Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy Gold
As I look back on this journey so far and comb the archives, I realize that some of my favorite days involved recalling situations and circumstances that at the time might have been painful or embarrassing. They say tragedy plus time equals comedy, and it's so true. I'm at a point where I can look back and laugh, or at least smile. I may not have been at that point on the night I originally wrote about it, but now after dropping the first 176 pounds, I have a liberated feeling and the confidence that I'll never go back. I'll briefly recap this successful Friday after we travel back into the archives for some memorable stories from a morbidly obese past: From Day 25 “The McSeatbelt”---A few months ago I was getting ready to head home one evening when I decided that instead of cooking, we would have McDonalds. I drove to the drive through and loaded up with nearly twenty bucks and 4500 calories worth of double cheeseburgers, Quarter Pounders with Cheese, a Filet-O-Fish with extra tarter sauce, and another bag dedicated to the fries. We were going large that night. I was nearly three blocks away from home when a motorcycle police officer pulled me over. He walked up to the passenger side window and stuck his head in right above all that food. I can't believe he didn't sneak a fry or two, they were right there in his face and the hypnotizing aroma filled the van. He told me that he was pulling me over because I wasn't wearing a seatbelt. I want to wear it, and I've tried to wear it, I've even given myself a charley horse in my side trying to buckle that thing, it just will not click. So I told him that I couldn't wear the seatbelt because it didn't fit...I went on to tell him that I was working on losing the weight (a lie at the time) and soon I would be able to click the seatbelt without giving myself a hernia in the attempt. He told me to wait right there, and he went back to his motorbike. I don't know what he was saying on his radio, but I can only imagine the story he told to his fellow officers about the guy who couldn't fit in the seatbelt... “then he said he was working on losing weight...the guy had 23 McDonalds bags in the front seat!”. It was real hard to keep a straight face when I told him that I was trying to lose weight while all the hot food right beside me was wafting in his face. He came back and told me that after considering the circumstances he would give me a warning this time, and that I needed to look into getting some seatbelt extenders. I guarantee he re-told that story when he got home... “you wouldn't believe the guy I pulled over today”. Before he walked away I really wanted to tell him that the food wasn't all for me. I didn't, I was too embarrassed to say anything but thank you. When I got home I told my family about the traffic stop, and despite the seriousness of not being able to fit in a seat belt, we couldn't help but laugh at that slice of comedy gold, then we ate everything in those 23 bags...actually it was only two bags. There isn't a seat belt I can't click easily now.
I've probably destroyed nearly a dozen or more chairs over the last twenty years. I'm lucky I never seriously hurt myself through all of the destruction! Out of all the chairs I've busted, this memory stands out as the worst chair breaking story I've ever experienced: From Day 8--- My worst chair story happened in the spring of 2003. I was living in Los Angeles at the time doing stand-up 100%. One day I ran across a part time on-air opening at Westwood One Radio Networks. A part-time job there would pay about or a little more than full time salaries anywhere else I had ever worked. So needless to say I was excited about winning over this network program director! I sent in my material and what do you know, he called me! He was seriously considering hiring me! Or he wouldn't have called right? I was thrilled. I would be on the air all over the nation! “This could be big”, I thought. The PD called me in for an interview the very next day. I drove to Valencia early to beat whatever traffic might get in the way, then after arriving an hour and a half early I took a long lunch at the Burger King down the road from Magic Mountain. When I finally arrived at Westwood One I was immediately given the grand tour of the facilities. Very nice. I mean, extremely nice studios. I was so impressed. The PD seemed very cool and I felt very comfortable, that is until I walked into his office for the interview. I noticed right away his guest chairs were not “fat friendly”. Extremely narrow arms and that wood and hot glued look. The PD took his chair behind his desk and told me to have a seat. I was afraid he was going to expect me to sit down! So I did...as lightly as I could on the very edge of the chair...and about point 2 seconds later the chair crumbled under my weight. I quickly caught myself from falling by grabbing his desk, but the chair wasn't so lucky. And neither were my chances of getting that job. After I broke one of his chairs, he invited me to sit in the other chair that WAS IDENTICAL to the one I just broke!!! I did, the same way as before, but this time with as much weight on my feet against the floor. Lucky for me the second chair somehow survived. My interview didn't. He never called me back. And I bet he tells that story to this day around the halls and studios of Westwood One Radio. Glad I could add some humor to their work place. There isn't a chair I can't sit in now, even the plastic patio white chairs are fine, I tried one not that long ago and it was a wonderful experience!
Have you ever felt like you were being targeted by food advertising? A Day when every time you turn around, you notice a sign promoting something yummy? Day 36 “Marquee Conspiracy” was it for me: Some days it seems like there's an elaborate conspiracy to get me to come down off the wagon. It's like all of the restaurants and convenience store delis got together and decided to tempt me all at the same time. Like my abstinence from high calorie foods is driving their business into the ground. I can just imagine all of them getting together for an emergency meeting: (insert dream sequence harp music here) The meeting is just getting started when the leader of the conspiracy—The Blue Bell Delivery guy says “All right people, let's keep it together, he's on day 36 now, and we all know that if he gets to Day 100, some of us are going to start going under”... “But what do we do?” Screams a nervous restaurant manager “He seems so determined! Just the other day he was offered a toasted 800 calorie sub for free and he turned it down!!” (Crowd Gasp)... The King from BK then chimes in with “We've got to work together, we need to know his exact driving route, then we'll put all of the high calorie foods he loves on our marquees.” Then Bill Braum stands up and ask “Do you think it will work?” Ronald McDonald tries to make a serious face to say “It may be the only chance we have to break him, now get out there kids and start putting up those signs, and if you can show him pictures, that's even better.” Hey, it's a dream sequence, and dreams get crazy! They were really giving it their best shot today. In just a few mile stretch, I drove past several different signs all just begging me to come in and forget about this little journey. The first sign read “half price ice cream and drinks 2-4pm”...No Sean, keep it together...Then-- “two corn dogs 4 a dollar” ...nice try!---then “Try a Banana Pudding Shake” Stop it!...the next sign was “Try our new oven baked sandwiches” It didn't work last Thursday, and it's not working today! ...then it was “Large Frozen Yogurt Waffle Cone $1.79”...Then a big banner with the most delicious picture of a big, gigantic, king sized Mushroom and Swiss burger, with the invite-- “Try a Mushroom and Swiss Steakhouse Burger.” No King! Leave me be! Before I could get to the safety of my garage I drove by a banner picture of a foot-long chili cheese coney...It was the size of my van! Have mercy! I can't help it, I'm a sign reader! I've always been a sign reader... I wonder what their strategy will be tomorrow? Whatever it is I know I'll survive, cause I'm determined my friend. They would have to come out into traffic and stuff the food in my mouth by force at the stoplight, and if that happens, well...we'd have to reach some kind of low calorie peace accord with these nuts. I'm done now. That was fun. I'm no longer tempted by outdoor food advertising.
These are just a few Days that made me smile. There have been many more! We'll have to do this again sometime!
I'll be honest, I'm so sleepy right now, I can barely keep my eyes open. I can't think straight, hence the “Best of Humorous Stories” format of tonight's post. I hope you laughed or at least smiled. I had less than three hours sleep last night, no nap today because we have company, and we completed an exhausting swimming workout tonight. We took turns racing each other the length of the pool. That was a killer workout! Then I did pull ups on the slide! Today was fantastic food and exercise wise. We even went out and bought a jump rope tonight. I haven't jumped rope since I was in 4th grade. I will tomorrow! Thank you kindly for reading. Goodnight and...