by Pete Baker
Once in a while I liked to venture to one of my favorite towns along the Oregon coast. It's a small town, untarnished by commercialism. Canon Beach was sprinkled with small shops and restaurants that actually add to the spectacular view of the awesome Pacific Ocean and the rolling hills, cliffs and huge fir trees. One of my favorite stops was a bakery and it was not like other bakeries. There was a large picture window right out front similar to the old pizza shops where you could watch them hurling dough in the air, flattening, shaping and making ready for America's favorite.
This window, however hosted among tempting pastry items, a very lovely lady, who was there to decorate with her beauty and enjoy her favorite pastries and to entice shoppers to venture in. She'd sometimes sit for hours, slowly enjoying donuts, strudels, bear claws, and butter-horns. She was both cute and exotic in her own small-town way. I am a real big fan of baked goods, no doubt, but I must confess that I really liked going there to see my secret fantasy girl, enjoying to the fullest what seems to be one of her most heart-felt desires – eating her favorite food. She ate rather quickly too as if she hasn't eaten in some time, but still savored each bite. I could tell she enjoyed it and now she knew that I lusted for her by the looks she gave me. Out of all the people that frequent the shop, perhaps hundreds daily, she always seemed to recognize me, and showed it by giving a very slight wink with a smile. Inside my heart would say “HOLY CRAP” and I'd swallow, GULP.
In the upper right hand corner of the window, there were some fluorescent numbers which I thought had to do with the number of customers serviced that day. When I first took notice, the number read 244. This day, I notice the numbers had risen to 325. As I paid for my treats, I expressed to the clerk that business must be pretty good today, since your customer count has gone up to 325. She said, “Oh no, that's the weight of Joanne in the window. She has been here for a little over a year now and has been gaining ever since. The owner thought it would bring in more customers.” It was true with me, anyway. I couldn't stay away. I started coming every week. And as weeks went by, I noticed the numbers seem to climb about 4 or 5 lbs a week. Awesome! I thought to myself that this girl is serious. And I thought to myself, I just HAVE to get to know this girl.
The bakery was always really busy (at least when I went, mid-morning), so it was hard to approach anyone who worked there to even try to inquire about my dream, Joanne. I wanted to talk to her and get to know her. I wondered why she was not bothered by some people who don't see her the way I do (a beautiful and rare flower) – the ones hurling negativity at her as if it's bug spray on a nest of hornets. So I kept going back week after week in hopes of a break when I could talk to Joanne.
One day, I got there really early and noticed a major change to the window. It had been redecorated and no Joanne. It looked nice and all, but I really missed seeing her sitting, enjoying, and I missed the fact that I would not see a “wink” that day. I went in and ordered my usual, a dozen cream-filled donuts, a dozen apple fritters, and a Boston cream pie and asked where Joanne was. The gal at the counter replied, she left this week, saying something about checking into a fat farm. My heart sank. Not only because she might be gone forever, but because she might be undergoing some brutality at some cruel cult of a weight-loss facility to drastically lose weight. I got really depressed. My hopes had been shattered.
Weeks went by and no word from Joanne. I stopped going to the bakery and began moping around the house. My job at the hospital (lab tech) suddenly seemed pointless. I started falling into a serious funk of a downer. Time for a change I thought – a new job. So I began flipping through the help wanted ads. And there it was - the perfect job. I could not believe my eyes.
The ad read: “Wanted - camp counselor for weight gain camp. Candidates must be warm and caring at all times, be willing to work extended hours and weekends if needed. They should be willing to spend quality time with our female guests who are on a weight gain diet. They must be good listeners and neat in appearance, like to watch movies, play board games, enjoy food, but more, enjoy feeding the other female guests anything they want, whenever they want. There will be regular eating contests, so duties will also include cleaning up afterwards.” Now I'm definitely a FA and would love to be immersed in a situation like that. So, I applied for the job.
It took a while to find the place since it was a ways into the country, winding through trees and hills and the road seemed to lead to nowhere. But when I rolled up to the gate, I could not believe my eyes. It was the biggest mansion I've seen in my life. It was nestled in some tall trees about 100 feet from the main entrance which had a security guard. I showed my appointment card to the guard and he waved me in with a smile. I could see several ladies of size, some walking and some riding in golf carts all around the grounds. The greenery and flowers were abundant and calming.
The interviewers were rather hefty women themselves. They were dressed in white sanitary hospital-looking outfits, and very friendly and jolly. They seemed more interested in the fact that I truly was a fat admirer and my overall likes and dislikes than my resume. I had worked in health care before – nursing homes, retirement centers, restaurants, and the military. We seemed to hit it off immediately and I knew I had the job. They were looking for several attendants and seemed to be really busy. The phones were ringing constantly and it appeared that there was a waiting list to get in. Imagine my happiness to find out they wanted me to start tomorrow. I agreed.
Marlene, the manager in charge offered so show me around. She said she needed to get away from her desk anyway and wanted an excuse to leave for a while. It was a beautiful facility, more like a fancy hotel, than anything else. It had a huge waterfall in the lobby and various size carts for carrying luggage I would imagine. There were also several wheelchairs, which looked to be adjustable in width, length, height and seemed very sturdy and well-made. Marlene explained that, depending on needs or wants of the individual, clients would check into rooms accordingly with the main goal to eat and eat and eat, to gain as much weight as they wanted. They could stay as long as they wanted and there was a waiting list to get in.
Some rooms were very close to the dining room, while others were quite far away but were set up in a “suite-type” environment so clients could cook for themselves or have a personal cook brought in. Other rooms were set up to accommodate what looked like any situation which may be needed to make clients as comfortable as possible. Several rooms in A-wing had what looked like feeder tubes in close proximity to the head of a bed. I've seen them before but not in this setting. It was actually on a farm for feeding pregnant sows. From a farmer's perspective they worked quite nicely since the sows could feed all the time and from what I could see of those sows, it was working. TV's had 300+ channels. There was a video, DVD library which rivaled any video store in town. Another large room was full of books – a regular museum of literary works. Yes, indeed, it was a truly spectacular place, but I thought of Joanne and became sad. If only she were here.
The next day I arrived at 8:00 AM right on schedule. My white uniform fit perfectly. My first job was to sit in on an orientation lecture. It lasted about two hours and there were about 20 of us there. The whole place seemed to employ around 70 to 80 people not including anyone working evenings and/or overnight. Next, after a short break, I was shown where all the items of necessity were – towels, robes, clothes, bathroom articles and the main thing, the kitchen. Even though there was a dining room, it wasn't necessary for clients to come at a certain time. It was a 24-hour buffet. Several of us were assigned to various areas to make sure the loveliest of God's creation had everything they wanted. We rotated jobs such serving behind the food counter, serving out in the commons, bathing, foot rubs, massages, belly rubs, and assisting some of the larger beautiful women in and out of bed, to carts and/or wheelchairs. One of my favorite jobs was escorting these lovelies around in special made wheel carts. These carts were more than just wheelchairs; they were comfortable and easy to get in and out of and there was a place to store food and drinks as we walked and talked.
Saturday was contest day. There were eating contests and awards handed out for eating the most in one sitting, pounds gained in a week and inched gained in a week. The winner each week had the pleasure of four attendants at their beacon call for the next week. This Saturday, I noticed someone familiar looking. It couldn't be. But was it? It looked like Joanne, but I hadn't seen here in over two months. She looked well over 400 pounds from where I stood. As I approached her she seemed to sense me coming and turned over her shoulder to look at me and smile and wink. I melted. The blood rushed to my head and other parts of my body. I could hardly contain myself. I wanted to throw my arms around her. But I couldn't – one because it may be considered an improper advance from an employee and two, maybe she would not feel the same about me. As I got closer, she could read my face. She seemed very pleased to see me, but was looking around as if trying to hide. She scribbled something on a piece of paper and handed it to me and held her finger up to her lips, quickly. I was speechless. So this is what they meant about checking into a fat farm. I had no idea these places existed, but obviously, they do, to my delight. I couldn't wait to get to a private place to read the note.
As I wandered off behind a huge fir tree, I pulled the note out of my pocket. It read, “Missed you, can explain, room 512, at 5:15pm, today.” Luckily I was off shift at 5:00 and was looking forward to dropping by. My most favorite lady in all of the world (she doesn't know, I don't think) is going to see me, me. In a short time she has gained to wonderful proportions and has gotten even more beautiful.
A light tap on the door was met instantly with a “come in.” There she was in all her glory, well over 400 lbs, happy, relaxed, and looking more peaceful than ever. She seemed happy to see my. She told me how she missed me, but could not pass up this opportunity. She wanted to leave me a note but had no idea of who I was or when she would see me next. I understood. She said a man came into the bakery and after talking to the manager, came to the window and handed her a business card that said “Fat Farm, one like no other,” and asked her to call him. And here she was.
After Joanne toured this facility, she was so impressed that she checked in the very next day. She said when she left the bakery, she weighed in a 325. It took her over a year to get to that weight. But here she had gone to 440 and in only a few months. She didn't know for sure why, but thought it had to do with the non-stress environment and all the great and over-abundantly plentiful food. She absolutely loved it here. People were all so nice and accommodating. She explained that she wanted to be elevated to “queen” status so she could check into one of the tube feeding rooms. For that she had to show she had the ability to gain because the tube rooms are really intense and you have to be ready.
Well, time passed, and I looked forward to seeing Joanne every day. I traded shifts so I could be with her. I waited on her all the time. The other attendants there could see we had a thing going so they were very cooperative. It was common and accepted to have the attendants become more intimate with the clients. That was the way the customers wanted it, so who can argue? In two months Joanne passed the 500 mark. The management staff had their eye on her as they marked in their charts and smiled as they said, “Looks like we got a good queen candidate.” But I could see there were others there who were also doing quite well. But I really wasn't worried. I was with my love and nothing could have made me (and her) happier.
After another month, Joanne noticed she had a little harder time getting around so we traded walking the grounds to using the special-made golf carts. This was really relaxing to Joanne. The tours of the grounds and all the scenery turned into regular and frequent stops to food bars. She saved her appetite for dinner, no breakfast, no lunch. Dinner however went until 10:00 in the evening ending with the last hour and a half at the desert bar. That's when they brought out the fresh baked goods. They baked three times a day, so really there never was time for anything to get stale. I loved this schedule because I could be off work, and spend some good quality time with Joanne. I truly loved her and worshiped her. She was now at 575 lbs. In two months they would be deciding who would get the best rooms in the house, the tube rooms. There were only four, so the best four would be selected. Not much time. We worked together. She was really starving by dinner time, but I encouraged her to not give in and stick with it. We did move dinner up by 15 minutes each day and she ate constantly the whole time until desert time at 8:30. We found it necessary to move this back a few minutes too. She was now passing 600.
The last month, we decided to start as early as she wanted and go as late as she wanted. She could sleep in and I would be there to take care of her when she woke up. The last weigh in found her at 750 lbs, a truly remarkable gain. At dinner the announcement would be made. We all were a little nervous, so we all ate and ate, including me.
Marlene the manager got up to the microphone and announced the winners. The first three names I didn't recognize, but the last name, you guessed it, Joanne. Cheers from the crowd as they knew how much we wanted it. There was a live band, balloons, confetti, a real celebration. There was a special envoy of well-dressed men which rolled up a cart to carry Joanne and me both off to A-wing. The room was spectacular. There were three fridges, big-screen TV, the tubes and four personal attendants. They told her to start whenever she began to get hungry. But they cautioned her that the formula was a special blend that was absorbed into your system quickly, so you may always feel a little hungry but not to worry. The bed had a built-in scale which took hourly readings. She was off and running. She was very hungry now.
I stayed until midnight and she seemed to be the most peaceful I've ever seen her. I watched the numbers on the wall each hour. She had gained 20 lbs but I had to go home and prepare for the next day.
The bed was huge and made even her 770 lb frame look small. When I came in at 7:45 to check on Joanne, the numbers read 840. Wow, I could see why they were all concerned. This was truly a weight gain miracle. Joanne was the happiest I've seen her. She grabbed my hand and pulled me into the bed and gave me a big hug and kiss and wanted me to stay all day. I looked at one of the attendants and they nodded their head and smiled. “It's OK. We expect this kind of thing. Your shift has already been replaced for the rest of the week. Enjoy.” I was in heaven. By the end of the week, Joanne had reached 1550 lbs. We each could not have been happier. This is the best job one could ever have. And Joanne? She is home.