Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Real life imitates Springfield

Ray Sawhill of 2Blowhards fame points out one man's lonely quest to fight Big Food on behalf of "consumers":
One angry (and hungry) man is picketing a family-run restaurant for what he calls false advertising. Bill Wisth, who weight 350lbs and stands at a towering 6ft6in, went to the Thiensville, Wisconsin restaurant last Friday for their all-you-can-eat fish fry. However, he said that after 12 pieces, Chuck’s Place cut him off. 
The restaurant staff said they were running out of fish, but sent Mr. Wisth on his way with eight more pieces.
Mr. Wisth called the police. He told TMJ 4 that people ‘have to stand up for consumers.’ Two days later, Mr. Wisth returned to Chuck’s Place, but this time he also brought a picket sign which read: ‘False advertising.’
From season four, episode eight, "New Kid on the Block":
Lionel Hutz: Now, Mrs. Simpson, tell the court in your own words what happened after you and your husband were ejected out of the restaurant.
Marge: [eyes downcast] Well, we pretty much went straight home.
Lionel Hutz: Mrs. Simpson, remember that you are under oath.
Marge: We drove around until three in the morning looking for another open all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant.
Lionel Hutz: And when you couldn't find one?
Marge: [crying] We... went... fishing.
Lionel Hutz: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do these sound like the actions of a man whose had ALL he could eat? [the jury is made up of obese people]
Jury: No, no.
Jury Man: No, that could've been me.
Not quite Tom Wolfe-caliber presaging, but still pretty damned good.


pat said...

Bill Wisth is a big guy but hardly towering. I consider myself normal and he's not much bigger than I am. I'm a 6'4" and about 300 lbs. My doctor once prescribed foot lifts for my strained Achilles tendon. I got some elevator shoe inserts. They put me around 6'7". I still felt normal.

I was also at 330 lbs at my heaviest. The nurse who weighed me was surprised. 330 just isn't that unusual.

People don't react to me with incredulity and alarm whan I walk down the street. I once did induce that sort of reaction in Berkeley (a city famous for its odd street people). A guy once jumped up and pointed at my feet and screamed "You have big feet!".

Indeed I do have big feet but only size 15, not anything freakish. That guy was probably stoned and halucinating.

A lot of famous movie stars were or tried to be 6'4". Those included John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. 6'6" is getting out of the normal range of expectation for a leading man. Clint Walker was this size also David Prowse (Darth Vader) and Tom Noonan. Above 6'6" the territory of the movie giants like Tyler Mane and Nathan Jones (the big guys in "Troy").

I would call 6'6" big not towering. Unless of course it's a Tom Cruise or Slyvester Stalone flic. Almost any normal size guy looks huge next to those tiny guys.


Audacious Epigone said...


It seems a good rule of thumb regarding conspcicuous traits (physical and otherwise) is two standard deviations or more below or above the mean. In the case of white and black American men, that comes to about 5'4 (or shorter) and 6'4 (or taller). It's at these thresholds that a guy's height becomes one of the first things people notice about him.

pat said...


Good point. I'm about in the 99th percentile of height. I've checked the math on the public side walks. I've walked down the street and counted the people taller than I am. I usually average around a hundred passersby before I see someone taller than me. During the day in San Francisco this takes about ten minutes. In New York they walk faster and Atlanta a bit slower. In any case I come across a taller guy several times an hour.

The standardized tests tell me I'm a little smarter than I am tall from the standpoint of z-scores. So this exercise is useful for picturing my place in intellectual society. I can't give everyone an IQ test but I can estimate that I pass by my intellectual superior roughly every ten minutes on the Streets of San Francisco. I am indeed the "smartest guy in the room" if the room isn't too big.

From the quality of your articles I would guess you are at least 6'6" intelectually. Not too shabby, but not really towering either.

I knew William Shockley slightly. He was a towering guy. Well over seven feet if you follow my drift.


Audacious Epigone said...


I try to punch a little above my weight, but thanks! I've read remarks in multiple places that the serious blogosphere is full of people with self-described IQs in the upper 130s and lower 140s. I'd like to contest that, but alas...

Anyway, I guess people even taller than that are making the world go 'round, while those who are shorter can't see (heh) the point or get anything out of it.