Thursday, July 21, 2005

FLASHBACK: Roommate's return is cause for change in health habits

Each Thursday, I will post "flashbacks," articles written when I was in college and actually funny. The following unaltered column was originally published October 1, 1997 in The Red & Black in Athens, GA.

Joey's comin' home.

Joey's my friend. Joey's my roommate. And Joey's, thank God, just as tubby as I am. The two of us live in a house near Five Points with, count 'em, four roommates. Four thin roommates.

We've always been the huggable, Mr. Belvedere-types in the group, due in no small part to our teddy bear figures. But we worked well together. Having Joey around always made me feel better about my appearance, and it's possible I did the same for him. But that's about to change. For the past four months, Joey has been hiking the Appalachian Trail, all the way from Maine to Georgia. Since June, Joey has been living day and night in the woods, drinking spring water, hiking miles at a time, sleeping in a tent and finding new and interesting uses for leaves.

I haven't seen Joey since he left, but another of my roommates has. His latest report says that Joey has grown a full beard and is, get this, pretty buff. This sucks. So Joey will get back to Athens in December, and he'll have changed. He'll look like Tom Cruise; I'll look like Tom Arnold. He'll be the Han to my Jabba - the "Jaws" to my "Free Willy."

Of course, it's not that bad. According to various height/weight charts, I'm the perfect, ideal weight for someone 6 feet 3 inches tall. Oh yeah . . . I'm only 5 feet 11 inches.

Don't get me wrong - I'm proud of my pudge. In fact, my moment of elementary school zen came when I beat up a kid for making fun of my weight. He called me "the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man," so then I called him "Mr. Down On The Floor, Crying Like A Baby." Anti-violence advocates would think twice about their beliefs if accosted by a lanky skater punk whose mouth is bigger than his brain. By the way, I hear he's flippin' burgers somewhere in south Georgia today.

Anyway, I've decided it's time for the horror to end. I'm not gonna let Joey get the best of me. For years, I've been saying I'm gonna get in shape. I've tried a few self-imposed diets, and I've stuck with them for an average of six hours. I've visited the SPACenter (the Ramsey Center, to you fresh faces), and while I enjoy the atmosphere, it's those darn machines and heavy things I don't like. But now I have something to push me forward. Now I have something to make me reach my goal. Joey's comin' home.

My dreaded "Freshman 15" stayed my Freshman 15. Luckily, I didn't have a Freshman 30, Freshman 50 or anything else. But I did have one unexpected addition - a Sophomore 15. And then a Junior 15. Now, as a senior, I'm takin' it all back. I'm ready for the Senior Negative 45. Because, say it with me, . . . Joey's comin' home.

So I have three months to do it, and three months to stick with it. If you see me go toward the elevator at the J-School, tell my fat butt to take the stairs. If you see me at I-Hop at 3 a.m., give me a water, a lemon and my check. If you see me at the SpaCenter, spot me or do whatever the hell you do in weight rooms. And all this is because I have to lose weight. I have to get in shape. I have to.

Joey's comin' home.

(2005 addendum: It didn't work.).

1 comment:

Lydia said...

How funny. Continue with the funny stories and don't worry you are still funny now.