November 9, 2012

ON THE EDGE: Death by the pound

By J.P. Devine
Correspondent

A thought: I wonder if crematoriums charge by the pound? That ran through my mind as I looked in the full-length mirror at dawn this morning. I've put back on a good part of the weight I had lost this spring. I think I'm becoming what they call "a full-figured lad."

And if they do charge, then she, who will have to pay the bill, is in for a hurt. She will probably ask, as she does everywhere, "Do you take Discover?" Taking my ashes home in one of those cardboard Chinese take-out cartons, she will then get back to grading papers. Anyway, that was part of my dream last night.

It's Saturday morning. America's every-four-years wild party is over. The tall, cool African-American, born in Hawaii, has strolled out of the darkness, victorious, battered and unbowed. As Jake LaMotta famously said to Sugar Ray Robinson, "You didn't get me down, Ray." No, they didn't get him down.

It's Saturday morning. America's every-four-years wild party is over. The tall, cool African-American, born in Hawaii, has strolled out of the darkness, victorious, battered and unbowed. As Jake LaMotta famously said to Sugar Ray Robinson, "You didn't get me down, Ray." No, they didn't get him down.

To those who love him, he's still on the white horse. To those who still hate him, he's still on the white horse. As David Letterman said, "The guy from Kenya won."

But the clash of arms is a passing echo now. The parades have moved on down the street, and we can barely hear the drums any longer. The floors of the grand hotels are littered with deflated balloons, crepe paper, gate passes and confetti. The spent bodies of the weary victors and the defeated have been towed away. Young campaign workers have bonded, gone their separate ways or home with each other to drink the last of the cheap wine and plan their futures.

It's over. Thank God. Now I can get back to worrying about my prostate and the eternal battle with the belly. As to that fight, I think I've found the answer, and it's black, everything black -- black turtlenecks, black sweats and big, thick, black puffer jackets.

I know it's a disguise, and all about turning ones face away from the truth. It's like Jerry Seinfeld said to Jason Alexander when he came in the door with his puffer. "You've given up, haven't you?"

No, I've not given up. I still watch what I eat. I just don't wear my glasses when I eat. When my doctor told me to go on the Mediterranean diet, I obeyed. I ate lasagna, spaghetti, ravioli, but in smaller portions. Then I learned that there is no such thing as a small portion of lasagna. But that was in the summer.

It's easy to lose weight in the summer. It's all about iced tea and watermelon, cole slaw and tuna salads. It's easy. Then autumn arrives and then November. The days shorten, there is a sudden darkness at noon. You get hungry earlier. You start eating dinner, and then look up at the clock, and it's only 4:30. OMG.

You put half of the food back in the fridge and go watch a television show. But you know that half-eaten food is in there just waiting for you. You can almost hear it. "What happened?" It cries. "Didn't you like me? You were so gentle when you put me in the microwave. I could see in your eyes that I was gorgeous and delicious. What happened? Come back."

It really started on the last day of October. Yes, Halloween. In years past, I always bought candy that I loved. I mean, what if no kids came? I'd be stuck with ugly candy. Then no kids came, and I ate the candy.

Last year I bought ugly candy, hard, almost inedible candy so that I would not be tempted. You know what? If you like candy, none of it is inedible. You'll eat it. Is candy on the Mediterranean diet? Don't Mediterranean folks eat candy?

Then suddenly it's Thanksgiving, and the long nightmare begins. Then suddenly it's Christmas. The Mediterranean diet doesn't cover Christmas.

So here I am, puffered and hooded, sweatsuited and shirted, a vision in black, so black I dare not walk at night lest I be run down.

I checked the crematoriums. They do charge by the pound.

 

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