The Six-Word Memoir Blog

“Fat man eats pie then farts”—Six-Words in Hospitals

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

By Larry Smith

1412172252_defa160dc3_m.jpgI talk a lot about how the concept of Six-Word Memoirs takes on a life bigger than Hemingway or SMITH Magazine could have imagined. From classrooms to funerals, sports sites to spinning classes, theater groups and churches across the land, six-word memoirs have served as a powerful form of personal expression. Anyone can write one. It’s just six words. All you need to do is ask.

In the last week, two emails arrived from people who asked. Both work in hospitals.

Jolene, a nurse in Oakland, CA, tells this story about a patient with Leukemia:

So I was taking care of this 21 yr old guy who has had Leukemia since he’s been 8 yrs old. he’s pretty debilitated, is wasting away right now—a very sad case. I brought in your book and asked him to come up w/ his own 6word memoir. He thought about it for about 2 minutes (mind you before that i could barely get him to engage w/ me, he was extremely depressed as you can imagine). He then just blurted out: “fat man eats pie then farts.” It’s a metaphor for life you see, we indulge ourselves then we die.

A woman named Abby tells us about six-word memoirs from her teens at a psychiatric hospital in Forest Park, IL:


I am a teacher at a Psychiatric Hospital. I recently discovered 6 Word Memoirs and my team and I presented them to our adolescent (ages 12-18) and young adult (ages 18-24) Inpatient classes. Not only did the students dive in, but so did the staff. Intriguing and heartbreaking stories came flying from the minds of even the most acute patients. One 14 year old girl wrote, “I miss my baby while hospitalized.” A staff member contributed, “Daddy’s in jail, a young girl cries.” We could barely write them down fast enough!

We really appreciate hearing these stories—thanks to Jolene and Abby and everyone who have found some form of power in six.

Tags: , , ,

8 responses

  1. “Mexican and Jewish: I love carnitas.” (A Litquake Report) | Not Quite What I Was Blogging says:

    [...] the East Bay who arrived in scrubs and told a story about how she used the six-word memoir form to break through to a really tough Leukemia patient; writer and artist Lisa Brown, who talked about the bigger meaning behind her six-word memoir and [...]

  2. Fat man eats pie then farts Six Words in Hospitals Not Quite | Green Tea Fat Burner says:

    [...] Fat man eats pie then farts Six Words in Hospitals Not Quite Posted by root 3 hours ago ( Oct 8 2008 he then just blurted out fat man eats pie then farts it a metaphor for life you see we indulge ourselves the name you want displayed with your comment proudly powered by wordpress mu community by xoxco Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Fat man eats pie then farts Six Words in Hospitals Not Quite [...]

  3. My Drug Program says:

    This is one of the most intriguing sites on the web.It is one of the more intelligent medical blogs out there. Keep up the great work.

  4. Werner Francois du Plessis says:

    This is a serious up to date good blog.
    keep it up.

  5. says:

    Growing at a phenomenal rate, Facebook now has over 54 million active users
    with a growth of 3%. Sooner or later, you’ll notice an
    submission on a contacts newsfeed in relation to an achievement they have made in one of the games or applications.

    Playing educational video games can not only teach your child something,
    but they also can improve eye-hand coordination.

  6. facebook says:

    I was very pleased to discover this great site. I wanted to thank you for ones time just
    for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and I have you book marked to see new stuff on your website.

  7. melanotanza says:

    This article is simply amazing. I love your ideas on weight loss. sometimes it simply takes some effort and the right diet schedule/ supplement. I might love to link to your article from my FB page as i think it’ll serve my audience well. I wouldn’t be alble to induce my point across as well as you did here. Thanks again.

  8. Allan Poshel says:

    Finally got around to writing my personal review of the virtual psychotherapy I received here Great professional help me understand my problems and look at them from a slightly different perspective. Ordered two online therapies and they went much better than I expected. The counselors are talkative and really do an honest job of getting people out of tough situations. If you haven’t suffered from PTSD yourself, it’s easy to assume that the problem will go away on its own. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Your loved one won’t just wake up in the morning above the situation and stress-free.

Leave a Reply

The name you want displayed with your comment.

Emails are not published with comments (i.e., everyone won't see it).

Your Website. This is optional.

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.