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January 19, 2018
IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST -- THE "GIRTHERS"
Arshad M. Khan
Congress may be facing shutdown over an immigration bill, but what has the country
in thrall? Donald Trump's waistline. After his medical the doctors' verdict is he is
overweight. However, some intriguing questions have arisen almost immediately.
Is he fat? Well ... the obvious answer is yes. But how fat? To be obese or not to be,
that is the question (with apologies to the great bard). The doctors, or whoever
thought of the BMI (Body Mass Index), have drawn an arbitrary line, one side of which
one is a relatively acceptable 'overweight', but weigh an ounce more and you are
'obese'. What an awful word and definitely unacceptable to the vainglorious Donald.
A word of explanation is in order: The BMI is calculated as weight in kilograms divided
by the person's height in meters squared. Thus the issue of height. One can check
out Trump's classification here (the doctors report he is 6ft 3ins and 239 lbs).
Ferreters (calling themselves 'girthers') have unearthed a driver's license recording
his height as 6ft. 2ins. This has been confirmed because in 2012 Trump himself said
he was 74ins. tall. Then there is a photograph showing him standing next to Barack
Obama. They appear to be about the same height and Obama is 6ft. 1in. No doubt,
people do shrink as they get older -- a question of what happens to the cushioning
between vertebrae -- and it's quite possible Mr. Trump has shrunk, but growing an
inch! The doctor reports he has 'incredible' genes -- the adjective is certainly familiar
-- but growing an inch in height in the seventh decade is not just incredible, it is and
would take a miracle.
Of course, there is another possibility. Intimidated perhaps, the nurse was afraid to
disturb the carefully manipulated coiffure and that's the cause of the extra height.
Just fat or actually obese, it's all a matter of degree ... and quite arbitrary. For the
Donald it means he has to go cheeseburger free -- a fate worse than working for