CJ was getting a little chubby. San Andreas's fine selection of fast food outlets not only provided excellent cuisine at knockdown prices, but they also appeared to contain the secret to eternal life, healing up damage from bullet wounds and explosions. The downside? That potent blend of sugar, salt and concentrated fat did nothing for ya man's physique.
My CJ, I had to admit, was a porky bloater. Burglaries were hampered by his constant wheezing. He threw up in the middle of pitched gun battles. The infamous Hot Coffee mod now resembled a badly shot scene from a documentary on the mating rituals of humpback whales.
It was time to get fit.
So began a rigorous period of training. At dawn, I'd walk CJ down to the gym and pump iron, sometimes taking on members in the boxing ring. Rather than drive or waddle, I'd bike everywhere, even on important missions if I had the opportunity. Slowly, painstakingly, I downgraded him from a full John Goodman to a mere Chaz Bono. Stilll, I felt there was more to do.
Stumbling across an advertisement for a cross-country race, I though I'd found the perfect solution. After a grueling five mile run across the hills of Flint County, surely my blimp-like avatar would be fit enough to take on the dastardly Officer Tenpenny and secure his criminal empire?
It began badly. Despite my 'Biggest Loser' style keep-fit montage, my opponents, the sprightly citizens of Los Santos, stormed into a three-mile lead, while I leaned against a boulder to be sick. It seemed unlikely that my first foray into competitive running would be a success. Bravely I continued, making up an astonishing amount of ground despite my heaving bulk. Alas, as I came to the bottom of a large hill, at the top of which the finishing line was located, I could see the leading group of runners, mere moments from completing the race. I had lost.
Or had I?
From overhead I heard the roar of a plane's engine. Blobby, sweaty CJ and I watched in awe as a red and white crop duster, presumably flown by a drunken country singer in the midst of a messy divorce, tumbled out of the sky. Straight into the midst of my opponents.
Just short of the finish line, and by short I mean only a few yards, there was a colossal explosion. Bodies, wreckage and expensive running shoes rained down all around me. Every single one of my opponents was reduced to a thin smear of pâté that lay on the hill like pink and red snow.
I closed my eyes and took a single breath. This was my time.
I ran like a fat wind, graceful yet rotund. Every step took me closer to victory. Pausing to vomit only four or five more times, I crested the hill, avoiding the pool of minced athlete whenever possible. I crossed the finish line, and the surviving crowd went wild. I had won. It was all going to be OK.
Grit, determination, and a remarkably lax system of rules for governing competitive racing that failed to take into account the impact of localised air disasters on final rankings, had made me a champion.