Type Sketch: The Couch Potato This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 24, 2011
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Every family has one, whether he’s your great uncle or your second cousin once removed or your very own brother. The moment you step into the house you will invariably see him right where you left him: slumped on a couch or armchair with a cracked bowl of bean dip balancing on his crotch and the TV screen reflecting back in his glassy eyes, glazed as Aunt Bertha’s Thanksgiving honey ham recipe. The fragmented carcasses of a dozen empty beer bottles languish in a mass graveyard at his feet. One hand holds the remote and the other a Bud Lite.

His fingers are permanently curled into the shape of a beer can and his spine has slowly eroded to fit the curvature of his stuffy armchair. He has named the chair “Larry” and has an unhealthy, abusive relationship with poor “Larry,” who must sustain the brunt of all his belches and burps. The single most interesting thing that happens in the couch potato’s life is when government agents come and collect a sample of his flatulence to study its toxic nature for military weaponry.

He slowly fossilizes into a sedentary blob. He becomes “one” with the chair, and his arm hair will eventually take on the same texture and pattern as the chair fabric. As night wanes and the late shows give way to the early shows, his head droops and his chins form a tiered waterfall down his chest. A hairy tarantula bellybutton peeks out from beneath his ill-fitting T-shirt, furious at having to share its abode with an army of invading lint and dandruff. His overloaded wife, who works three jobs to support his torpid lifestyle, notes that the gelatinous composition of his belly would make for excellent silicone breast implants.

His soiled boxers haven’t been changed in years, and the armpits of his baggy T-shirt are stiff and yellow with dried sweat. He lives entirely on a diet of potato chips, chocolate bars, Krispy Kreme donuts, and Rocky Road ice cream, with generous helpings of salt packets and Hersey’s chocolate syrup on the side. He will die at age forty of a massive stroke after providing the world with the supreme example of human gluttony and indolence.

Thank you, Couch Potato, for your noble sacrifice.

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