Freshman and fat person Patrick Vanderberg ’15 has made a big metaphorical splash, being quickly identified as the most all-around relaxed and hilarious man on campus.
“‘Chubbs,’ as I call him, has got this totally chill, happy-go-lucky presence,” said Vanderberg’s roommate, Harrison Smith ’15, eying the folds of fat that give the self-described “freshman from Connecticut”’s face a content, mirthful look. “I think it’s his love of wordplay that really does it for me.”
Smith was not the only one to confuse Vanderberg’s full belly and ruddy jowls for good-naturedness and snap comedic timing. By the third day of orientation, Vanderberg had attracted dozens of hangers-on. Vanderberg declined to spend the evening with them, claiming that he had to go visit his leukaemia-stricken brother in the hospital; Smith later described this as “classic Vanderberg.”
Rather than succumb to the affection of his audience, Vanderberg has not let his popularity change him. He has instead chosen to laugh it off. “My name is Patrick, I’m a freshman here at Brown University,” he wisecracked. “I’m planning on concentrating in economics, and I enjoy playing video games in my spare time.
“What’s this interview for again?” he added chubbily.
News of Vanderberg has spread quickly. Brown Stand-Up head Abraham Goldsteinowitz sent out a blast email informing students of “some absolutely superb comedy” every night in Champlin 107. “He’s like a modern-day Bill Cosby,” wrote Goldsteinowitz. “Only fatter and whiter. Just get the key from his roommate Harrison, he’s cool.” This, along with numerous postering campaigns, has resulted in crowds flocking to Vanderberg’s double.
“Sometimes they just come up to my window,” said Vanderberg. “And just … they just stare.”
But Patrick wasn’t always such a jokester, according to former classmates from his Iowa hometown.
“Patrick really changed last year, turned into a way funnier guy,” said high school classmate Steve Wintergreen, referring to Vanderberg’s stress eating habit brought on by his brother’s leukaemia. “I’d just never noticed his bigness before, you know? Heart-wise. Big heart.”
Opinions abound on the source of Vanderberg’s comedy. Professor of Biomechanical Engineering and Comedic Theory Wayne Sulzberger offered a theory on just what makes Vanderberg so universally beloved.
“What one must understand about Patrick ‘Chubbs’ Vanderberg,” said Sulzberger, “is that he manages to just fill up any room he’s in,” gesturing to indicate the metaphorical size of Vanderberg’s personality. Continued Sulzberger, “He is fundamentally just incredibly large-” he lapsed into a coughing fit, “-er than life. Larger than life. His largeness vis-à-vis life is the source of his comedic genius is what I am saying.
“Now dance for me, fat man!” he said, turning to Vanderberg, seated next to him. “Dance for my amusement!”
Yesterday, Vanderberg, becoming more aware of his status on campus, put on an impromptu stand-up act for his inner circle. “I don’t understand what’s happening,” he riffed. “You people give me hearty slaps on the back when I eat potato chips. You follow me into the bathroom and laugh when I defecate and it’s really starting to freak me out. My brother is in the hospital and I could use some space right now.”
Reports that “space” was an example of Vanderberg cheekily employing wordplay were unconfirmed as of press time.