06 September 2006

I've just finally gotten around to watching F*** Off I'm Fat.

Very near the start of the documentary, there's some footage of Ricky Grover doing some stand-up, and joking about being fat. I gigged with him once a while ago, and some skinny student started heckling him, and then disappeared for a piss.

So, Ricky got down off the stage, walked over to this kid's seat, and took the coat off the back of it. One of the issues explored in the documentary is how hard it is to buy clothes if you're fat. Needless to say, Ricky expected the coat to not fit, and look comical.

The kid came back in the room, and Ricky put on the coat. It fitted perfectly. Nothing could've been funnier as no-one in the room saw that coming.

The thing I found most interesting about the documentary was the parallels you can draw between fighting for fat rights, and fighting for disability rights. For instance, an issue that came up was the problem that restaurants try to cram as many seats into as small a space as possible. Which of course leaves little room for anyone oversized, whether that is because they are fat, or because they have a set of wheels that makes them take up more space than the interior designers ideal diner.

In fact, as an example of a restaurant that doesn't cater for fat people, they showed a shot of the Chinese/Thai/Vegetarian restaurant on Golders Green Road. A restaurant which I've felt slightly confused by in the past. This place has a really evil step to get in, another step down to the toilets, yet, once you've tackled those 2 steps, there's an "accessible" toilet. Someone didn't quite think that one through, did they?

Design issues were the focus of the documentary, and Ricky's appeal for inclusive design is something that most crips would be familiar with.

As part of the documentary, Ricky launched the UK's first "big loo." It featured a toilet tested to take the weight of someone up to a ton, and had a much larger than average seat, which everyone who used (even the skinnies) commented was far more comfortable than your bog standard (pardon the punning) loo seat.

Ricky appealed for more "big loos" around the UK, and summed up that segment of the show with the following quote:

Instead of segregating fat people, and having one big loo for them; why not make them all big loos, then you segregate no-one.

Slight flaw in that argument: Ricky had designed the "big loo" with 2 steps to get in, and a further step to mount the throne.

I'm feeling segregated by the "big loo" already...


  1. Ah, Ricky Grover. I saw him at Jonglers in Camden Lock a while back. He was brilliant. Part of his act involved jumping up and down on the stage for some reason, and he nearly overbalanced and fell on the people at the front tables. On top of (ha) his routine, the sight of everybody on the front tables wondering if they were about to be crushed by a falling Ricky was one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

  2. there's a large "disabled" restroom downstairs in a restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI. I hae not figured this out yet.