#2. It Deflected Attention from Bigger Problems
Let's talk about teasing for a moment. No matter how young or old you may be, teasing happens. Kids tease other kids, adults tease other adults, particularly dickish adults like myself tease Will Smith's kids ... it's a vicious cycle. But it happens, so by all means, don't entertain the thought of feeling sorry for me because I was teased about being overweight.
I mean, I totally was, but kids of all shapes and sizes got teased for all sorts of things at my school. But the thing about people who aren't very funny (like douchebag bullies, for example) is that, when they absolutely must come up with something humorous to say, it's going to be the most obvious joke imaginable, if they're even capable of telling jokes at all. So when the bullies and jokesters turned their attention to me, they'd just call me fat or whatever other variation on the joke you can think of and move on to the next target. In other words, I always knew what was coming.
And that was a great! Because believe me, there was plenty of other shit going on in my grade school and high school years that could have been mined for comedic effect. My family was absurdly poor, I have this weird winter allergy thing that makes me sniffle like I'm crying nonstop for like half the year, I went through a ridiculous phase where I wore nothing but sweatsuits to school, I have the kind of eyesight that requires me to wear nerdlinger Coke-bottle glasses whenever I don't have contact lenses in my head ... the list goes on and on. But none of those things were even mentioned, because "Ha! You're fat!" was the easiest joke to make.
There's a reason why fat humor is so popular on the Internet, and it's not because the Web is overflowing with creative geniuses. And that brings us to the very best thing that being fat did for me ...
#1. It Made Me Funny
Now, I accept that some of you reading this maybe think I'm not funny. That's cool, I respect your opinion. It's completely incorrect and we can have a goddamn comedy-off in the parking lot if you want to settle this shit like an old-time duel. But still, you're entitled to be laughably incorrect just like anyone else.
And now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, let's move on to the real point... being a perpetually teased fat kid made me funny. It's pretty simple, really. I had a limited number of choices when faced with constant put-downs and unoriginal wisecracks about my weight. I could cry, I could fight or I could tell a teacher. Unfortunately, I only cry during sex, I'm too slow to fight and snitches dig ditches, so I had to come up with a fourth option. And that, of course, was to make jokes right back.
But whatever could I say? It's not like my fellow fat kids were calling me fat, so I couldn't just make a lame fat joke in return. No, I had to get creative with it. I had to dig deep. Maybe I'd focus on the lazy eye that you thought your bullshit status as captain of the varsity swimming team somehow obscured. Perhaps I'd point out that, rumor had it, your mother turned into a huge slut after your dad (understandably) ran off with another woman. If a crowd of people was listening, maybe I'd claim that you gave a cousin of mine crabs. Whatever it took, I made sure I always had something to come back with when someone teased me about my weight. All those years of fighting fat jokes with "Well at least MY dad doesn't beat MY mom" jokes amounted to some of the best comedy writing practice a person could possibly hope for. I learned not only how to avoid always making the obvious joke, but also how to come up with jokes even when there wasn't anything obviously funny to talk about. And now, jokes pay my bills.
So, thank God I grew up fat. If I didn't, I'd probably be working at a gas station right now, just like all those fucking jocks and other assorted douchebags who took such delight in teasing me as a kid.
For more from Adam, check out The 6 Most Pathetic Attempts to Get Super Bowl Tickets and The 6 Most Insane People to Ever Run for President.