OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS - “Me Overweight?”

(07/23/2002)

By Tony Russell

My annual physical was yesterday. Doc Ramsey just looked at me and shook his head. “Scoop,” he said, “you’re carrying at least double the weight recommended for your height and frame. You should be at 160, and you’re packing almost 350 pounds around. It’s hard on you, and it’s hard on anybody you might run into, too.”

“Doc,” I said, “what’s the problem? I’ve been running the roads with 350, sometimes even 400 pounds, depending on what kind of bedtime snacks I’ve been munching lately. I need the extra weight. My body’s adapted to it; it’s a comfortable weight for me.”

“Don’t try to con a con, Scoop,” he said. “You’ve got cholesterol and triglyceride levels higher than Tiny Tim’s falsetto. Has anybody tried putting you on a diet before?”

I laughed. “Doc, dozens of doctors have given me handouts with diets on them, but I just wadded them up and threw them in the trash. Nobody ever checked back to see how I was doing on their diet; I just figured they weren’t serious about it.”

“Well I’m serious about it,” he said. “Your wife has called at least a dozen times to tell me I need to get on you to cut your weight. I’m tired of picking up the phone and having Patty scream in my ear.”

“You think you’re tired of listening to her,” I said. “Listen, Doc, I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we have a weight-control team evaluate my case and make a recommendation to you?”

“Where are you coming from, Scoop? What good would that do?”

“Just hear me out, Doc,” I said. “It’ll solve everything. I’ve got some buddies at the health care center. You name them to the weight-control team. They take six months to review my medical records; then they recommend a compromise. No more 400 pounds for me; it’s 350 tops. I weigh in once a month at your office. If I go over 350, you take me off beer and potato chips until I’m back under the wire. I’m happy. Patty can’t call and complain, because it’s all official, so you’re happy. It’s a win-win situation.”

He just looked at me. “Are you completely bonkers?” he said. “No honest medical professional could go along with a scheme like that! Do you know what your life expectancy is at 350 pounds?”

“It may be short, but it sure is sweet,” I said. “In fact, I’ve got friends from Kentucky waiting to see if I can pull this off. They can’t wait to get in on the scam!”


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