Whose House Is Fattest?

Join the Online Melee!

Living large: The current champ
Living large: The current champ

Currently on the Chronicle Web site, Austin's finest minds are taking on issues of land use, drainage policy, and zoning regulations. They're also seriously dissing people's houses. Join them in showing your spirit of civic engagement (or your inner neighborhood Nazi) at austinchronicle.com/mcmansions, your portal to the great and terrible Bloat-o-Meter, where the vox of the populi democratically answers the question that has been plaguing philosophers ever since Glugg decided to add a three-mastodon garage onto his cave: Is your house too fat?

In case you've been lost in one of your 14 walk-in closets and haven't been able to find your way to the media room to get online, here's a recap: Anyone can upload a photo of any house in town to the site, where visitors rate each house in the gallery on a scale of 1 (Mary-Kate) to 10 (William Howard Taft); once you've voted, you can return regularly to the gallery to read all the cheap-shot, snarky comments, or add your own high-toned witticisms. The ratings and commentary on the Bloat-o-Meter will help the members of a city task force to shape the McMansion ordinance City Council will likely pass by June. But the fun doesn't stop there: Whichever house has the highest average score by April 15 will be declared the official Chateau du Screw You. Whoever submits the winning photo will receive our sympathy, a 15-gallon live oak tree, and our sincere hope that it at least partially blocks out the offending eyesore. That's right – you can annoy the yuppie up the street and win a tree at the same time. But really, with the kind of enlightened debate and sophisticated commentary we're seeing on the Bloat-o-Meter, we're sure you'll agree that all of Austin is the real winner.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More McMansions
We Have a Winner! Sort of ...
We Have a Winner! Sort of ...
Our scientifically calibrated Bloat-O-Meter© has identified the most McMansiony house in Austin

Wells Dunbar, April 21, 2006

More by Rachel Proctor May
Chartering Middle School
Chartering Middle School
Hoping to reach middle-schoolers who could go off track in a regular school setting, district moves forward with charter school plans

June 2, 2006

TAKS Scores Show Both Improvement and Trouble for AISD
TAKS Scores Show Both Improvement and Trouble for AISD
Numbers down for the crucial third and 11th grades

May 26, 2006


McMansions, McMansion, bloat-o-meter

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle