be a sign that all was not well in Whaleville?