Friday, May 06, 2005

Fat Chance

An exerpt from my forthcoming book, We Found the Vacuum Cleaner. It's only forthcoming; I didn't say "soon coming."

One thing about living here in Pancake Flats is the delightful spring weather. I gotta hand it to the local Chamber of Commerce; those folks know how to put on a pleasant day. Today the sky was blue and clean after a good rain yesterday. Colorful birds flittered everywhere. A gentle breeze, pretty flowers, warm sunshine, laughing children, friendly neighbors. This day was so inviting that it just automatically gets you in the mood. Know what I mean?

My First Wife Chancie was feeling kind of frisky, too, so she suggested we to go ahead and do some spring cleaning.

“Good idea,” I said.

“We need to plan out our day—” she announced while I was reading the sports page of the Waddle County Weekly at the breakfast table, “…how we’re going to go about this.”

“Good idea,” I said.

“Well, first I need to change into some spring cleaning blue jeans,” she said.

Next thing I knew I was standing alone among the women’s casual clothes down at the Farm-Mart. When I stand alone among the women’s casual clothes, other women do not look at me, even though I’m a very friendly man. I don’t know if they’re afraid that I might follow them home; if they’re afraid that making eye contact also means making a commitment; or if they think I’m there to make my own personal purchases and they don’t want to get involved.

Look, if you see me standing alone among women’s clothing in any department store, it means I, a thoughtful, caring husband, was brought there by My First Wife Chancie to wait patiently while she tries on petite sizes first. That’s called Shopping Together and somehow makes Chancie feel desirable and special. Pretty soon she’ll present her lovely self to me in a petite outfit that isn’t stretched all that far. I will smile lustily, flick my eyebrows at her, and say, "You look good, Hunny. But...are you sure that's the right color for you?”

After that, I am free to wander anywhere I want and I don’t have to stand alone among women’s clothing for another year.

Somehow, we got together again up at the cash register. She was so quiet I finally broke down and asked, “What’s wrong, Hunny.”

“You think I’m fat,” she snarled in a mean, low whisper.

“Why, no…I never said anything like that.”

“You said that outfit was the wrong color,” she “whispered” again, as if we were in church.

“I do remember suggesting that,” I gently replied.

“That means you think I’m fat!”

Sometimes I’d rather put my foot in a bear trap.

Well, it only took the clerk twelve minutes to run up my credit card bill and four more minutes to stuff Chancie’s spring cleaning blue jeans into those bags. I politely volunteered to tote them out to the car. As we turned to leave, I heard the woman behind us “whisper” to her husband, “That means you think I’m fat!

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