BOOK REVIEW: E. Eric Guirard’s “101 Uses for Fat People”

FeatureFor quite some time, I’ve had in my possession a rare copy of the 1990 illustrated classic 101 Uses for Fat People by conservative rapper, disbarred attorney, and former stand-up comedian E. Eric Guirard. Given to me by a friend as a gift several years ago, I admittedly never took the time to crack it open and explore its pages … until now, that is.

The recent news that Guirard is petitioning for reinstatement to the bar prompted me to finally see if the local entrepreneur and personal-branding pioneer should seek to revive his literary ambitions in the event that the Louisiana state Supreme Court determines that he should remain banned from practicing law.

The answer is a resounding “Fuck no!”

Every copy should come with a hammer so you can bash your eyes out.

If you thought Guirard’s rap songs “Tea Party Anthem” and “Tigers to the Top” were painful to listen to, flipping through 101 Uses for Fat People is downright excruciating. Every copy should come with a hammer so you can bash your eyes out.

I always suspected the book was awful just by glancing at its cover, which looks like it belongs on FailBlog or the Art Institutes’ blooper reel. But they say you should never judge a book by its cover. And it’s true. This book’s contents are way more atrocious than its cover.

Of the tome’s 116 pages, 101 are dedicated to demonstrating a proposed use for fat people. The 101 illustrations are courtesy of T. Curtis Odell. Yes, that T. Curtis Odell.

The rest of the pages feature Guirard’s writing, beginning with a multiple-groan-inducing dedication to his obviously fictitious “fat Aunt Teeton” and her equally believable “fat female overseas traveling group – the Broad Broads Abroad.” It reads less like a dedication and more like the script for a roast – a big, fatty, fattening roast – of a room full of Jenny Craig dropouts written by a hacky pun savant who found a globe.

“Most people get passports, they get ‘pass-portlys,'” Guirard writes about his “aunt” and her “friends,” who he says recently went to Europe. “They wanted to search for their roots, so their first stop was Wales.”

Only five sentences into the book, I had to resist the urge to blow my brains out.

The rimshots practically leap off the page and stab you in the temple. It’s like Henny Youngman meets A Clockwork Orange.

“When they went to Italy, the Italians thought the Seven Hills of Rome had suddenly multiplied,” Guirard continues. “They took a tour to the top of the ‘Fallen’ Tower of Pisa. At the Vatican, the Pope attempted to bless all the Broad Broads Abroad with holy water. He almost drowned fourteen altar boys.”

At this point, I began to suspect that this entire excuse of a book was inspired by one of Guirard’s more successful stand-up routines (back when he went by the stage name “Cajun E”) that killed at nursing home gigs … namely because his jokes are capable of inducing fatal aneurysms.

“Fixated with food in Europe,” Guirard further writes about the rotund women, “their itinerary took them to Hamburg, Frankfurt, Turkey, Hungary, and they would have gone to Athens, but they were trying to avoid too much Greece. They went to Finland because they thought it was a seafood restaurant. They journeyed to Paris because they thought the Arc de Triomphe was a McDonald’s franchise. And finally, they traveled to a bullfight in Spain because they thought it was an open-air restaurant serving shish kebob.”

The rimshots practically leap off the page and stab you in the temple. It’s like Henny Youngman meets A Clockwork Orange.

At this point, I was unconsciously blinking “T-O-R-T-U-R-E” in Morse code. And that’s just the first page.

The next page contains the foreword, which happens to come in the form of a ten-line poem chock-full of – you guessed it – awful, awful puns.

Puns are to this book what curry is to vindaloo: overwhelmingly painful.

In fact, I cannot overstress how loaded with puns the written portions of this book are. Puns are to this book what curry is to vindaloo: overwhelmingly painful.

And I usually appreciate puns, almost as much as I enjoy delivering them. I really do. But after reading Guirard’s work, I feel like the kid who was caught enjoying a pun and his dad forced him to sit down and read a whole carton of them until he threw up.

Anyway, the foreword is written in iambic fatameter. It’s kind of like if Dr. Seuss had been into fat-shaming.

As for the 101 illustrations of how fat people can be used, there are some common themes that arise, like …

ARTIFICIAL TOPOGRAPHY
(Includes: mountain, mountain art model, and a fat person plugging Mount St. Helens by sitting on it.)

101-Uses-Fat-People_mountain
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric “Cajun E” Guirard

 

FURNITURE
(Includes: mattress, pillow, table, and lamp table)

101-Uses-Fat-People-mattress
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric “Cajun E” Guirard

 

MAKING HOLES
(Includes: skylight installer, wrecking ball, bomb dropped from airplane, and a bank robber crashing through a ceiling.)

101-Uses-Fat-People-skylight
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric “Cajun E” Guirard

 

PLUGGING HOLES
(Includes: ship plug, oil well cap, dam, plug for damaged roof, and the aforementioned fat person plugging Mount St. Helens)

From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric "Cajun E" Guirard
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric “Cajun E” Guirard

 

CRUSHING THINGS
(Includes: car crusher, grape smasher, trash compactor, pizza dough flattener, suitcase closer, and a fat person crushing a chiropractic patient’s vertebrae)

From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric "Cajun E" Guirard
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric “Cajun E” Guirard

 

TRANSPORTATION
(Includes: space shuttle launcher, boat anchor, snow sled, hot air balloon ballast, blimp, tank, raft, and parking blocks for a moving truck)

101-Uses-Fat-People-rocket-launcher
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric “Cajun E” Guirard

and …

SPORTS EQUIPMENT
(Includes: boxing heavy bag, hurdle, weights, landing pit, basketball backboard, springboard, bowling ball, football sled, and boxing ring post)

From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric "Cajun E" Guirard
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric “Cajun E” Guirard
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric "Cajun E" Guirard
From 101 Uses for Fat People, by Eric “Cajun E” Guirard

Also, for some reason, Guirard seems to believe fat people can serve as fleshy bellows with tremendous air capacity. He depicts them as a hot air balloon burner, a balloon air tank, a chimney sweep, and a human source for a sailboat’s wind.

I happen to personally know quite a few overweight people. Most of them tend to get winded quite easily.

Among the illustrations, Guirard sprinkles in nine additional cringeworthy pages, each listing about a dozen Jeff Foxworthy-eqsue “You Know You Are Fat When …” one-liners.

There’s also a handy index alphabetically listing the illustrations indicating where you can find them, as well as the interspersed fat jokes. This is useful for those illustrations that are so bad, you can’t really tell what they’re supposed to be representing.

He published it at the tender age of 31, only three years after graduating from LSU Law School.

Now, I’m sure some people will accuse me of being too harsh in my criticism of Guirard’s playful work, insisting that it was written in a moment of youthful indiscretion. After all, he published it at the tender age of 31, only three years after graduating from LSU Law School.

Nevertheless, while I’m sure many people who never cared for Guirard’s advertising ploys, legal practices, and/or criticism of former LSU basketball coach John Brady would like to see him remain disbarred, I, for one, fervently pray that the state Supreme Court reinstate him. Otherwise, humanity may end up having to endure 101 More Uses for Fat People.RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

About Jeremy White

Jeremy White
Jeremy White is an engineer by education, but a smartass by birth. He managed to overcome the obstacles presented by his technical background, and has brilliantly devised a way to make a living making fun of people.

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