WAYLAND, Mass. With the belated arrival of spring in the Northeast come the numerous walk-a-thons, 6 kilometer races and other charitable fund-raising events that crowd the region’s roads once winter is over.
Man boobs: Occupational hazard of round-shouldered bloggers.
“We have old narrow highways, so sometimes tempers flare when a walker runs–er, walks–somebody off the road,” says State Trooper Jim Hampey as he monitors two different streams of volunteers converging at the intersection of routes 20 and 27. “It can get ugly in a hurry, assuming you didn’t start out ugly in the first place.”
For one such event, the Walk for the Cure for Man Boobs, the ten-mile route is a mine field for those who suffer from the affliction, as participants in the “Break the Chain Walk to End Smoking” taunt their flabbier fellow walkers. “Hey fat boy,” says Claude Thurman, a rail-thin cigarette addict who gets his oral gratification from Marlboro Lights in the hard pack. “Those things are worthless as tits on a tomcat!”
“May be, pal,” says Furman Boul, a claims adjuster who has spent the better part of the winter on his sofa watching televised sports, “but I’ll be reclinin’ in my La-Z-Boy where your bony ass is six feet under.”
It’s not just other men who are dismissive of victims of man boobs. Women line the streets when the long file of sufferers moves through Sudbury, and they make it clear that they think the supposed ailment of the marchers is all their fault. “Why don’t you lift something heavier than a 12-ounce can of beer every once in a while,” yells Linda Fairley, who has just come from a private session with a personal trainer that shows in her well-toned upper arms and torso. “You eat a bag of marshmallows,” she yells at Wade Newsome, “you end up looking like one.”
Sympathy runs low for the victims of man boobs because they are viewed as partly responsible for their condition, or at the very least capable of correcting it. “I don’t know why those guys get their own march,” says Norton Dennison, executive director of VOSII, an acronym that stands for “Victims of Self-Inflicted Injuries.” “I’ve got guys who fell out of tree stands hunting or ran over their own foot with a lawn mower who are in much worse shape.”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “The Spirit of Giving: Untrue Tales of Inspiration and Generosity.”