Fatterday: Ben versus the High Cheese



Ben Johnson doesn’t remember the first time he dug into a Fat Pants Friday, but you can bet the aftershock is still with him.

The first one was life-changing,” says Johnson, 44, a Minnetonka man for the last dozen years. “When I had it, I knew it was going to be my home base every Friday.”

This particular Friday, after an afternoon meeting with a client got “blown up,” Johnson made alternate plans and put his dress shirt on the line against an inside-out Juicy Lucy.

Let’s look at what he was up against:

TOP TO BOTTOM: Jalapeno, bacon, egg, cheese fondue, Texas toast, fried onions, bacon jam, Swiss cheese, beef patty, Texas toast, more cheese, more beef, Texas toast, cheese, cheese, more cheese.

Ben Johnson is a money manager who’s got 20 years in with the same firm; and, before you raise your hand too quickly:

  1. No, there is no “Donald Trump stock.”
  2. No, there is not one bona-fide “hot stock” out there.

Depending on what your needs are, actually, there might be a few.

Most of the time,” says Johnson, “you have to qualify that with what your goals and objectives are. You have to look at the level of speculation you want to take and how it would feel if this ‘hot stock’ got its value cut in half. How much is that going to sting?

You could say, ‘What’s your most aggressive speculative stock you’ve got right now?’ or you could say ‘I’m looking for something to help pay for my kids’ education in eight years.'”

Johnson says a lot of what he does, in work as we all do in life, is manage expectations.


BEST PLACE ON MINNETONKA TO PURIFY YOURSELF:I’m more of a Shady Oak beach guy, myself. There’s a nice big diving platform. It’s close and my kids enjoy it.”

The “made in Texas, born in Iowa” man had known 6Smith head chef Angel Luna long before Fat Pants Friday was a reality. According to Johnson, Luna was a head chef at another one of his favorite spots. They kept in touch fairly, even after Luna moved on.

Then, the big news came.

He said to me, ‘Ben, it’s finally happening.’ We’re opening our restaurant. I’m excited for you to experience 6Smith.”

It took Johnson a while to warm up to Fat Pants Friday, but there’s a reason they call it “The Inevitable.” Johnson didn’t readily recall the first one he tried, but there’s one in particular he shows people first when he brings it up in conversation: none other than the legendary COBZILLA.

He hasn’t missed many since; and, on Friday, all the time he’s put into his office precipitated a … shall we say, stock market crush.

Hey, get back here!

I went with the modified east/west divide and conquer on this one,” says Johnson. “I first took the bacon off and chopped up the jalapeno so I’d have some for each bite. I basically had two sandwiches, then, and took it down a bite at a time. I finished it all off with a piece of Neuske’s bacon for dessert.

I don’t know about you, but I’d trust this man with managing my expectations.

STILL GOT TIME: Lent ends this week! Here was the last one I had before taking a break; and you remember my birthday cake, right?



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