Slim Witty

A decade ago I was dashing, a cut figure, a pirate on the sea of svelte who could out-fence Errol Flynn (backwards, on the stairs) with the pointed edge of my rapier-like charm alone.

[The InstaPrincess, seated not but a kick in the tooth away (my tooth, her kick) is taking great pains—by way of evil, evil guffaw—to point out that, according to her memory, none of the above is exactly, say, accurate. Alas, my wife openly enjoys the candied vileness of circus peanuts, and it’s important we shun people like that. So, pay no attention to her.

Remember: circus peanuts. And then shake your head slowly and move on.]

Ten years hence my fencing skills have devolved to just barely being able to open one, and even then with great effort and a noticeable lack of coordination.

Thus, on a whim, and maybe even on a withered glance in the mirror, I joined a local gym. The building’s nice, the people are nice, the machines are nice, and they even watch Evil Holland for me, which is extra-special nice ’cause I keep forgetting where I put him. (They’re even teaching him to swim. Swim! He now wants to grow up to be a speed boat, but eh. At least he’s swimming.)

“I’ll lose a coupla pounds,” I vowed. “They’re my pounds, so I can do whatever I want with them.” But before I realized, in a matter of seven months (Plus a handful of days. And maybe even a few hours. And let’s neglect not the minutes…), the couple of pounds not only escaped, but they fled with forty-eight of their brothers in tow.

Fifty pounds. Gone. “Run!” I yelled at them. “Hide! But you can’t escape! Not from me! I–”

And then I thought about it. “Never mind!” I added. “Forget it. Enjoy your vacation, enjoy the beach, enjoy Albuquerque—if you like that sort of thing—just don’t come back!”

So me and the fifty (50) pounds: it’s a trial separation, but I’m pretty sure we’re kaput. I don’t care if they show up next week late at night in the rain, sobbing, pounding on the front door with chocolates in hand and a wretched plea to take them back. I’m strong, I’m resilient, I’m allergic to chocolate—the pounds and I are through. No more. (Root beer and cheesecake, however, I’d probably be a goner. We’ll just keep that between us, though; a little secret amongst pals.)

A few extra pounds have hung around, stubborn and taunting, but they know their time is limited, short, and on the way to extinction. I’m just about back at my fencing weight, but even though my wife insists I’m not allowed to actually own a sword, I’ll still be able to kick the poo out of Errol Flynn.

I mean he’s dead, right, so how much trouble could he be? I’m pretty sure I can take him.