With an opening like, 'To the fatty running on the Westview track this afternoon,' you might not expect much from the rest of this anonymous letter.
Allegedly posted to Facebook -- with the author's name redacted -- the note has taken flight on Reddit, where users are debating whether it's the best thing ever written to overweight people who exercise -- or a cruel and patronizing prohibition against those who would dare take a stab at fitness.
The former camp touts a somewhat spectacular turnaround on the author's part -- moving from a barrage of insults to some kind of uplift. Indeed, there's a certain poetry in passages like this:
"You run without music, and I can only imagine the mantras running through your mind as you heave your ever-shrinking mass around the next lap. Let's go, feet. Shut up, legs. F**k off, fat."
The latter camp, on the other hand -- well, they've probably got it right. There's a kind of meanness here that's often mistaken for kindness. And this letter is riddled with it -- from all graphic obsession with the runner's body parts in motion to the unconvincing conclusion:
"If you'd only look up from your feet the next time we pass, you'd see my gaze has no condescension in it."
Somehow we doubt that.
This feel-good letter just doesn't feel so good.
Why don't you decide?
Here's the original Facebook letter, via Reddit:
No. 10: Arkansas
Projected: 60.6 percent 2011: 30.9 percent (Image via AP)
No. 9: Missouri
Projected: 61.9 percent 2011: 30.3 percent (Image via AP)
No. 7: Louisiana
Projected: 62. 1 percent 2011: 33.4 percent (Image via AP)
No. 7: Kansas
Projected: 62.1 percent 2011: 29.6 percent (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/earlycj5/2091863165/" target="_hplink">Image via Flickr</a>)
No. 6: Alabama
Projected: 62.6 percent 2011: 32 percent (Image via AP)
No. 5: South Carolina
Projected: 62.9 percent 2011: 30.8 percent (Image via AP)
No. 4: Tennessee
Projected: 63.4 percent 2011: 29.2 percent (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fkehren/2442538274/" target="_hplink">Image via Flickr</a>)
No. 3: Delaware
Projected: 64.7 percent 2011: 28.8 percent (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/1606094344/" target="_hplink">Image via Flickr</a>)
No. 2: Oklahoma
Projected: 66.4 percent 2011: 31.1 percent (Image via AP)
No. 1: Mississippi
Projected: 66.7 percent 2011: 34.9 (Image via AP)