Monday, March 20, 2017

Operators Are Standing By

Greetings, WYMOP readers!

I’m trying to get down to 200 pounds. I’ve been trying for a while now, and it’s becoming rather depressing. It’s only 14 pounds, but I just can’t seem to lose it.
So I decide I’ll eat less at dinnertime. I mean, whatever calories I take in that late in the day have the least chance of being burnt off due to activity, right? Not going to get ripped abs in my sleep, or anything. Well, not unless I buy those capsules being touted on late-night television by a strangely googly-eyed man in a multicolored bowtie, rainbow suspenders, and a rather forceful English accent.
Or is it Australian? He seems to kind of waver between the two—but look, whatever it is, it’s really forceful, so that stuff must really work, right? I mean, he’s not offering any science supporting the product, but the way he keeps grinning and shouting “Am I right?” at the studio audience, he’s so convincing . . .
But no, I’ll just eat less at dinnertime, rather than spend the nearly $300 (in three easy installments of just $99 each!) buying a 1-week supply of Poops-A-Lot, guaranteed to flatten your stomach while you sleep1, even though operators are standing by. I have this in mind as I set about cooking dinner.
I’m making pork chops, mashed potatoes, and corn for myself, Handsome, and Miss D. There are six chops (I have to cook all of them, it’s not like the package is resealable or anything), but they’re thin cut, and I’ll just have one. The spuds are coming out of a box (instant-schminstant, these things take almost five minutes!), and I’ll just make two servings of those. The corn is frozen, so I’ll just make one box of that. Nothing too out of control here!
The chops are in the oven and the corn’s in the microwave, so I’m buttering, boiling, milking, and mixing the potatoes on the stove. You think if I put the instant spuds in the microwave they’d go back in time? I’ll find out next week. But it seems that when you follow the directions on the instant spuds box you don’t wind up with mashed potatoes: you wind up with a sort of potato soup with the consistency of Cream of Wheat.
So I shake in some more flakes, and stir. And shake. And stir. And shake. And stir.
God damn, the instructions on the box are off by a mile! Maybe I added too much water? Or milk? Or butter? I suppose it’s possible I may have added a little too much of all three—but they’re getting close to the right consistency now. I’ll just have to taste them to find out.
Mmmm. Close.
Shake. Stir. Taste. Shake. Stir. Taste. Shake. Stir. Taste. Stir. Taste. Stir. Taste. Taste. Taste.
And the microwave beeps, and the oven timer goes off, and dinner is ready. I take my one pork chop, a moderate amount of corn, and just a little of the potatoes—I only made two servings for three people, after all—and I go sit at the table.
Handsome and Miss D come fix their own plates, and the next thing I know Handsome’s standing at my elbow with a fork chop (a pork chop on a fork, so you can eat it like a lollipop).
“Dad, eat this.”
“No,” I say, sticking to my guns. “I’m good, thanks.”
“But there’s just one left, and I want to put the pan in the sink.”
I look at my plate. The one chop I have does look a little lonely, and, really, there are barely any mashed potatoes there, and what with those few kernels of corn . . .
“Okay. I’ll take it.”
The two chops nestle on my plate, snuggling, practically spooning—at least, until I begin sectioning up the new chop into bite-sized pieces as the first chop looks on in horror. I eat the pieces with great relish and lots of noises signifying almost sensual pleasure, those sounds probably driving the remaining pork chop mad with terror as it waits for me to—
But I digress. I eat my dinner, miniscule as it is, satisfied to be holding to the eating less at night plan. I’m surprised upon finishing at just how full I am; after all, I just had the two chops and barely anything else, right?
The kids are done and gone now, so I guess it’s up to me to clean the kitchen. The potato pot is practically empty, but I’d like to get as much out of it as I can before rinsing it for the dishwasher; if the spuds dry on, sometimes the dishwasher’s not enough to get them off. I scrape out the pot with the wooden serving spoon, scraping and scraping—and hey! The spoon’s full. Be a shame to waste that spoonful of spuds, what with children starving in, uh, that starving kid place where Sally Struthers films those commercials.
I eat them.
I scrape some more, and have to eat the spoonful again. I scrape still more—sometimes I’m very disappointed in our dishwasher’s performance—and eat, and scrape, and eat, and then it’s time to rinse the pot.
But while the pot is rinsing, I see how much corn is left in the bowl by the stove. It’s quite a lot, actually, plenty to save for leftovers if only I had some potatoes, or even a pork chop to store with them. As just corn, though, it’s likely to go to waste if I put it in the fridge. That wouldn’t be right. I use the serving spoon to finish this off, too.
I put everything in the dishwasher and wipe down the counters, surprised once more at how totally full I feel, especially considering the drips and drabs that were on my plate.
The next morning I wake up and head straight to the scale—by way of the bathroom. I’m anxious to see how my plan’s working out. I pee for what seems like an hour, then step on the scale. I step off, let it zero, and slip cautiously back on, like I’m trying not to frighten it.
“Son of a bitch!”
After being so careful, after practically starving myself for the evening, I’ve gained two pounds!
I wave my arms. I stomp about. I argue with myself. I argue with God—he doesn’t bother arguing back, so I decide to call that a win.
And then, before I leave the house, I make a single phone call. The number’s easy to remember: 1-800-P-O-O-P-S-A-L-O-T.
Operators are standing by.

1―The makers of Poops-A-Lot claim no responsibility for soiled sheets, social embarrassment, or destroyed relationships via use of this product. Use only as directed.

Talk to you later!

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