Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Free Write

I would like to warn all slightly pudgy or fat men and women currently involved in an ongoing relationship, be it marriage or social dating, of a great danger filtering into their homes by way of television. This danger is present only once per week, specifically Tuesday evenings on NBC. Yes, I am speaking of “The Biggest Loser.”

I will be the first to acknowledge I am a little more than pleasantly plump, in fact I believe I crossed the line into obstinately obese not long ago, yet I am working on it. My methods are slow and often frustrating as I indulge in culinary pleasure far more often than is healthy. My wife also acknowledges that she could stand to eat healthier and exercise as well. Yet this recognition blossoms into full-fledged mania when “The Biggest Loser” is on.

Inspired by those far larger than she my wife has taken to weekly emptying our cupboards of anything even remotely fattening or, as I would phrase it, delicious.

“We are going on a diet!” She yells, empowered by seeing those who have lost so much weight in only three months. “No more soda, no more candy, no more anything!”

The next day she invariably works early, my first class is not until 11:00 a.m. so I have the chance to sleep in. Awaking at 10:00 a.m. I scrounge for breakfast yet find none. My cereal, the peanut butter, the jelly, even the butter is gone, making my options little more than dry toast. All good food in our apartment is now in the dumpster outside, the victim of my wife’s purge.

It wouldn’t be so bad if later that same day I hadn’t received this message on my phone: “Hey, sorry, but I was really hungry so I went to Arby’s with a friend for lunch. I love you and I’ll see you tonight.”

Listening to the above three times my stomach gurgles in righteous indignation as I sit down to a healthy lunch of toasted bread and water, imaging sweet revenge in the form of the spicy bean curd I’ll be serving her for dinner that night.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Free Write

It should come to no surprise to those that know me, or are forced to endure my presence, that I have a volume control issue with my voice.  I can often be heard shouting things that in a normal conversation would not even give occasion to raise one’s voice.  For example, a friend and I were at a Subway restaurant, about to get a sandwich before seeing a movie.  We placed our orders at about the same time and when it came time to pay the sales clerk asked, “Are you together or separate?”


I shouted in reply “UH, SEPARATE!”  The sales clerk stepped back, not accustomed to having otherwise normal responses bellowed at her.  My friend started laughing uncontrollably and I turned a deeper shade of violet than my usual flushed mauve. 


Another time the same friend and I were at Barnes and Noble.  Again, it came time to make our purchases and an innocent sales clerk asked, “Do you have a savings card?”  Not thinking anything of it I replied, “No, I don’t.”  It wasn’t until the sales clerk’s eyes grew to the size of dinner plates and my friend began laughing that I realized I had, again, shouted what should have been a spoken reply. 


I have taken to trying to listen to my own voice as I speak not due to any self-absorption but to spare myself any future embarrassment.  I am already 6”3, weigh over 300 pounds, and have the reddest face out of almost anyone you’ve ever seen.  Unfortunately I usually only realize what has happened after the fact. 


Such was the case the other day when, as my wife dropped me off for a class, I told her, jokingly, “Only a complete sucker would donate blood.”  She turned red and turned to look out of the windshield, directly in front of us was a group of students unloading a Red Cross truck, setting up for a blood drive on campus.  From their shocked looks it was apparent I had, again, shouted something inappropriate.


I did the only thing one can do when something as embarrassing as this happens, turned a deeper hue of scarlet, ducked my head, and hurried on my way as quickly as I could while my wife laughed and left me to my fate.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free Write

All twelve-step programs begin with an admission; one must recognize and confess that they no longer have control over an addiction or compulsion. I confess I feel compelled to kill. You may feel comforted to know my victims are not good people; they are men and women whose very presence fouls the earth upon which they trod. These are not ordinary people but diabolical fiends who must be punished. The first of those to fall beneath me was JamonDuke3.

I remember it well.

On the freezing fields of Snowbound I first set eyes upon my foe, JamonDuke3. I bore down upon him, my automatic rifle firing unceasingly, hurling grenades until he was weak enough for me to deliver the death blow with my own hands. His lifeless form flew through the air as though a sack of flour had been hurled into open space. It was there the addiction formed and my compulsion grew. What's more, there have been others.

girlymanErwin, streetpanther0779, and LordChubbuck soon joined JamonDuke3 in the fiery depths reserved for those who dare oppose me. I am strengthened occasionally by a friend, Chinook Imlah, in my endeavor to rid the world of these loathsome beings and together we rain explosive justice down upon our enemies. Though at times our opponents seem to gain the upper hand, more often than not we are victorious.

The next step in my program is to acknowledge a greater power that can give me strength in my quest to overcome my addiction or compulsion. Though not difficult to acknowledge a greater power it is another matter altogether to willfully allow said power to stop me from delivering swift death to my enemies. I am ashamed to admit that the glory of battle calls to me every time I enter my living room and all too often I give in to my compulsion in order to feed my addiction.

My wife is a great deterrent to my addiction as when she finds me engaged in my noble quest she often complains until I lay down my weapon of destruction and take part in altogether more wholesome activities. Will I ever be able to go a single day without once trying to punish those who rise up against me? I do not know. I can only say at present the number of those felled by my hand are many and every time I seek to beat down one of my adversaries another rises in his stead. Tomorrow I shall seek out bebotheace and if after his demise no one opposes me I may be content to give up my addiction. I will just have to wait until then.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Free Write

During a recent argument with my wife, there are many, I jokingly told her “I’m going to take you down.” She responded with, “Well, I’ll take you all the way down, down to Chinatown!” Not wanting to lose yet another argument, making my record 0 to 497 for our three and a half years of marriage, I came back with “Oh yeah? Well I’ll take you to downtown Chinatown.” She did not care for this reply.

Immediately my wife, Lindsey, fumed “There is no such place as downtown Chinatown!”

“Sure there is,” I said. “It’s like Portland. There’s the city of Portland and then there’s downtown Portland. Same thing.” She cared for this explanation less than she did my informing her of the existence of downtown Chinatown.

“It is not the same thing!” She punched me in the arm and left the room, effectively ending our argument. Or so she thought.

Recently we were at Circuit City looking at LCD televisions when I happened upon a gem of 1980s filmmaking “Big Trouble in Little China.” It was only six dollars. Not knowing my true motives for wanting the movie Lindsey let me buy it. The ambush came that night while we watched it.

As the film progressed in the haphazard manner befitting a movie made in the 80s I exclaimed, “There it is! There it is!”

“What? What’s there?”

I turned, smiling, “Proof positive of the existence of downtown Chinatown.”

My arm has been burning for the past two days where she punched me, yelling, “There is no such place as downtown Chinatown!”

I don’t know why I’m compelled to do or say the things that anger her so much. I can only say you have to see her, fuming, almost rabid, insisting that something as meaningless as downtown Chinatown cannot exist, to understand. If you saw it, you’d probably join in.