At the mall I overheard a teenage conversation that went something like this:
Yeah, man, fat!
Think she’d go out with me?
Naw, man, she’s too fat for you! Now me, she’d go for me ‘cause I’m fat, too.
I checked out the teenagers in question and neither were what I would call fat. If anything, they weighed 100 pounds…together.
What’s this obsession with fat? In my day, the Day of the Dog, the fat girl was the one with a “great personality.” Yikes, pothole ahead! Danger, Will Robinson!
Of course, I was suffering from a culture collision. Missed the exit ramp at Alpha Centuri. George Jetson paging Judi. Hello Feebville.
Fat was Phat.
Fat was out. Phat was in.
Fast forward a few years and I’m interviewing a programmer for a job. She’s just about as cool a programmer as ever walked this green planet. She could dereference a pointer in her head, 32-bit or 64. I said FEEB and she said DEAF in hexidecimal.
And when I asked her One-Oh-Two-Oh-Seven-Seven?
She responded: Halt code 77, octal, Hewlett-Packard 2116 minicomputer circa 1975.
“Geeze Louise,” I exclaimed, “you’re phat!”
“Excuse me,” she replied, “I’m pregnant.”
“No, no no!” I persisted, “you’re, like, way phat! I mean like cool phat. Phatness to the n-th degree.”
My interviewee’s eyes narrowed. She leaned forward, grabbed me by the tie, pulled my head down to the desk and hissed…
“I’m not fat. I’m pregnant. And if you say the fat word one more time it will be your last word. Got it, skinny boy?”
As the world began to turn grey I reached for a pen and with my last moments of consciousness I scribbled the word:
P H A T
On my desk pad.
She looked down, released my throat, sat up in her seat and chirped,
“Oh, phat like phat phat. Why, thank you! You’re a little fat yourself.” Batting her eyes.
“So, do I have the job?” the phat lady enquired?
“You had me at 102077.”
And phat was that.