Russian Officials Will Give You A Truck Full Of Coal If You Just Lose Some Weight

Illustration for article titled Russian Officials Will Give You A Truck Full Of Coal If You Just Lose Some Weight

Lose weight in America, and your friends will give you a nice pat on the back and make corny jokes about how thin you are. Lose weight in Siberia, though, and a giant truck will come by your house and dump 3,000 pounds of coal on your lawn. Wait, what?

Getting coal on Christmas sucks. I means you’ve probably been a giant asshole all year, stealing money from your mom’s purse or beating up your little brother for no reason. But in Siberia, coal keeps your phalanges from falling off in the brutal winters, and therefore makes for a damn fine gift.

That’s why heavyset governor of Russia’s Kemerovo region, Aman Tuleyev, issued a plan to slim down his citizens by using coal as an incentive. Russia’s Business FM radio station says Tuleyev got the idea from the United Arab Emirates, whose officials issued gold coins to locals who shed those pounds. But instead of gold, Tuleyev promised his citizens something his territory has plenty of:



But the big governor didn’t just stop there. No, Tuleyev wants to make a reality show out of the weight loss program. Anton Gorelkin, Kemerov’s Head of the Department of Media, issued a statement to Business FM radio station, saying:

The governor is very concerned about the health of Kuzbass, and we on our part have come up with in response to the request of Haman Gumirovich TV project, which will be launched at one of the local channels. The participants of this TV show will burn kilos will play sports, use a variety of diet and get a wealth of important Kuzbass - quality, high-calorie coal. We have not yet fully decided how much we burned coal per kilogram to give, but, given the difficult situation in the global coal market much - so I think that a prize will be no problems.

The government decided to reward citizens with 1.5 metric tons of coal for every 10 kilograms lost, according to the AP. In American units, that’s 3,300 pounds of coal for every 22 pounds of girth-shedding.

The AP says that yesterday, the day before Christmas eve, a nurse named Yelena Salnikova got an enormous truck full of coal after shedding 66 pounds off her her massive 247-pound curb weight (see topshot). In addition, the AP says authorities gave the nurse a framed “coal certificate.”


Upon receiving her prize of “high-calorie coal,” Salnikova spoke what can only be described as the most Russian sentence of all time:

This will save me up to 8,000 rubles ($100) if it’s colder than -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) and will surely last for at least half the winter.


Photo Credit: AP

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Ah, Russia, where several tons of coal only last you half a winter. My mother grew up in Siberia, and she told me that they never really had “snow days” at school, mainly because the snow would lay around for about 9 months of the year. The only time they would even think of closing schools would be if it dropped below 40ºC.

Another super Russian thing they do in Siberia is heating up frozen gas tanks with welding torches. People will do some pretty crazy stuff if it’s cold enough. And here I am complaining that it’s less than 70ºF on Christmas Eve here in Arizona.