Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

US expansionism these days involves waistlines, not imperialism

“Clothing’ and ‘XXXL’ produced 4,630 sites, mostly mail-order companies. At XXXXXXL, we were down to 38, including the last gasp of the Morbid Obesity Support Group, which recommends stomach-stapling as a cure and produces a ‘Look I’m Melting’ T-shirt in this size. By XXXXXXXXXL, we were down to four entries, including a New Zealand shop that once supplied the King of Tonga. Curiously, the Americans seemed to have dropped out at this stage. At XXXXXXXXXXL, though, Team USA made a comeback with the Fat Shack, a ‘size-positive’ mail-order firm from Georgia whose biggest number is a $26, 83-inch-chest shirt reading, ‘This isn’t a belly, it’s a work of art’. At 11 Xs the search finally petered out, suggesting either that the limits of gluttony had been reached or that it was simply time to try tent manufacturers.”

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Grant Barrett