HE reader “btwnproductions” said “the fat people will be relieved” that I was going through a writing slump earlier this afternoon. Just for that I’m going to post a 100% true fat-people anecdote — actually a comment that I heard during the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.
I’d just finished interviewing the great Ken Kesey at Burgie’s on Main Street. (Remember Burgie’s?) He was talking to journalists about The Source, a Chuck Workman documentary about the hip movement of the ’50s and ’60s in which he appeared. I got a rise out of Kesey when I told him I’d played Dr. Spivey in a small theatrical production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest . He grinned faintly. “So you played Spivey, eh?” Our chat lasted 20 minutes and then the next guy took over.
I walked outdoors to a second-floor balcony area that looked down upon Main Street. Kesey’s son Zane — heavyish, late 20s or early 30s — joined me. Down below were hordes of festivalgoers, all looking and behaving like typical industry types from NY or LA. Zane, who lived on or near his dad’s farm in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, looked down and said, “Where are all the fat people?” He was joking but critiquing. “This isn’t real America,” he was more or less saying. “These people are too hip looking, too well-dressed.”