Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio…

May 27, 2010

Update: A tip of my gin and juice for Gary Coleman. I thought for sure Todd Bridges would beat him to the grave.

I have been asked this question a lot lately. Well, not about Joe D but about me. Where have I gone? Was I depressed? Incarcerated? Abducted by aliens and anally probed yet again? The answer is yes to all of the above plus other reasons.

I have talked about being depressed before but, for some reason, I fell into a pretty dark place a few months ago. I couldn’t tell you why. It just engulfed me like a large, wet coat that I could not get out of. There was a brief moment where I wondered if this was what a nervous breakdown felt like or maybe I was destined for a loony bin somewhere. I just wanted to cry and could not climb out of a very deep hole. The fact that I could not seem to control my emotions and mood was very unnerving.

Fortunately, over time, I climbed my way out of the pit but I do worry sometimes that this doom and gloom might rear its ugly head again. This depression really has a negative impact on my awesomeness and that is a problem. Even my stalkers threatened to leave me for Gary Coleman if I didn’t pull it together. So, that was a big part of the reason I vanished.

As for the incarceration and aliens, I don’t want to talk about it. I will just say this. When I pass gas, you can’t hear it anymore. Try making an O shape with your mouth and see how much noise you can make by blowing through it. Now you see my dilemma. Don’t even get me started about the leakage. I can never sit in a cloth chair again.

I have also been busy working at Hooters. With the new weight enforcement, I have had to really buckle down on what I eat. Plus, you have no idea how long it takes to shave my body and tuck myself so that I don’t “show” in my short shorts. As an occasional black man, I have to be careful not to knock on my own back door when I am pushing my Mandingo backwards. It’s not easy being me.

Lastly, I just ran out of new things to say. When I crossed the 400 post mark, I had said pretty much everything I needed to say. Honestly, what subject have I not covered? When you have already tapped the midget and Eskimo’s reservoir, the well is running dry. I needed some time so I could forget what I had written previously so I could write it all over again. Have I said much lately about Sarah Palin? I really need to expound on my affection for her.

In the end, I will never be nearly as prolific as I used to be. However, I hope that I still have something to say on occasion. I would also like to take this time to thank those of you that have stuck it out with me. Sure, you life is sad and lonely because you live in a basement that smells like cat piss, but I love you. Never forget that. Until the next time, I bid you adieu. TL

Bob and Pat (BB&B)

June 2, 2009

Here is an actual chapter from the book that is finally almost done. I hope you enjoy.

Long before Karl Childers became infamous as the lead character from Sling Blade, there was Bob Coltrane. They looked alike, they sounded alike, and except for their individual choices of weapons, they seemed to be twins separated at birth.

Bob was married to my aunt Pat. I think that Bob was originally from Texas, and that is where he and Pat met. Sometime later, they moved back to the Midwest, and by the time the seventies rolled around, they were the parents of four kids. There were three older sisters and a much younger brother, Bobby.

In Bobby, the apple had not fallen far from the tree. I most vividly remember Bobby pedaling his bike as fast as he could straight into a tree … over and over. All the while, Bob Sr. smiled toothlessly, rocking back and forth on the front porch. Bobby’s other idea of great fun was pulling ticks off of his dog and lighting them on fire. The future was very bright for this young man.

The older siblings were actually much more “normal,” comparatively speaking. They were born into a strictly religious home, so they were socially muted. Still, I always found them to be engaging and friendly.

In the early summer of 1973, Mom had gone on what could euphemistically be called a long weekend with one of her gentlemen friends. She left my younger sister and me behind to fend for ourselves but committed to returning in a couple of days. This was not an abnormal event, and although food in the house was scarce, I didn’t think too much of it.

Four days later, there was still no sign of my mother. At this point we were down to little food. Some pasta and spaghetti sauce was all we had left for real food. Being almost thirteen, I was pretty comfortable with cooking and decided to cook the pasta for my sister and me. The spaghetti was cooking with no problem, and I put the sauce into a Pyrex bowl and put it on the gas stove. If you know anything at all about cooking, you might have just said “uh-oh” to yourself.

I was facing away from the stove when the explosion happened. Spaghetti sauce and bits of Pyrex went flying everywhere. I wasn’t hurt, but I felt like I had just been shot in the heart. This was going to be our last real meal until my mother came home, and now it was gone. I just started crying because I felt so bad about what I had done and how disappointed my little sister would be.

My sister came running from the back of the trailer to see what had happened. She saw the mess and saw me crying. To her credit, she simply walked up to me and said, “Don’t worry about it. We can just put ketchup on the spaghetti and it will be fine.” Those reassuring words meant a great deal to me, and in those tough times, we would never, ever turn our backs on each other. When things were good, we fought like cats and dogs, but we never deserted each other when we were in the trenches.

The very next day, Aunt Pat showed up at our trailer to speak with Mom. I informed her that she was still gone but was supposed to be home soon. She told me to gather some clothes and that my sister and I would come stay with her until Mom returned. Normally, I would not be much inclined to take her up on the offer. As I mentioned, they were Bible thumpers and lived like throwbacks to the fifties. At the time, they did not even have running water. Still, we were out of food, and at least we would be fed.

We were at Pat’s for about four days when Mom called to say she was on the way to pick us up. Normally, Pat would have probably chastised her a bit but then told her to come get us. This time, however, she told my mom that she couldn’t have us back. She said she was going to file child neglect charges and have us taken away. That was it—no yelling or histrionics, just a factual statement.

Knowing her sister as well as she did, Pat explained to us what she was doing and why she felt compelled to do it. She was earnest, and whatever her faults were, what she was saying seemed to make sense. She told us that there was no doubt that our mom was on her way over to take us and that, when she pulled up, we should run and hide.

In retrospect, I can see that there had been a subtle indoctrination against our mother from the time we got there. So although it would seem odd to run and hide from your own mother, to my sister and me, it made perfect sense. I couldn’t tell you why I felt that way, but I did.

Sure enough, about three hours later Mom pulled up in a sedan with two men I had never seen before. All three got out of the car, but the two men stayed back a bit. (At this point, my sister and I were peeking out of the window to see what was going on.) Mom walked up to the bottom of the steps of Pat’s porch. It was a wide set of stairs with about ten steps. On the porch were Pat, her daughter Karen, and, of course, Bob sitting in the rocking chair.

Mom started off politely enough, saying that she was here to pick up her kids and didn’t want any trouble. However, she had brought help, and she would do whatever she needed to do to get us. Pat was unimpressed by the threat and simply said, “The children are staying with me.” Apparently, Mom did not appreciate this answer and proceeded to bound up the stairs like an Olympic athlete. With equal speed, Pat and Karen met her at the top step and promptly threw her to the ground. There was plenty of screeching, hair pulling, and swearing going on. After a few minutes, Mom stopped struggling with Pat sitting on her chest, arms pinned.

At this point, she screamed for help from her two henchmen. As they slowly walked up to the porch, Bob rose out of his chair and, seemingly from nowhere, pulled out a claw hammer. While the two guys at the foot of the stairs seemed awfully nervous, Bob had the demeanor of Clint Eastwood. He merely said in a low Southern drawl, “If you come up here, I will kill you.”

Of all of the people I have met in my life, I would put Bob among the top two individuals who would actually carry out such a threat. By the look of the two guys standing below, they seemed to believe it as well. For a brief time, there was a stalemate. Then Mom started screaming and struggling again when guy number one bolted for the stairs. Big mistake on his part.

True to his word, Bob raised his hammer and slammed the claw end into the stranger’s head. The claw skipped off of his skull but grabbed the skin. Bob pulled the hammer down, and the guy’s head went forward and down with it. At this time, guy number two came up the stairs and grabbed his buddy by the waist. Bob brought the hammer up to strike again, but by pulling as hard as he could, guy two sent guy one and himself flying backward off of the stairs.

Bob didn’t move. He stood in the same place, hammer in hand, and didn’t say or do anything. The first guy’s head was bleeding profusely, and even Mom realized that this particular battle could not be won. She told Pat that she gave up and would leave. Cautiously, Pat stood up and placed herself between Mom and the front door with Karen by her side. I thought for a brief moment that she was going to bolt for the door again, but she didn’t.

The two guys were now in the car calling for Mom to hurry up. She scurried down the stairs, filling the air with expletives and saying that she would be back and would bring whatever means necessary to get us. That day never came.

Instead, we stayed at Pat’s for a few more days and then went to meet a judge. Because my sister was too young, I spoke for both of us. I remember being worried that I was going to give the wrong answer and get in trouble, but I did the best I could. We sat in a room at the courthouse for most of the day, and we were able to see Mom. She said it would all be fine but it might take time.

Sometime toward the end of the day, a lady I had never seen before came in and introduced herself as Mrs. Green. She said that my sister and I would be staying with her until all of this got sorted out. I was not at all happy about this result, but what could I do?

We stayed at Mrs. Green’s for about three months before my dad sent for me to come live with him. Because my sister was not his child, she was forced to stay behind on her own. I still regret many things that I did and that happened during that period, but I regret nothing more than getting my sister stuck in such a hopeless situation. She was eventually returned to our mother, but I can only imagine how scary and lonely it must have been for her to have been left behind, alone. I realize that as children, none of the blame belonged to us. Still, it hurt then, and when I make myself think about it, it hurts now.

The Day I Was Blinded…Metaphorically, Of Course (BB&B)

May 27, 2009

Have you ever seen something so hideous and grotesque that it became emblazoned into your brain never to go away or recede with time? This is the story of one such image. 

The day started innocently enough with me volunteering to clean my Mom’s car. It was a pale blue VW Beetle and I thought I would be a nice 14 year old kid and polish it for her. 

After washing and waxing the car I figured I might as well clean the interior to match the now beautiful exterior. I started by clearing out a variety of small items in the car and then went about cleaning the windows and such. 

The last item I decided to clean was the glove compartment. This decision would change my life in a way that has never been resolved. I took out the usual items one would expect to find until the compartment was almost empty. In running my hands over the bottom of the glove box, I grabbed what felt like Polaroid pictures. 

Sure enough, that’s exactly what they were. I flipped one over and immediately noticed that it was the photo of a nude woman. Her face was not viewable because the flash from the camera blocked it out. Odd, I thought, that I should find it in my Mom’s glove compartment. 

And that’s when it hit me. The nude woman in the photo’s I was holding was my own dear mother. Maybe for most people, this would be a non-issue. After all, nudity is beautiful in some cultures. Not in my world. For me, the picture seared into my mind like a heat seeking missile. I felt my stomach churn and thought for sure I was going to hurl. What kind of deranged person takes nude photo’s of themselves and then leaves them around for minors to stumble across? 

My vision blurred from the sensory onslaught, I stumbled out of the car like I had been shot. I tossed the pictures onto the passenger seat like hot coals from my hands. Now what? I didn’t dare risk seeing them again by grabbing them and how would I ever face this woman again without that revolting image popping immediately into my brain? 

I grabbed one of the towels I had used to clean the car and threw it over the photos. I then collected them under the towel and threw them back into the glove box. The same glove box I would never open again for the rest of my life. I then put the rest of the stuff I had taken out and placed it back on top of the photos. It took hours before I regained my composure…and vision. 

I probably didn’t look my mother in the eyes for at least a week after that. And even that was not enough time to erase the stain of what I saw from my memory. I never told her about what I found and have no idea what she was doing with them in the car in the first place. Swapping them like baseball cards? 

Parents, consider yourselves warned. Your innocent moment with the digital camera might just come back to haunt you. Worse yet, it might partially blind your child and impair their sanity. I can testify.

My First Solo Road Trip (BB&B)

May 19, 2009

By the time I turned 16, I was living in a variety of places. With friends, family members, my car, step parents…wherever. I had my trusty Chevy Vega (hatchback, of course) and all of my belongings in my car. 

While bouncing around in Missouri, I decided to take a trip to Florida to visit my Mom. Now, while it is true that the Vega drank 3 quarts of oil a week, she had never failed me. So, I packed up my stuff, including my awesome color TV bought with hard earned dishwashing money, and hit the road. 

All was fine with the world as I barreled down the highway blasting the latest and greatest 8 track tape from my strewn together sound system. I was in the Tennessee mountains, near Chattanooga, when the first sign of trouble struck. 

Smoke started to come up from under my hood. Now, normally, I would have stopped, lifted the hood, and looked generally perplexed. (I didn’t then, and still don’t know, the first thing about cars). Since it was about midnight, I was feeling less than anxious to pull over in the middle of nowhere. So on I trudged… 

Soon, a variety of red warning lights came on and said, “Hey, dumbass, your car is broke”. While I appreciated the info, I pretty much knew I was already in trouble. The fact that I was driving with my head out of the window to avoid the smoke was my first real clue. 

I am not sure how long this smoke filled state lasted but I remember one trucker coming up on my tail end and blaring his horn. Like the nice dummy lights, he was also telling me I might be having some car trouble. Ya don’t say….thanks trucker brother. 

As I prayed to anyone that would listen and became increasing convinced that Deliverance was awaiting me when I pulled over, a miracle happened. The smoke cleared up and some of the dummy lights went out. The car seemed to be doing ok and all was right with the world. It was now the middle of the night but I made it to a car dealership in Chattanooga. 

I slept for a few hours until the Chevy dealership opened. The guy said something about my pistons not having pressure or some such double speak. I told him I had $50 and would that be enough to fix it. Once he stopped laughing, I asked if he thought I could make it to Florida in the cars current condition. Once he stopped laughing, again, he said I had a 50-50 shot. 

I made it about 2 miles before flames started shooting out from under my hood. This time, a real fire had started but, at least I was still in town. I gracefully pulled my burning car into a gas station and turned it off. I then gently removed myself from the car, jumped up on the hood and started stomping the hood cursing in every bad word my 16 year old vocabulary owned. As I looked up from my rant, an old couple seated at a bus stop watch me with the most perplexed look on their faces. 

The gas station guy said the car was officially dead. I asked if he would watch my belongings, including my beloved color TV, while I caught a bus to Florida and figured out a way to come and get my stuff. He said he could make no promises but would do the best he could. I knew for sure this was the kiss of death for everything I owned. 

Undaunted, I bought my bus ticket and got to my Mom’s house. Although she had no car, she was able to meet a guy in a bar that drove her to Chattanooga that night. Now, if you live in this kind of world, this makes perfect sense to you. If you don’t, there is no way I can explain it to you. 

Two days later, Mom pulled up in strange dude’s car with all of my stuff in tow. My dreams had again been answered. Also, the gas station guy gave her $25 for the car parts. (My awesome sound system and 8 track was worth at least $30). I let Mom keep the cash and made many more of those types of road trips over the years. It’s a great way to see the country. 

Oh, and no offense, but fu** you Chattanooga.

Suicide The Hard Way (BB&B)

May 18, 2009

One of my favorite stories to tell about Mom should not be at all humorous or entertaining but, to me anyway, it is. It is also a glimpse into the psyche of this complicated woman. 

I should start with a disclaimer. Obviously, anytime someone is threatening to kill themselves, it should be taken as a serious cry for help. However, at times, the manner in which they intend to “off themselves” is so poorly planned, you can’t take it seriously. 

Mom had left a note that she was going to kill herself. Now, this was not a terribly uncommon event but I still was worried. It was early afternoon and I had just come home from school when I read the note. Because her car was outside, I figured maybe she had taken some pills, again, and was in the bedroom. Except she wasn’t. In fact, I could not find her anywhere. 

It was the middle of winter so I thought maybe she went outside after taking the pills to freeze to death. Again, kind of a silly way to go about it but with Sue, you just never knew. I took a quick stroll around our trailer which was situated on a huge plot of land. It was so cold, that I pretty quickly went back inside after my search came up empty. 

I had just taken off my coat and was preparing to call some relatives when Mom walked in the front door. She looked cold but otherwise seemed coherent. I told her that I had read her note and I didn’t understand what was happening. She looked at me with despair over her face and said, “I tried to kill myself but I couldn’t”.

When I told her I knew she didn’t have it in her, she said that is not what she meant. She said, “Oh, I fully intended to do it. I was going to drown myself. But when I got to the lake, it was frozen too hard for me to get in the water”. This, in a nutshell, was my life. Pitiful, comical, melodramatic, and never terribly well thought out.

The Great Bike Theft (BB&B)

May 11, 2009

Part of my childhood was spent growing up in a dirty, mid sized industrial city. In the sample chapter titled “Will”, I spoke about how my Dad had his car stolen. I also had items stolen on a regular basis…usually my bike. 

The reason for this was simple; I didn’t lock it up every time I got off of it. For instance, one time I ran into a 7/11 for maybe two minutes to buy a soda and by the time I exited the store, my bike was gone. 

Fortunately, some friends saw the kids who stole it. The store owner, who was now convinced these same kids had probably shoplifted him, called the cops to report the stolen bike. 

Within what seemed like no time at all, the police were there and asked my friends to describe the kids. All they had was “they were black”. Back in the good old days, this was not profiling as much as an indicator as to what neighborhood they were from. The Hispanics lived in one part of town, the Italians another, the blacks yet another, and so on. 

We drove to the “black” part of town in the cop car and saw a bunch of kids sitting around on their bikes. The cops asked if I recognized my bike and I said I couldn’t be sure. As I sat in the back of the cruiser, they got out and proceeded to knock each kid off of the bike he was sitting on. One by one they tumbled, cursing and screaming police brutality. This seemed to only agitate the two cops. 

Finally, after each bike had been brought over to me, I could not identify mine. The cops seemed more discourage than even I was. At least they weren’t going to have to face the wrath of my Dad. 

As we started to pull away, I noticed that one of the bikes had the initials “SB” embedded in the bottom of it. My bike! My Dad always pounded our initials into everything we owned. After about a 30 second disagreement with the kids, the cops seized the bike and threw it in the trunk. 

All was right with the world. I had my bike back and, except for the fact that they had pulled all of the handlebar tape off and jacked up the hand breaks, it would be like it never happened. Except for one tiny problem… 

I went to school with those kids. I knew them and they knew me. To make a long story short, I was thrown into the lockers on a regular basis each time I saw these guys for the remainder of the school year. They never really hurt me…just wanted to make sure that I understood who was in charge. Knowing that these kids could inflict much more serious damage to me, I had no problem with that. 

In retrospect, I was quite the pussy back then, wasn’t I?

Anyone Play “Hump The Dog”? (BB&B)

May 6, 2009

Technically, the dog actually humps you but “hump the dog” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? 

Let me explain for those of you unfamiliar with this fun pastime. When I was a youngster, I had a dog named Hobo. Hobo loved to do two things…run away and hump things. He would eventually run away permanantly one day but not before humping a ton of things while under our care. 

The kids in the neighborhood would play all kinds of games on pretty much a daily basis. Prior to finding Hobo, the loser(s) would have to go through the “hot oven” if they lost. This consisted of crawling on your hands and knees between the legs of the other kids as they swatted your butt. I can assure you that, although this screamed “gay”, there were no sexual connotations. 

Once we came across Hobo, the new punishment for the loser was to be humped by Hobo for 30 seconds. Sometimes, if Hobo was really in the mood, you would be marked with a “spot”. This was the ultimate humiliation. 

One of my favorite games back then was “bottle rocket”. In this game, you would drop a large firecracker (M80 or Cherry Bomb) into a glass bottle with the top broken off. You would stand in a circle to see who would be the first to break the circle and run away from the impending explosion. Sounds like fun, eh? 

We had a variety of similar intelligent, well thought out games. Generally speaking, the more likely the loser would be maimed in a game, the more we wanted to play it. A lot of the games involved gasoline…always a sure winner to keep the kids entertained. 

Another game we played was “grab in the dark”. This was played when girls were available. The point was to crawl around in a pitch dark basement and, when you came across someone, reach out and grab a handful of something. Again, in retrospect, there may have been some gay facets with this game but I am sure they were unintentional. 

I missed Hobo when he ran away. I don’t think it was because of his uncanny ability to hump things but maybe I am kidding myself. His talent was truly rare. You will also be glad to know that none of us were ever seriously hurt in these games and I couldn’t tell you where our parents were. It was just a different, kinder, gentler time. As for “grab in the dark”…I mostly grabbed junk. I don’t really miss that game.

They Stole My Lunch Money! (BB&B)

May 4, 2009

When I was a youngster, I was almost always broke as a fool. Sometimes I had a paper route and that would land me a buck or two. Or, if times were good, I would get a dollar for an allowance. Still, I rarely carried any money and was more likely to be carrying food stamps than green backs. 

One Christmas when I was about 14, someone, somewhere gave me $20. I can’t remember who it was but they had obviously confused me with some other child. Still, I was thrilled to death to be rolling in cash and proudly carried my twenty with me…everywhere. 

When we returned to school from Christmas break, I was still flashing my $20 to anyone that was willing to look at it. Somehow, this $20 bill was giving me the kind of self esteem I so desperately lacked. I finally broke the $20 on a Hostess apple pie. (Possibly one of the greatest foods ever made). While I was now down 50 cents, I actually had more bills to flash around! This was awesome. 

Awesome until 3 enterprising young men decided they needed to relieve me of the burden of carrying this cash. As two approached me from the front, one circled around behind me. The two stopped right in front of me and started up some small talk. This was odd since I didn’t usually attract this kind of attention. Before I knew it, the kid behind me had snatched my wallet from my back pocket. 

He immediately opened it and took the wad of cash I had in it. The three started laughing and started to walk away. I pleaded, “Can I at least have my wallet back? My school ID is in there”. One of the nice young men then flipped me my empty wallet. 

Or so he thought. You see, my dad had taught me about the “secret compartment” each wallet holds. This is where I had hidden the $10 bill left over from my change. So, in spite of losing the battle, I had in fact won the war! (Ok, not really, I was still out the 9 bucks. Plus, they had pretty much emotionally bitch slapped me and I did nothing).

The lesson to be learned? Always walk backwards. That way, the criminals can’t sneak up on you. (In the movie version of this story, I am going to have Chuck Norris show up and kick their collective a**es).

I Am The Keeper Of The Weed (BB&B)

May 3, 2009

For some reason, I always was asked to hold the stash. It never failed. Maybe it was because I was young looking or maybe because I was honest…I never really knew.

I always saw this as a sort of honor. What I should have realized at the tender age of 16 is that I was being targeted as the fall guy. Because I was usually the only one of my friends that had not been in trouble with the law, maybe they thought I would get off easier. All I knew is that it made me well liked and I always had some weed available. Living in Florida without AC makes pot a mandatory substance.

One night, I was doing my usual dish washing duties at the Egg Platter restaurant in Sarasota. This was a great place to go after partying all night. (I think we stayed open until about 4 am on the weekends). Because I had already quit school, the hours were not an issue. The stash here was kept in a big Tupperware container on a shelf above where I worked. This was not my stash so I never touched it. I think the owner of the stash just liked the idea that I could keep my eye on it.

A disturbance at some point lead to the police being called to our happy little establishment. It didn’t concern me so I didn’t think twice about it. That is until the officer walked into my work area in back. While the Tupperware was not out in the open, it certainly was not at all hidden. I must have looked guilty as hell because the first thing the cop said was, “What’s wrong with you?” I stammered “nuthin” and tried to look away from the stash. But the mojo of the weed was strong and kept saying to me, “Look at me!” The cop said some other stuff but I couldn’t hear him over the loud voice of the weed.

Finally, after about 6 hours (or a minute) the cop just walked away. I could finally breath again. The owner later came by and asked about his prized possession. I told him he would need to find a new place to hide his evil weed as I almost had been locked away for life. He laughed, we shared a blunt, all was right with the world, and we kept the Tupperware in the same place. In retrospect, I would have made a helluva mule.

Pants Under Or Over The Belly?

April 30, 2009

As my stomach expands with age (and junk food), I am starting to worry that I    am going to have to make a major decision in my life. That decision is, of course, whether to wear my stomach over my belt or wrap my belt around my stomach. 

To date, I have just rested my gut comfortably over my belt. This is how most guys do it and it seems to work pretty well. I am at a disadvantage only in the sense that my ass was surgically removed when I was young so my pants want to fall from the downward pressure. 

I suppose I could rock the suspenders, and look damned good doing it, but I think that look went out in the fifties. (Except for Larry King who, sadly, died 10 years ago). Or, I could just cinch the belt really tight like I do now. Still, it can be uncomfortable when I sit for long periods of time. (Which is all the time). 

If I wrap the belt around my stomach, like say, Santa does, I will lose what little bit of dignity I have left. Nothing is more pathetic than the dude that has his pants pulled half way up his torso with his junk hemmed in from the legs being pulled too tight. Still, it seems like a comfortable approach and at almost 50, no one gives a crap what I am doing anyway. 

I am sure some of you will say, “Hey, fat ass. Why don’t you just lose the weight?” First, thank you for your kindness. Second, I have lost the weight, and gained it, and lost it, etc. Doesn’t there come a point in my life where I can stop fighting that fight. I just look like I swallowed a bowling ball, is that so horrible? I am not all Oprah, sloppy big. (And remember, black is supposed to make you look thinner). 

I guess I will just leave things the way they are and try to keep my weight under control through continued lying around and eating bad food. Fingers crossed, I think it just might work. Plus, the ridicule I would take from my family if I hitched my trousers over my naval would be unbearable. They are all waif like and treat the “fat dude” poorly. I can’t give them anymore ammo. 

If you can think of a better alternative plan, please feel free to share. (And no Liz, I don’t want to hear about eating more carrots or, Oz forbid, “working out”).