Great Weight Lifted From Boston as Skinny People Leave Town | HumorOutcasts

Great Weight Lifted From Boston as Skinny People Leave Town

April 18, 2018

NEWTON, Mass.  Jake and Susan Erlickson don’t look like addicts, but the fifty-something couple will readily admit to one craving they can’t kick.  “We both love ice cream,” Jake says, “We eat a pint every night.”  What flavor, this reporter asks, and when the two provide different answers–chocolate swirl and mocha java–their laughter betrays the fact that Jake, an actuary, meant one pint per person, not in the aggregate.

Four Kenyan runners try without success to make one American shadow.


The Erlicksons–who refer to themselves charitably as “plus-sized”–don’t have a body image problem eleven months out of the year, but in April they, like many other Boston-area residents, suffer from a sudden loss of self-esteem.  “It’s those damn runners all over the place,” Susan says, referring to the many high-performing athletes who come to town for the Boston Marathon, the nation’s oldest.  “It takes five Kenyans running in a pack to make one normal-sized American shadow–how could I not feel morbidly obese.”

“Anybody want a Diet Sprite?”


So as street sweepers cleaned up the debris from yesterday’s rain-soaked race, the Erlicksons and their neighbors on the stretch of the race known as “Heartbreak Hill” ventured from behind closed doors and drawn window shades for the first time in a week.  “Is it safe to come out?” Ellen Dormintzer called out to Susan Erlickson as she emerged into the sunlight, literally and figuratively, to feel that she wasn’t as fat as she felt yesterday.

“How do you all stay so slim?”


Approximately 16,000 men ran in Monday’s race, weighing an average of 130 pounds each, says Mike D’Esposito of Fallen Arches Magazine, a trade journal of sorts for long-distance runners.  “When you multiply that, it comes to two million, eighty thousand pounds, so you’ve literally got 1,040 tons of emaciated males who left town Tuesday,” he says.  “With that kind of dramatic shift in mass, it’s surprising that a lot of Toyota Priuses don’t roll into the Atlantic.”

The problem is exacerbated by video footage of runners chowing down on high-carbohydrate meals the night before the race, which is shown on local news broadcasts and watched as “pasta porn” by more sedentary types for a vicarious rush.  “I just don’t get it,” says Ellen Dormintzer.  “I eat the same diet they do, but they’re so much skinnier.”

Con Chapman

I'm a Boston-area writer, author of two novels (most recently "Making Partner"), a baseball book about the Red Sox and the Yankees ("The Year of the Gerbil"), ten published plays and 45 books of humor available in print and Kindle formats on My latest book "Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!" was released by HumorOutcasts Press last year. My humor has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe and Barron's, and I am working on a biography of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington's long-time alto sax player for Oxford University Press .

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One Response to Great Weight Lifted From Boston as Skinny People Leave Town

  1. April 20, 2018 at 3:25 am

    I used to be a skinny person … then I saw the error of my ways.

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