Max McCain is spending his time hoping for my demise, and in a very particular manner. He doesn’t hope I get hit by a bus, fall from a cliff, or consume bad clams. Drowning in the Potomac? Tragic crash? Accidental overdose of spiked holiday punch? Not for me. No bathtub mishap, or unplugging the plug. That wouldn’t satisfy Max McCain. With pinpoint specificity, Max McCain hopes my heart attacks me -– dead.
I know this because Max McCain told me. He said, “I hope you die of a heart attack.” The message was clear.
Why does Max McCain have this impulse, and why did he choose to share it? I can only speculate. I’ve never met Max McCain. I’ve never spoken to him or run into him on the street. We aren’t long lost relatives and our families aren’t in a feud. In fact I had never heard of, or from, Max McCain, until the fateful day when the email arrived in my box.
Like with a romantic breakup, nothing says class like wishes of nuanced death through electronic medium. I suppose it could have been worse: text, or the unthinkable, Twitter.
So, I can’t tell you precisely why Max McCain hopes I die of a heart attack, but I can tell you the circumstances in which the message was sent. It was all very post-modern, which perhaps makes the email a bit more acceptable as the transmission tool via which to share this desire.
I was minding my own business, or perhaps imposing my business on others, by panhandling for nickels through Kickstarter. (By nickels I mean five dollars, minimum.) I personally find the project worthy of begging for money; it’s for the children.
In all seriousness, it is for the children. I am working on my second book, “Fat Kids: Truth and Consequences.” This comes after my first book, “Fat Sex: The Naked Truth.” My campaign includes this very revealing and deeply personal video of my struggles with weight since I was a small child.
It’s not aggressive or preachy, it doesn’t cast blame or have underpinnings of hostility and anger. Frankly, it’s moving, sensitive, loving to all those who might experience the same fate, and it took a fair amount of, dare I say, courage, to produce and share. The open plea goes like this:
Kids are struggling. Fat kids, skinny kids, girl kids, and boy kids. The pressure to be thin is overwhelming. I was just a precursor to the devastation that is happening to kids because of weight, bullying, shame, fear, pills, surgeries, and profound pain. The childhood obesity crisis around the world may be troubling, but not only because kids might be fatter. And everyone, kids, their parents, and all the good intentioned people trying to protect the kids from their fat bodies, need to know the truth and consequences.
We must protect their hearts, souls, and sanity as well. These are stories of fat kids, former fat kids, and kids who think they are fat. They need to be told. They will make you cry, and then they will make you think.
I suppose anyone can be offended by anything, even a baby-face pleading for compassion. Apparently that is the case, because after presumably viewing my video, Max McCain sent me an email that simply said, “I hope you die of a heart attack.” Duly noted.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not sharing this story because Max McCain caused me pain. No one need apologize on his behalf. I am not wounded. (Sorry Max.) I think though, humbly, that Max McCain might consider saving his hopes for more productive endeavors, like winning the lottery or world peace, but who am I to judge Max McCain?
Rather, I hold Max McCain on a pedestal, if you will. He is emblematic. He is a spokesman, a “poster-child,” a town crier. He represents two very significant factions of modern-day people, and two that go together like peas and carrots, or maybe chocolate and peanut butter. Those who spout vitriolic (and just plain asinine things) with anonymity online and those who “hate” fat people.
I wasn’t always a believer in the notion of “fat hate.” I mean, frankly, human beings are so self-centered and imminently concerned with their own daily lives, do they really have the time and inclination to “hate” fat people? Hate?!
But it does seem that some actually go so far as to hate people for being fat, for talking about fat in a non-accusatory way, and for suggesting that perhaps, just maybe, not everyone who is fat is just inherently bad, gluttonous, and lazy (oh, and should die, by heart attack, or otherwise).
I know all the rationalizations for this emotion. The bad examples we set. The money we cost. The space we take up. How simply offensive we are just as a matter of principle, not to mention that people are forced to see us, with their eyes.
I also know the counter arguments, which boil down to, well, basically, “bite me.” You are a bigot and haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about, socially or scientifically, and anyway, have you looked in a mirror lately? One could make a much more sophisticated and cogent argument against fat hate, but this is not the time or the place. This is all about Max McCain, because clearly, everything is all about Max McCain.
Anyway, Max McCain, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but despite my being fat, my heart is in excellent shape. But you never know, if not a heart attack, I still might get hit by a bus. I know it’s not exactly what you hope for, but sometimes we have to make concessions.
(If I do get hit by a bus, check to see if the guy behind the wheel is named Max McCain.)