Strangers with Candy: Feather in the Storm
Mr. Jelineck: Your daughter has a disease we call anorexia.
Sara Blank: Is that contagious?
Mr. Jelineck: Yes. It often sweeps through third world countries that are stricken by drought.
A new character is introduced in this episode: Stew, the Blank's meatman. Basically, he's like a milkman, except he delivers meat. And much like the fabled milkman, he also seems a bit more interested in the lady of the house than he should be. He immediately makes himself at home in the household, taking on the role of "father" even though their real dad is still very much alive, even if he is catatonic.
Both Jerri and her brother Derrick are trying to lose weight. Derrick is doing it so he can wrestle fifth graders, but Jerri needs to lose extra pounds so she can try out for the debate team. As Mr. Noblet explains, thin arguments come from slim hips, and Jerri doesn't exactly have a "debaters body." After Mr. Jelineck explains to Jerri how people can eat anything they want and never gain weight as long as they force themselves to vomit afterward, she mistakes his warning--which is really more of an endorsement of bulimia--and starts a binging and purging regimen that eventually leads to the debate tryouts where her first topic is defending the act of incest. Before she can come up with a suitable rebuttal, however, she collapses.
I like this episode quite a bit, even if the satire doesn't quite have the same sting is did in the previous episode about racism. The idea of someone having to lose weight to get on the debate team is very funny, and I love that Jerri's step-mother punishes Jerri for having anorexia by sending her to bed without supper, but most of the "funny" from this episode came from random gags, such as a song that keeps playing on the radio everywhere Jerri goes and inexplicably describes everything that's happening to her at that moment. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, because, hey, I like that kind of weird humor just fine.