Author Archives: fatherscott

Don’t forget to watch one fat person get chosen over other fat people

Father Scott

Tonight marks the finale of The Biggest Loser, also known as the Paradise Lost of television.

Rather than ramble on about who’s going to win (Rudy) or who I want to win (Rudy), I’d like to introduce a one-time interactive Pax Arcana feature.

Keeping track of tears tonight would be both wasteful and pointless. The count will be staggering, because there is a live audience of other fat people who have been “inspired” by these fat people. So I provide no over/under — it’s off the board.

Rather, here is what we track: How many times does the wonderful Ali get sidetracked by an exuberant cast member who doesn’t realize that live TV requires carefully timed segments? We’ve all seen Ali try to wrest control of the program from these blubbering fools, and the results are always embarrassingly fun. Poor Ali. I have a shoulder you can cry on, Miss Sweeney. Two, in fact.

So the line is an ambitious 6.5 tonight. I think Danny alone could ramble past his due time at least 4 times. Let’s see how smooth Ali can keep this.

Enjoy the show, people. And if all this inspirational weight loss is a little too positive for you, you can always check this out to see a fat guy who fell off the wagon. (ht: Spackler)

Leave a comment

Filed under television

Friend of Pax Arcana publishes book, world rejoices

Father Scott

OK, “friend of Pax Arcana” is strong. I’m not sure Mitch Cote-Crosskill is even aware of us, even though we have linked to his ill-updated but amusing music blog Mitchfork in the past. Plus, Mitch has never met the actual Pax, just one of his yeomen (me).

Anyway, Mitch has published a novel called The Valedictorians, which he wrote in his first few years after graduating from our fine alma mater, the majestic Bates College.

I’ll let his Amazon product description tell the story:

The torch bearers of tomorrow are stumbling through the darkness. “The Valedictorians” is an unflinching look at a jaded generation desperately seeking direction. It tells the tale of Sam and Pete, two recently graduated best friends who exit college to enter the “real world” of 21st century America. A harsh adjustment ensues and, as they struggle to cope with crippling doubt and alienation, much about themselves and modern living is illuminated. The survival of each will hinge on how they adapt to the new challenges they face.

I haven’t read the final draft, but I did read his first draft and enjoyed the tale. Mitch is not a professional writer (this book is self-published through Mill City Press, for full disclosure), but he has a knack for writing an enjoyable story with relatable characters.

For those of you with connections to the northeast liberal arts college experience, you’ll recognize this story, particularly if you were friends with folks who truly blossomed in college and then struggled with the “real world” afterward. The emotions that the characters deal with — however, in the big scheme of things, trivial they might be — are real, and speak to the unrest that even the most educated folks feel.

The Valedictorians is available on Amazon (release date says January 1, 2010), or in person from the author himself, who is based in the Boston area. He’s even having a book signing party, which will consist of our college friends drinking slightly better beer than we drank in college, later this month.

I encourage you all to buy a copy. Hell, buy five. You’ve got Christmas presents to buy, after all. Grandma would love this book, especially the part where the main character nails his boss.

Leave a comment

Filed under books

Tuesday Tubby Tearfest: Ranking the final four

Father Scott

Well I’m finally caught up in real time with the greatest show about the obese on the planet — I sucked it up and watched last week, then the previous episode out of order on Hulu. I’m still disgusted with you, free service that probably costs an arm and a leg to produce and yet only gets complaints from its users.

So we’ve reached the final four. I don’t really know what to expect from tonight’s episode — it says “at a special time” which might mean “we didn’t have enough good material for two hours, so we’re starting at 9” or even more egregiously “the President wants to talk to you and somehow that’s more important than watching fat people do jumping jacks.”

But I can tell you something about last week: Suze Orman is a frightening individual. I’m not sure she knows anything, but she has an abnormal amount of confidence in what she says. Listening to her talk about finances reminds me of when Jillian tries to do the psychobabble and the contestants who aren’t emotional infants (OK, there aren’t many of them) just kind of scoff at her.

So let’s talk big picture this week. Who’s winning this thing? I don’t think any really stand out as particularly dedicated, so it’s a tough call, but I’ll go in reverse order of my own personal rankings.

4. Liz. How is this woman still here? You know what Liz, your southern Grandma act is getting old. You have a charming accent. Get off my television so I can look at Ali a little more.

3. Danny. This man is the best earnest tear factory since Bob’s man-crush Mark from a couple seasons ago. But I think we’re going to see a plateau from Danny. GOOD GOD does he have a gut, also. Did he program his body to send all goods consumed directly to his stomach? How has he worked out for 3 months and lost 100+ lbs. and still have his stomach hang over his pants? Poor guy. But he’s not winning.

2. Amanda. I find Bob’s obsession with Amanda confusing. 1) Bob’s gay, right? And Amanda’s a woman, right? 2) She looks like LeAnn Rimes. A compliment? 3) She’s one of the few to walk out on a workout, and I actually think she’s done it more than once. What am I missing here? Anyway, she’s young and a female so she probably won’t plateau as much, but still, I don’t know that her heart is in it once she gets away from Bob.

1. Rudy. Rudy’s still got some weight to drop, but he’s got the athletic build and the endurance to keep going. Most importantly he’s got the drive from within, or at least he seems to. Jillian was pissed that he bottles it up, but sometimes I think it’s better to be less vocal about it, especially once you need to go back to regular life.


The description on the site is as follows:

Special time, 9/8c! Last season’s finalists return to cheer the final four on as they face their toughest challenge: a marathon.

Toughest challenge? Past season returning? A FREAKING MARATHON? This is a tear explosion, even with fewer contestants on the show. I’m setting the line at an unprecedented 24.5.


I probably won’t eat unhealthily during the show. For shame, I know. But I have a return to the flag football field this weekend, and am actually going to the gym after work, because I’m pretty sure if I ride on a bike machine for a couple hours this week I will officially be in shape before the game. But if I were to eat something horrible, it would be my go-to McDonald’s meal: a number 1 meal and a McChicken. That McChicken really does the trick.

And you know what I learned last night? Big Macs aren’t that bad for you, really. 29 grams of fat according to my Subway napkin. 29 grams of fat? I figured it was 60. NOW I CAN EAT TWO.

Enjoy the show, tiny folks.


Filed under television

Wednesday Whaley Whimperfest: NBC and Hulu are stupid

Father Scott

You may have noticed there was no Tuesday Tubby Tearfest this week. Here’s why: I missed The Biggest Loser the previous week (Celts opening night y’all) and was like, “Oh, I’ll check it out online later.” NBC is a major network, works really hard on Hulu (they advertised on the Super Bowl!), so obviously this was a flawless plan.

Except Hulu and don’t put the episodes up right away. “That’s fine,” I thought when I checked Wednesday. “There needs to be some sort of penalty for me missing the actual airing, and thus missing all the commercials, which is how they pay the big bucks to attract that ogre Jillian Michaels to the show.”

Then I checked Thursday. No dice. Nor all weekend.

So it gets to be this Tuesday, and I can’t catch up in time for the new one. THEY WAIT A WEEK BEFORE POSTING THE EPISODES.

I demand an explanation. How am I supposed to catch up, ever? By penalizing me for missing one show’s worth of commercials, they force me to never watch on time again, which means I always watch online, which means I only see one or two low-rent commercials, which I’m sure don’t pay the big bucks.

Plus, it loses momentum. Part of the joy of watching the show is talking with other people about it, or in my case, writing about how much these fatboys and gals cry.

I fear that I will never recover, fair reader (hi Jaelynne!).

Anyway, I think this is stupid. If I had DVR, I could easily do more damage by fast-forwarding through the commercials. For some reason DVR is an asset to networks, but online is a replacement. This is totally nonsensical, and sometimes I wonder if TV networks have any better idea of how to work with the Internet than newspapers did.

I hate both of you NBC and Hulu. Unless this is a one-time thing, in which case everything is fine and I’ll catch up soon.


No idea, since I don’t have any momentum to go on. For me, the over/under is 0.5. You should take the over.


I don’t know who’s there LA LA LA


Since I can’t watch the show, does this mean I can’t eat the delicious treat? OH HELL NO. This week’s treat: chocolate chip pie from some place in Raynham that Jaelynne frequents, and then doesn’t finish and lets me devour during lunch. NICE.


Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Random 10: You can’t overestimate Gerry Callahan

Father Scott

On my delicious nine-minute commute this morning, I got to hear the dulcet tones of Gerry Callahan say the following on EEI (paraphrased):

“You can’t overestimate the importance of the return of Brett Favre to Green Bay.”

Oh, Gerry, Gerry, Gerry. I’m afraid you don’t know me well. Watch how I overestimate this:

I say the return of Brett Favre to Lambeau Field is 12 times more significant than the invention of the cotton gin. Lewis and Clark trekking west? Bitches. Genocide in Africa? I wouldn’t bother myself with such trifles when I can spend my mental energy on imagining what the 650 lb. McCarthy couple thinks about some old guy throwing around a leather ball for three hours.

Am I being petty? Of course. But this is one annoying verbal tick that needs to go away. I don’t just mean in sports. News, politics, finance, whatever. Just say it’s interesting, or this means more to Wisconsinites than the local grocery stores’ buy 12 wheels of cheese get one half-off sale (OK, that’s also and overestimation.) You can always overestimate stuff and always sound stupid.

Like, for instance, you’re at a conference for work but have a tickle in your throat so you stay in your hotel room the whole time, but then stay up late tweeting about the World Series. In that case, you’re probably overestimating the effect of your sickness. Either that or you’re just a disgrace to your Viking ancestry.

UPDATE: Related: Via @Adam_Schefter on Twitter: True Factoid: What was “Minnesota Avenue” in Green Bay was officially renamed this week “Aaron Rodgers Drive.” That’s pretty awesome.

The songs:

I And Love And You, The Avett Bros.
Gimme a Sign, Ryan Adams
Pennyroyal Tea, Nirvana
Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
A Fond Farewell, Elliott Smith
Faithfull, Pearl Jam
Made You Look, Nas
Gone Gone — NYC, Conor Oberst
Sunlight, Harlem Shakes
Play Your Part (pt. 1), Girl Talk

Bonus video:


Filed under Friday random 10, music, Uncategorized

Tuesday Tubby Tearfest: In which I straight up don’t believe NBC

Father Scott

We all know that reality shows lie to our faces every episode. For instance, The Hills masquerades as non-fiction. Flavor of Love seems to suggest that Flavor Flav reads above a third-grade level. The Bachelor/Bachelorette series want you to think that every time a contestant is sent home, it was “the hardest decision [the main character] has ever made.”

For the most part we accept it, because it adds to the drama, or on the other hand makes whatever we’re being spoonfed more digestable.

The Biggest Loser isn’t so bad as far as this stuff goes. I mean, their product placements are now so direct that I almost think they’re wink-wink-nudge-nudge jokes from production assistants. (Note: Last week I was grocery shopping and intentionally didn’t buy Yoplait yogurt because I’m sick of Bob talking down to me about my snack choices. Take that Tats McGee.)

The contestants regularly talk about going home, refer to the show, and last week we even saw a producer step in front of the camera when Coach Mo took a tumble.

But here’s one major way NBC is lying to us: There is no way on God’s green Earth that Alexandra/Antoine “relationship” is not set up.

Alexandra left after like a week. Antoine goes home a few weeks later, and during his send-off it is revealed that they had a connection and now work out together and are dating. They even drop the L-bomb on camera.

Now hold up.

They met for a week. They were both morbidly obese. They were on the show for weight loss, and spent eight hours a day drenched in sweat. Romance is not even a C-story on this show, because America doesn’t want to watch unattractive people banging (they want to watch unattractive people become attractive, then start banging).

I went to NBC’s website for more details, and believe there are further lies. Antoine is listed as from North Carolina, while Alexandra is from Pennsylvania, which disputes Pax’s theory that they knew each other beforehand. Or does it? Alexandra claims to be working on her MBA…but is age 20. And where is she in college?

I call shenanigans NBC. Either Alexandra goes to Duke and is already nailing Antoine (who’s going to be an attractive dude if he slices off another 100 lbs.), or you guys pulled the two As together and said, “hey fatties, let’s ham it up for the camera, maybe you’ll get a spin-off show”.

Well fatties, you won’t, and stop lying to us.

And if you’re wondering why I’m talking about this now…Dina is boring and I have nothing to say about her.


I’m going with 23.5 this week. The website promises a former contestant to come back, and that shit always rattles these people. It involved a record, so it’s probably whoever lost 100 lbs. the soonest, since Rudy is banging down that door. I hope the record is actually “most tree-like carrot sculpture” so Paul can make his return. Or maybe it’s “most not-over his ex-wife.”


Daniel. His production has dropped off, and I don’t think it’s a blip. He’s got emotional problems, but the sympathy can only go so far, and this cast’s sympathy is clearly all with Shay.


As you’re watching The Biggest Loser, you’re probably eating. They’re constantly tempting the contestants with delicious treats, and if you’ve got time to plop down for two hours on the couch, you’re probably not the kind of go-getter that’s at the gym at night.

So eat something delicious that those assholes can’t get away with.

Last week I went frozen pizza followed by a bunch of bite-sized candy. Tonight, I’ll probably eat before the show, but for during-show snack, I’m going with my mom’s homemade pumpkin whoopie pies, whose secret ingredient is sugar-infused sugar-butter sugar sugar sugar. It promises to be a delight, though type-2 diabetes probably won’t be.

Enjoy the show, Paxites.


Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday Tubby Tearfest: Please go home, Tracey

Father Scott

Every so often, I have a dream that I am twisting one of my bottom teeth and it eventually pulls out of my mouth. It’s an extraordinary dream, because I feel like I experience something that I haven’t experienced in, what, 15 years?

And it feels so good. My tooth is hurting (in the dream), which is why I keep yanking on it. The relief is amazingly satisfying, and the sensation of touching the gum with your tongue after a tooth has vanished is unmistakeable.

Of course, I wouldn’t actually want to yank a tooth out of my mouth, even the offending tooth (which doesn’t really fit in my mouth because my teeth are perpetually tightening, twisting this sonofabitch enough to give me dreams that its removal would be a delight). The lack of tooth would create a ridiculous-looking hole in my mouth that would make me look even more homeless than my scraggly beard does. I’m happy with semi-homeless.

This is how Tracey feels about weight loss.

Tracey is an attention-grabbing, crazy-eyed, rumpled-haired, lying, illogical whore. OK, she does not sell herself sexually for money, as far as we know. But the rest is all documented.

But the thing is: She does not actually want to lose weight.

As Jillian so often says, “This is a CHOICE.” Everyone on the show has health issues, because they’re monstrously overweight. But not everyone runs off to Dr. Huizenga. If everyone had meetings with Dr. H every few days, wouldn’t there be dangerous levels of all kinds of stuff in their bodies? OF COURSE. And of course it’s dangerous for them to be working as hard as they are.

Sure, she passed out on the first episode because walking a mile is just too much activity. But I think there’s something psychological going on. Am I saying she intentionally passed out? No. But I think she’s psychologically weak, and that’s tying into physiological weakness. Tracey doesn’t want to lose weight, because she will no longer stand out. She will no longer be an obese, and in her mind, tragic figure, deserving of your sympathy. She’ll just be another annoying lady with kids.

Unlike my tooth, Tracey’s weight is actually a problem, and she would look better. But it would change how she is perceived in the world, and she can’t handle that.

Her attention-grabbing is getting old. It’s clear, as Pax said to me before I watched the last two episodes, that Tracey is just trying to become the star of the show, just as Heba did in season 6. Except that Heba combined strategy and melodrama with actual work, whereas Tracey talks, talks, talks, and sits, sits, sits. I officially do not believe The Biggest Loser scales — or they are just blatantly lying about how much activity she does — because it is totally illogical that some of these people bust their asses, and this ho loses weight and stays alive.

Tracey: You do not want to be The Biggest Loser. You do not even want to be ON The Biggest Loser. You want to be on TV. You want to be Octomom, not Mark from season 5. And I fucking hate Octomom.

Please go home, Tracey. And I hope Jillian pummels the shit out of you on the way out.


For those of you who are new to Tuesday Tubby Tearfest: Each week I provide an over/under for how many instances of crying will happen on the show. It’s a totally subjective determination, and the phrase is just as clunky as “percentage of weight loss of xx lbs.”. Generally, I consider an instance of crying being any time in which there are tears or blubbering. If you collect yourself and bawl again, I count it.

This season was out of control with the tears — I’m pretty sure episode 3 set some kind of record. But with Sean gone, I think it’s going to be more even keeled. The line is 13.5 this week. I’ll take the over, but I’m not that confident about it.


Well, Tracey if it were up to me. But the producers are clearly fucking with the game to keep her on.

I’m going to say Liz. The shit catches up with the older folks, and Liz may be late 40s, but she acts and looks about 60. She’s not nearly as committed as some of the other people, and when it comes down to it the voting depends on A) who needs to be there B) who they like the best and C) who wants to be there. I think people like Liz, but she doesn’t need to be there as bad as some (Rudy, Shay) and doesn’t want to be there as much as some (Shay again, and Daniel).

Enjoy the show, homies.


Filed under television

Don’t call it a comeback

Father Scott

I live by a few simple rules in life. Always accept free cake. Don’t trust large, goofy scandinavians.

But the most important one is: If many women ask you to do something, do it.

And that rule is why I’m happy to announce the return of the greatest regular feature in the illustrious history of Pax Arcana: Tuesday Tubby Tearfest.

I lost interest in The Biggest Loser after season 6’s unlikeable cast was followed by season 7’s unwatchable cast. Basically, Paul left large shoes to fill (literally and figuratively). Wonder if he ever got over his post-show pneumonia.

With Samurai focus, I build this carrot tree. Carrot. Carrot cake. Pulled pork. Chocolate-covered nachos with mayonnaise. MMMMMM

Anyway, I have three more shows to catch up on to get back to real-time, but should be able to carve out four or five hours in my weekend of coke orgies to do so.

After episode 1, I have the following thoughts:

1) Jillian has become a parody of herself, to hilarious results. She’s still motherfucking insane.


2) Coach Mo is awesome. I dread his eventual dismissal (thanks for the spoiler, Pax).

3) Never before have I seen a reality cast more coached by the producers. How many sentences started with, “I feel like I have a second chance…” in the first episode? The over under was 143.5, and I’m betting Pax’s mortgage on the over.

4) Alison Sweeney is smokin’.

If you haven’t yet read Tuesday Tubby Tearfest, here’s what you can expect:

1) Making fun of fat people who cry

2) Philosophical discussions as to whether Jillian is human

3) What delicious food I eat while watching these fatasses struggle to get out of bed in the morning

If that doesn’t sound like your slice of pie, go back to tweeting about Balloon Boy, or whatever it is you people do.

UPDATE: OMGZ 47 billion hat tips to Pax for this astoundingly…something…video by/about Paul:


Filed under television

Our most popular post

Father Scott

Because of our paucity of posting of late, Paxites have been forced to comb through the archives. The most popular story of each of the last few days, by far?

This one.

Good choice, readers. It’s my favorite of Pax’s titles, but I imagine it has something more to do with Shark Week than Senor Arcana’s journalistic skillz. So let’s give Discovery Channel a free plug. There’s no way we would have reached double-digit readership without them.


Filed under pax arcana

The AP owns what you say

Father Scott

It’s no secret around these parts that the traditional media has had some problems with new business models. I’d start linking to Pax’s various posts about this, but I don’t have a free 13 hours to do so.

Via comes this story of a man who would like to reproduce his own quote for a news story, and all the AP is asking is for $17.50 to do so.

The Microsoft-Yahoo search deal was big news this past week, and I took plenty of press calls about it, including from the AP. But to quote what I told the AP, I have to pay them $17.50. For the record, I love APs reporters and am always happy to serve as a source. The reporters at the AP have nothing to do with the absurdities of AP’s business side. The business side declares that if I want to quote myself from that article, using the AP’s online form, it will cost me $17.50.

Well that seems reasonable. I once had a heated discussion with Pax about the unending battle between cake and pie (cake wins, natch). Jaelynne later asked me about it and as I opened my mouth, Pax took my wallet and pulled out bills for every word I spoke. Then he pushed me on the ground and kicked dirt in my face, which seemed unnecessary.

Oh but that’s not all. You want to update your Facebook profile with a favorite quotation from one of our founding fathers? That’ll be 12 bucks.

From an article in The Laboratorium:

The Associated Press has become so deranged, so disconnected from reality, that it will sell you a “license” to quote words it didn’t write and doesn’t own. I paid $12 for this “license.” Those words don’t even come from the article they charged me 46 cents a word to quote from (and that’s with the educational discount). No, they’re from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Isaac McPherson, in which Jefferson argues that copyright has no basis in natural law.

In summation: You have to pay to quote anyone who said anything; and you don’t have to pay the person who said it, but rather some other company who is just delaying its demise. Also: Being in the media sucks and you should get out now if you haven’t already been laid off, or you can just wait until your corporation gets swallowed up.


Filed under media