Become a Lesser Man

April 1, 2024 by  
Filed under Stories

By Darren Marlar

Do you want to know the secret for getting people to compliment you on your weight or your figure?  It’s easy.  Buy pants that are three sizes too big.  Suddenly you’ll hear things like, “Are you getting thinner?  Those pants are just hanging on you!”  I did that a couple of years ago with a moderate amount of success… until my waist and thighs decided to fill in the open gaps on their own.  So now I’m legitimately trying to get into shape.

The biggest problem with trying to lose weight is the fact that I told my friends I was trying to lose weight.  What a moron, what I should’ve done is not tell anyone; that way, if I failed no one would be the wiser.  If, by some miracle, I actually did lose weight, I’d get genuine compliments from friends and family alike, “Are you getting thinner?  Those pants are just hanging on you!”  The instant I let it slip that I was planning to lose weight, a stampede of health opinions smacked me in the face – coming from friends, family, Facebook friends, imaginary friends, invisible pookas, and anyone else who’d heard of my intentions.  “You should stop eating meat.  You need vegetables!” one person said.  Another came back with, “if you want to burn fat and gain muscle, you need to pack your diet with protein!”  So apparently the secret to health is to somehow become a carnivorous vegetarian?  I also experienced an avalanche of diet suggestions.  “You should be on the Atkins Diet!”  Excuse me, but didn’t that guy die of a heart attack?

I tried the South Beach Diet for a while… until I discovered there was no beach involved.  That’s just false advertising, isn’t it?  They should rename it to more accurately reflect the group they are targeting.  Maybe something like, South Beached Whale Diet.  That probably won’t earn them any new customers, but at least it wouldn’t be misleading.

I’m not even going to attempt the Jenny Craig Diet; mostly because I don’t want to look like Valerie Bertinelli, nor do I want to look like Kirstie Alley.  Let’s face it… Kirstie Alley doesn’t want to look like Kirstie Alley.  The only woman’s diet I’d have any interest in is Betty Crocker.  But that’s what got me in this shape to begin with.

After much thought I finally opted for the Slim Fast Plan.  I’m using the pre-canned shakes; one for breakfast, one for lunch, and then a sensible dinner.  The shakes aren’t all that bad if you add some chocolate syrup.  Maybe pour it over some ice cream; it’s pretty good.  I know the directions on the cans don’t indicate so, but I’m sure those shakes are supposed to be used with ice cream.  You can’t call something a shake unless ice cream is a central ingredient.

I’ve realized in my life that I don’t do anything well without someone lording over me, constantly berating me for being a loser and how I’ll always be a loser unless I get such-n-such project done.  That’s why I got married.  That’s also why I hired a personal trainer.  The guy wants me to do thirty minutes a day on the treadmill.  Is he kidding?  Thirty minutes a day?  I’ve been going to the guy for a month now and yesterday I clocked out of the treadmill at three minutes twenty-eight seconds.  Thirty minutes?  And then he tells me that once I get to that thirty-minute goal, then he wants to turn the machine on.  Sadist.

What I hate even more though is the elliptical machine.  I’m sure it’s based on some type of medieval torture device.  You hop on the machine and start doing your thing, but the instant you see the guy next to you going just a tad bit faster, you feel like a complete wuss and speed up to save face.  Of course, the guy next to you sees you speed up, so he then speeds up himself to keep from feeling like a pansy.  And that cycle continues until one of you passes out or drops dead like the Atkins guy.  I woke up on the floor yesterday after blacking out from the pain and realized my elliptical machine was next to a mirror.

My trainer has me lifting weights too.  My neighbor though, a former amateur body-builder, got wind of this and immediately told me that dumbbells were for dumbbells.  “When I was growing up on the farm,” he said, “I worked out using twenty pound potato sacks.  I’d lift those over and over again until I was able to lift fifty pound potato sacks.  Eventually I worked my way up to seventy-five pound sacks and even one-hundred pound potato sacks.  Once I got used to lifting those, then I started putting potatoes in those sacks.”

Did I mention that my neighbor has dementia?

My wife Robin is being supportive in all of this – in fact; she’s trying to lose weight too.  Last month she insisted that we get a Bo-Flex.  You know, I’m not so sure I like the idea of being married to Robin Schwarzenegger.  “Yo, Darren.  Does this dress make me look fat?” she’d say in an Austrian accent.  Of course, I’d say no, because I don’t want her to remove my spleen.  And what’s to keep my wife from kicking me out once she can open up her own pickle jars?  I’ll be asking her to do it for me.  “Honey, can you open up the Cheez-Whiz?  I want some nachos!”I don’t know if either one of us are really going to lose weight though.  We hadn’t even left the Bo-Flex store yet and Robin needed to use the bathroom.  She actually said out loud, “I don’t want to walk all the way to the back of the store.”

That’s not a Bo-Flex in our living room; it’s a two-thousand-dollar pantyhose hanger.

Darren Marlar is standup comedian and a Christian.  Check out his website for his blog, comedy clips, videos, and more.  He also welcomes your comments.

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