Lame Adventure 395: Impulse Shopping

Last month, my gastroenterologist ordered me to lose the equivalent of a bowling ball and seven bananas in weight.  I am paraphrasing his exact wording, but he insists that I must slam the brakes on my widening middle age spread and focus on getting back into shape. My knee-jerk response was spastic discombobulating followed with denial that devolved into defensive arguing. Then, I coughed up a copper penny I swallowed when I was five and purchased a spin bike that set me back another 44,899 copper pennies including shipping. It arrived two weeks ago tomorrow. Here it is.

Voila!

Voila!

I cannot show anymore of it because I have yet to open the box. Allegedly, inside is one Spinner brand FIT bike, 4 DVDs (but it is not specified if any are from the Criterion Collection or my second choice, documentaries about historical people of accomplishment or my third preference, celebrity sex tapes). In addition, there’s an 8-Week Weight Loss Program (on week 9 do I revert back to my 5-Year Weight Gain Program?) and something called Guide to Ride. The last could be an advisory sentence: “Climb on and cycle your guts out lard ass.” Until I open this box, for all I know what’s inside is a hundred lead-filled sock monkeys. How would I feel about that? After I finish brooding it would solve what everyone is getting from me for Christmas this year and 15 years hence.

Everyone (in unison): Lead-filled sock monkeys again! You suck!

If this had been a delivery of tile samples to my place of employ, The Grind, I would have opened and inventoried the contents of this box at warp speed to ensure that we received exactly what we ordered, everything was intact nor were any lead-filled sock monkeys included. I did shift into overdrive playing intermediary between the delivery service, FedEx, and my apartment building’s manager who graciously arranged to have this hippopotamus-sized hunk of steel carried up to and placed inside my third floor hovel. She knows that I have reached the age when my carrying anything less portable than a bottle of Windex and eleven craisins will elicit huffing and puffing worthy of a 19th century steam engine, coincidentally exactly what I feel like most mornings when I wake. Huh, maybe I should do something specific about getting back into shape?

One of the advantages of living in New York City is that I do not need to own a car. My main sources of getting around are public transit and walking. Over the weekend, I needed to go to my market, Fairway, to do some foodstuff shopping. I walked to the store. It was very crowded, but at least the homicidal maniac-types were sleeping in and everyone that showed up was civil. I was determined to grab what I needed and go as quickly as possible. Returning home I encountered a loose Brussels Sprout on the sidewalk near my sanctum sanctorum.

Image magnified to enhance detail of semi-squashed sprout.

Image magnified to enhance detail of semi-squashed Brussels Sprout.

As I was photographing this rare sight, I remembered that in my haste I had forgotten to pick up pita bread. I went home, dropped off my sack of groceries and then embraced 21st century technology and texted my friend, Coco. Why suffer in dignified silence when one can grouse in whiny text? It’s vital to have a buddy to share one’s suffering with and for me, that buddy is Coco.

Coco (via text): I hate when I forget something at the store. I feel your pain.

I returned to my market, where I again wended my way through the masses and picked up pita bread and on impulse, a package of chocolate sea salt cookies — in defiance of why I have gained a bowling ball and seven bananas in weight.

Pita and cookies in the before state; before being plastered onto human hips.

Pita and cookies in the before state; before being plastered onto human hips.

When I returned home, Coco texted me.

Coco: Glad you accomplished mission pita.

What she does not know is that Project Lazy Lard Ass is continuing with gusto. When I get around to opening that spin bike box, preferably before I polish off every chocolate sea salt cookie, I hope that I am not greeted with a hundred lead-filled sock monkeys, or equally irritating, a spin bike missing a fly wheel.

We're all in this together.

We’re all in this together.

Now for some shilling in this quid pro quo world we live in. My worst seller, Lame Adventures: Unglamorous Tales from Manhattan, is being featured tomorrow at The Fussy Librarian, a new website that offers personalized e-book recommendations. You choose from 32 genres, indicate your preferences about content and then their computers, or maybe it’s a gray-haired lady in orthopedic shoes named Agnes, do the rest. Check out their site:

www.TheFussyLibrarian.com

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121 responses to “Lame Adventure 395: Impulse Shopping

  1. I must commend you for NOT texting Coco and asking HER to pick up your pita. Making the schlepp back to Fairway was commendable.

    Re spin bike: leave it in its box. In about 43 days you can stick a bow on it and then on day 44 you can open up the GREATEST XMAS PRESENT ever. A gleaming new spin cycle or, maybe, 349 lead filled sock monkeys.

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  2. Life is hard……then you spin.

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  3. Mmmm…chocolate sea salt cookies…I’m sorry, were you talking about something else because this was my takeaway from your post.

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  4. Mike G. has the right attitude. Make it look pretty as decoration at your hovel. Soon you will be past that 30 day return with no questions asked grace period.

    For what it’s worth, we have grocery stores here in IA named Fareway. Just thought you should know that.

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    • FYI: Mike G is now on call to pick up all of my forgotten groceries until the end of time.

      I imagine that the Fairway out here sent their ace legal team, Dewey, Cheatem and Howe, to Iowa to ensure that this similarly named market in the Hawkeye state is not confused with the ones here in the Tri-state area. Gotta keep ’em separated.

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  5. Congrats on the feature! I downloaded a copy and plan to read it soon!
    I would love a stationary bike. Set it up in front of a TV with an end table for your sea salt chocolate cookies.

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    • Thank you for the congrats, Susie, and thank you for my first sale in 67 days — not that I keep count of stuff like that to distract me from my primary pointless pastime, shooting rubberbands at the wall.

      My entire apartment could fit on an end table.

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  6. Handy tip – those bikes make awesome clothes racks!

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  7. V, I really hope it’s not sock monkeys but if so, just roll them out there with one of those scarf and handbag vendors that are so prevalent there. I don’t know what a bowling ball weighs though I don’t think seven bananas weighs that much. I don’t know what happens — it’s like waist line — where did you go? Sucks, but it is better than the alternative.

    Now I really want to know, once you bust that bad boy open, your adventures on this bike you’ve ordered. Do you have those DVDs that you can watch and listen to while you’re peddling? You could transport yourself to the Swiss alps and ride along side some of those freaks that ride in those high-altitude, dangerous places. As a reward, keep some hot chocolate and a Apfelküchlein for afterwards. (Apfelküchlein is a deep-friend apple cookie — I looked it up).

    I’m headed over to the Fussy Librarian.

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    • Brig, first of all, thank you for visiting the Fussy Librarian, so they know that this 99.9% hack is good for one referral. Second,I have to give it up to you, whatever it is but it’s more than the sound of one hand clapping, for introducing “Apfelküchlein” to this site. And I used to think the best things about the Swiss were their chocolate and Roger Federer!

      I have no idea what’s on those DVD’s but Milton is going to be my personal trainer. That should lead to at least one LA and possibly two heart attacks. Stay tuned.

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  8. fussy librarian sounds pretty coolio.

    I always forget stuff when I shop, always. I’m so hell bent on getting out of the store.

    I would imagine some assembly is required with the monster sized box… And I wouldn’t be in a hurry either.

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  9. I love what you write, but this post has me more than a little confused. Sorry to sound sanctimonious, but if you were sick and your doctor gave you a prescription to fill which you filled and brought home- would you let the medication sit on a shelf or would you take it? Seems like your doc did their job and gave you the advice they think is medically necessary to improve your health. Where does eating cookies and not exercising make any kind of sense, all humor aside, if you know your actions are counter to your own well being?
    (maybe the brussel sprout was some kind of divine sign)
    (also sounds like you are more attentive to boxes of tile that to yourself…)

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    • Thanks for the flattery coupled with concern for my well being, but rest assured Dorothy, if I really were obese or on death’s doorstep, the last place I’d reveal that would be here. We’re just trying to have a silly good time.

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  10. Hey, I approve. If you’re gonna eat the cookies, at least you made sure they were AWESOME cookies!

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  11. Sound like the time (a month ago) I bought a set to weights to workout at home.
    They look beautiful on my livingroom.
    But I don’t think you are looking at all the workout you are doing by going twice to the market, all those stairs, twice!
    I’m sure that makes up for it.

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    • Plus I am always sprinting like a maniac for the train to and from The Grind (and weekend ushering gigs)! Indeed, I am a very active slug. I also have weights. I have big, fugly, butch ones — not very aesthetically appealing and if I ever dropped one on my foot, that would be a one way ticket to bouncing off the moon, stars and planets via ambulance.

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  12. I must confess, I thought the same thing Mike did. Actually, I thought you WERE going to ask Coco to pick up the pita. Looks like you’re going to need to spin some of that chocolate away soon. When will the bike emerge from the box and WHERE will you put it???????

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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    • Kathy, this momentous event has got to occur this week. My gastroenterologist who needs to lose 30 pounds wants feedback about it when I see him next week — and I’d like some feedback about my GI tract. I will put the new spin bike where my rusty dilapidated 1980’s-era Tunturi ergometer (fancy word for exercise bike) is hogging space at the moment. The Tunturi finally crapped the bed a year ago and nearly tore out my right ankle when doing so. I rode it steadily until — surprise! — I began blogging. Swapping the old one out to put the new one in is going to require some Houdini-level maneuvering and possibly more interference from the lovely woman who manages my building; a woman who might be on the verge of smacking me upside the noggin with a 40-pound flywheel.

      Hugs from NYC,
      V

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  13. Hehe. We have a Schwinn exercycle right in our living room here in FL … right next to our comfy sofa. We look at that bike a lot. Take yours out of the box and then you can admire it too. Way to go for hanging out with Fussy Librarian! I hope it garners you an abundance of sales. You know I loved your book and even wrote a glowing review. So will many others! Pass the Chocolate Sea Salt cookies please …

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    • Awwwwwwwwwwwwww, Patricia, thank you for the kind words. I do appreciate your review very much. An author needs to have at least ten good/excellent reviews before Fussy Librarian will consider featuring you, so you helped me make the cut.

      When you mentioned that your Schwinn Exercycle is right next to your comfy sofa, I thought you were going to say that after you finish cycling you sofa dive — but I suppose that brand of lunacy is more my style.

      Those chocolate sea salt cookies are delicious!

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  14. Big HAHAs all the way around. 11 craisins!
    The most important part of this post is the cookies. I want to help you. Look for Just Jane’s Sea Salt Brownies (perhaps at Zabars), I think this is just the thing you need with you while you draw pictures on the box.

    I think the box is working already. I have nicorette in my purse and I feel a lot better.

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  15. Spinning is great! Did it for years. Need to get back into it.
    One of the great things about it is, after about a month of spinning to nowhere, you’ll be able to crack walnuts with your thighs.

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  16. Good luck with the Fussy feature, hopefully it will spark a few sales. Meanwhile, I just checked and those you viewed your book as viewed Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. Sounds like a fitting match!

    Meanwhile, get the box open … start spinning … and eat those cookies as you spin .. use them as carrots … like a cookie for every mile. More importantly, good luck with the task at hand.

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    • I think I’m going to pass on scarfing chocolate sea salt cookies while spinning, Frank. Although I am not someone who has a phobia about vomiting, I prefer to resist going out of my way to encourage foodstuffs from traveling north. It’s best we keep things intestinally calm over here.

      Yes, it does sound like my tome is in good company! Thanks for the well wishes.

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  17. Congrats on being features at The Fussy Librarian, V! And great post about the bike. But as my sister informed her husband who is carrying around much more than a bowling ball and seven bananas. Owning a bike doesn’t make you thinner!

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    • Thanks Cathy! Glad you liked the post.

      You’re sister is onto something. I have discovered that walking back and forth past the un-opened box is not exactly the most effective way to burn off the bananas, either.

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  18. If your apartment is anything like mine, you probably need some more storage space. If you open the box and set up the bike, you instantly have two more storage options: empty box for bulky items and stationary bike to hang extra clothes.
    Et Voila!

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    • More storage space has been a longtime fantasy of mine. Every so often I dream I can move into a bigger place OR that the place I have actually has an extra room that I have only just discovered. I’ve lived there 30 years. You think I would have picked up on that space by now. But it would also be the perfect place to house my home gym/walk in closet.

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  19. You must feel a huge sense of accomplishment for ordering and receiving your spin bike. I wouldn’t unpack it until that glow starts to fade. Then you can feel good for unpacking and assembly. That should be good for another week of “feeling good”. Eventually you’ll need to start using the bike, but I don’t want you to rush into it! I’ve got some great used only once or twice cycling gear that looks great in a drawer. Now that we have snow my bike is back in storage, but I did use it once this year, I think.

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  20. I’m comforted to know that there’s someone else who takes a while to open packages; although, I suspect accessing and assembling the bike is a two-person job and that this is where Milton comes in on this issue. Also, for little annoyances like forgetting to pick up something at the store or some transparently artificial comment some sophomoric person makes at you, it’s good to have a go-to sounding board, and mine, of course, is my friend R. I don’t text, but we exchange many emails and phone calls, coming up with a series of alternative replies I could make, crescendoing in hilarity, so then I am comforted. And I do enjoy my comfort. This latter demonstrated when I spent a half hour recently carefully ironing a silk blouse I’ve had for some years so I could wear it to an event. Come the day of the event, and I don’t know how it happened — do clothes shrink when you iron them on cool temperatures? — but I couldn’t get the thing buttoned. Possibly I should expend a little energy turning the combination lock on my shed, getting my bike out and riding up those 3 percent grades in our town.

    Congrats on The Fussy Librarian. I believe my books might top (or bottom) yours on the worst seller list — I don’t think I have enough reviews to qualify. I really do need to expend the time and energy to let potential readers know I’ve published two books.

    Enjoyed the wit here as always.

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    • Thank you for the congratulations Samnatha. Your first book qualifies, but not yet for your second. You need more reviews. You contributed to my slice of lunacy getting accepted. Again, thanks. I honestly could not have done it without you.

      Fortunately, my clothes still fit fine. Today. Thank you for the heads up about your blouse debacle. I’m setting that spin bike up immediately now.

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      • Thanks for letting me know my first book qualifies, V. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m afraid to look. As for my second book, there has been confusion among my two potential readers about whether it’s published in only e-book or only paperback format — the way Amazon has it listed. I’ve been meaning to call them to correct that. As for my review of your book, your excellent writing and wit certainly deserve it. It amazes me how some books, poorly written — I won’t mention any titles –, become best sellers and others, superbly written and hard to put down, don’t.

        Thirty pounds is incredibly hard to lose, when you’re not very tall — I’m 5″2″ — and well-past menopause, as I am. I need to spend the entire day exercising to lose that much, and I need to.

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        • I think self-published books should be available in both formats because some readers prefer electronic and others, hard copy. I have been asked if I would publish an audio version of my book prompting my usual response, “Shirley, you jest.”

          I’m still recovering from putting together the hard copy earlier this year, and Godsend, my designer, donated a month of her life she’ll never get back creating the Kindle version. She was 24 when the year started but looks 35 today.

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          • My books are available in paperback and e-book format, thanks to my aging a decade in the process, especially in the process of formatting the first one for Kindle. I can safely say that I am a far greater expert on e-book formatting than the Kindle Direct Publishing — well, I’ll be kind — staff. But, no hardback copies. When a publisher so dazzled with my work picks it up, they can do the hardback version.

            Yeah, audio version. Right. But, here on my Mac, when I highlight my whole blog post, or any piece I have written, and then press Command+S, Alex, my in-computer Mac reader, reads it to me. Too cool. I can tell exactly how it’s going to sound to a mildly intelligent, at least, reader.

            I feel the need to talk on and on here because I just got done watching Tarkovsky’s “The Mirror,” where I felt like I was in a deep tube for over an hour and a half. Have you seen it? I really liked it; parts of it mindblowing where the character looks into the camera and the camera closes in and you know the character is looking into a mirror and that that person is you. So, now I feel the need to release all that intensity.

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            • When I said I think that it’s good that self-published books be available both electronically and hard copy, I did not mean hard back. I meant paperback.

              No, I have not seen Tarkovsky’s “The Mirror” but I’m sure that Milton has because he’s seen almost every film ever made short of the fiascos I shot in super 8. This evening, I only indulged my life-long Beatles obsession. Apple is featuring a fun 2 1/2 minute video about them to coincide with the release of their two volume Live at the BBC Sessions. I watched it twice. Once for each volume but if I was 40 years younger I probalby would have watched it 200 times. I have a scintilla of self control now.

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              • I’ll definitely have to check out the Apple video, and then buy the CD, along with Sting’s new one.

                But, first — The Fussy Librarian. And Goodreads, where my books already are listed, and then other places to promote my books so I can buy the CDs.

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                • That’s quite a to do list. The only thing on mine is assemble a spin bike.

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                  • Yeah, well, you know … I’d rather do nothing and have these things fall out of the sky, but so far that hasn’t happened.

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                    • I still feel lucky that I’ve yet to get hit by any space junk falling out of the sky.

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                    • Hmm … couldn’t find any reply buttons left under your last comment, so wherever this ends up …

                      Re getting hit by space junk, I was out on my porch the other night when I saw this very bright thing slowly moving across the sky in my direction. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “That’s that satellite that was going to crash into earth in an unknown spot, now pinpointed as my backyard.” In truth, though, I think I was slowly slouching in my chair which gave the illusion of the thing moving. It was probably Saturn, or maybe Jupiter.

                      Re The Fussy Librarian, it’s good to know your results, though my condolences. I find with these sites you have to pay megabucks to get them to promote your book so persistently in people’s faces they’re tricked into believing it’s a best seller and therefore buying it.

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                    • The vision from your porch made me think of a Lars Von Trier film, Melancholia, but I doubt you’d sit slouched in your chair if you saw that coming, even though there’s nowhere to run.

                      I still appreciated the shout out from TFL.

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  21. Perhaps returning the stationary bike and getting one that actually goes places might work out better for you – you could run your errands and get your bike riding all done in one go and have more time to sit on the couch eating cookies!

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    • I could also find myself flattened by a motorist or city bus attempting that here in Gotham City. Wouldn’t you miss me if I was reduced to roadkill?

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      • I would actually. Your blog is quite entertaining, as are your comments on mine. We could use some of those drivers around here though to put the really cocky bike riders in their place. We all politely creep along behind them until it is safe to get around and some of them can get quite rude about not letting anyone go by. They’ll move over into the way where there otherwise would be room so you still can’t get past without flattening them. Apparently unlike New Yorkers, we just don’t do that. Can’t say as I would want to be on a bike with 100 angry motorists on my tail, but maybe that’s just me.

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  22. “She knows that I have reached the age when my carrying anything less portable than a bottle of Windex and eleven craisins will elicit huffing and puffing worthy of a 19th century steam engine.” Hilarious! I love a good Craisin joke!

    I approve of your cookie purchase. I have convinced C that squares of frosted shredded wheat are in fact cookies so that I can keep all the god stuff to myself.

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  23. Chocolate sea salt cookies. That may be the perfect combination for the better half who doesn’t really like chocolate, but craves it every once in a while and then has to have salt right away.

    Good luck with the spinning–makes me dizzy writing that. And I did notice a few sales right after the fussy librarian and someone marked it as to read on their Goodreads Fussy Librarian shelf. So I’ve confirmed one sale.

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    • I’ve never heard of eating chocolate followed with a salt chaser. If chocolate sea salt cookies tasted salty I wouldn’t eat them. They’re a dense dark chocolate that tastes very chocolate-ty. They might fall short of satiating your better half’s salt fix, unless of course, she licks you afterward.

      Hey, thanks for turning me onto Fussy Librarian. You give good referral.

      Like

  24. Pingback: Expat Blogging via Haute Couture (A Tale you don’t Dare Miss) | reinventing the event horizon

  25. Did you notice a bump in sales with the Fussy Librarian?

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  26. Instead of ordering a spin bike, I’m just going to order an empty box. I’ll get the same gratification watching it sit there unopened and the initial cost and shipping should be considerably less. Then after a year or two, I’ll donate it to a church bazaar where some 5 yr. old can turn it into a fort and burn millions of calories fighting off Bowling-Ball-Belly Man and his sidekick, Banana Boy.

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    • I am planning to finally open the box tonight Russell. After that, I might even remove the bike and assemble it. Then, I’ll have an empty box that I’ll flatten, label “Russell — Arkansas” and give to my letter carrier, Agatha Thornhill. Look for it to soon arrive on your doorstep.

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  27. I love the Mean Streak story. I think I have mentioned here, I was once owned by a dog, Kolia, husky/wolf/German shepherd mix, black with blue eyes, who scared the biscuits out of anyone who saw him for the first time. He was what the vet called a lunger: he would calmly wait until you got right up on him and then attack. He was a task-oriented dog, the vet informed me not to my surprise: he was a scavenger (of the kitchen trash, assorted clothing and roasts set to cool on the stove), a digger (tried to dig to China via the living room rug) and an escape artist (he knew the mailman’s route and would dig out of the yard and find the mailman, who carried dog biscuits). How he knew when I pulled the pink towel out of the linen closet stack that he was going to get a bath, I don’t know: he’d run and hide under my bed. He would have been 40 on Sept. 29 this year. Anyway, it was humiliating to live with a dog who is smarter than I. He’s probably up there in beef roast heaven still looking down at me and snickering.

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  28. Or was that chocolate licking? Maybe salty chocolate licking. I give up.

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  29. Your post just prompted me to think of all the boxes I haven’t opened in my basement. What lost opportunities for a better life. 😉

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  30. You had me at “gastroenterologist”. Actually, I’m being disengenuous. As a regular reader, you had me anyway, and if I’m being honest, that word doesn’t do much for me. However, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to say, “You had me at gastroenterologist.”

    I’m holding out for the “hussy” librarian. She’s out there.

    And as we’ve discussed, I know a thing or two about the fight against corpulence. Mine is a long and grueling war of attrition in which my forces are slowly pushed back as my waistline expands. It’s a decades-long holding action.

    I think you’ll feel very good about putting a few miles on the exercise bike (figuratively, of course) once you take it out of its box. But you know, I really do think that you shouldn’t take it out until you’re ready. An exercise regimen isn’t a program or a fad, but rather a change in lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be dramatic, but it’s still an intrusion. If you start it for any reason other than wanting to start it, you’re at a greater risk of quitting because you’re not doing it for yourself. Or that’s my opinion, anyway, assertively stated as fact.

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    • Awwwwwwwwwww, Smak, thanks for getting Jerry Maguire here. You and I are on the same page here about the lifestyle change. This is something I have been thinking about doing for some time and often while eating. I was an avid stationary cyclist until I started blogging. Then, my priorities shifted and, coincidentally, so did my weight. Time to do some new shape shifting.

      I would love to get to know the “hussy” librarian.

      Like

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