John Canzano is not taking credit for helping this man lose weight.
  • John Canzano is not taking credit for helping this man lose weight.
No doubt thanks to the subtle power of his smooth radio voice and even smoother newspaper prose—plus a refusal to worry too hard about hurting someone's feelings or, maybe, violating their privacy—Oregonian sports columnist John Canzano has officially emerged as our nation's best hope for getting our ample, jiggly, and pockmarked asses back into fighting shape.

I know this because I actually read one of Canzano's columns this week. (A column that I've since dipped into a cup of silky supple egg whites, and then rubbed all over my belly and chest.) And in the column, Canzano offers a roadmap for how regular people like me and you can selflessly intrude on the private lives of the obese to help them get in shape.

Just listen to (actually, read) how Canzano says he helped a 445-pound man shed something like 271 pounds over the past two years. (Not that Canzano's taking credit; oh no, not at all.) The man was a sports fan who chatted Canzano up one night in a parking lot and then left Canzano watching, haunted, as he very awkwardly struggled to stuff himself back inside his comically compact car.

Canzano was so horrified—and yet so magnanimous!—that he just had to do something about it. Even at the risk of coming off like a giant, meddling asshole!

It was an old Toyota Tercel. The person who had parked beside it, hadn't left him much room. A normal-size person might have been able to slip into the vehicle, but Oneill couldn't. So I watched, horrified, as he opened the passenger door, then wrestled himself across the car into the driver's seat.

I couldn't shake that disturbing sequence for days.

So much so that I asked my wife a few nights later if she thought it would be rude if I tracked Oneill down and asked him if he wanted help losing weight. Would I hurt his feelings? Would he slap me at the suggestion? Does he even want the help? In the end, I couldn't not ask.

I called. "Please help me," he said on the other end of the telephone.

Now, mind you, a lesser person might have actually cared whether it was appropriate to "track down" (through newspaper public records?) a stranger with a weight problem and bravely remind them how obvious it was. Not Canzano!

And, hey, now the man is dating again! And employed! And the subject of a newspaper column! Sure, he did all the work to actually, you know, lose the weight, and that really is honestly admirable, But remember none of it would have happened if Canzano didn't TAKE ACTION.

See? Easy as pie!