*Wrestling | Peterkin packs on pounds
Former 125-pound wrestler, who fell just short of All-American, finds solace in junk food, fatness
April 8, 2009, 5:00 am·
*This article appeared in the 2009 joke issue.
By MARV DASH Senior DPOSTM Legend firstname.lastname@example.org
Rollie Peterkin stepped onto the electronic scale, unsure of what he might see.
The red digits on the scale's display proceeded to flash convulsively. In less than five seconds, the display read "Error."
Here, in the Penn wrestling team's Pottruck Wrestling Complex next to the Palestra, Peterkin decided to try the other scale. This is the one that the team uses to weigh in wrestlers who weigh 165 pounds or over, so Peterkin was unsure of how accurate a reading it will give him.
Soon after he stepped on the second balance, the number he received seemed to put him in good spirits.
"There we go," Peterkin said, looking down with a smile at the '125' that greets his eyes. "I told Coach [Rob] Eiter that I hadn't gained weight since the season ended at the NCAA tournament," referring to his last competition on March 21.
The junior 125-pound wrestler from Wellesley, Mass., only had about thirty seconds to revel in his accomplishment, however. That's because Eiter walked up to the scale, took one look at the readout, and gave Peterkin some terrible news.
"Rollie," Eiter said. "You know that this is set on kilograms, right? I'll put it back on pounds for you."
Peterkin's eyes sunk to his bulging thighs and rotund abdominal protrusion.
"Hmm," Peterkin says. "Maybe I've gained a little weight."
Little, nothing. Each kilogram translates into 2.2 pounds. This means that, just over two weeks removed from his wrestling weight, the smallest starter on the Quakers grappling squad checked in at a startling, jaw-dropping 275 pounds.
When asked how such a terrible atrocity came to be, Peterkin quickly shifted the blame.
Talk of the deceptiveness of Ho-Ho's, Twinkies and other Hostess Snack Cakes products seemed to be Peterkin's first line of defense. He claimed that he "only" ate 40-50 of the treats per day because he had no idea about the dangerous fat and cholesterol contents of the products.
When reminded that every Hostess box has a nutrition facts table on the back, Peterkin became defensive.
"You don't get it," he said, moisture beginning to well up in his eyes. "I eat because I'm fat, and I'm fat because I eat. I don't care about nutrition facts when I'm in that state."
Apparently, whatever "state" Peterkin finds himself in bears more resemblance to Texas than anywhere else. Because everything about him is just plain huge.
Grease stains run up and down Peterkin's XXXXXL Guns N' Roses T-shirt, and the former Blair Academy Buccaneers wrestler sweats profusely while sitting in an air-conditioned room.
But, for whatever reason, Peterkin is not worried.
"I'll get the weight off for next season," Peterkin assures all who are listening. "If I have to, I'll just cut off my leg like that Anthony Robles kid from Arizona State" who was born missing one leg.
"You can't just do that," Eiter said to Peterkin. "Besides, one of your legs doesn't weigh a full 150 pounds."
Peterkin is determined. He won't let even his coach slow him down.
"I don't care," he spewed. "I'll cut off both if I have to. I'm making weight or transferring to Cornell!"