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Original image by nate bolt and used under the terms of a Creative Commons license.

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As a proud family man, I consider myself a growing individual. What difference does it make if it is physical instead of spiritual?

When I sat down to dinner recently, I couldn’t help but secretly wish in my heart of hearts that my daughter would leave over some of her chicken nuggets. How can one resist the dinosaur shaped ones? My highly intuitive daughter was clearly observant.

“Daddy, you look hungry. You can have my vegetables.”

Since I am so responsible, it behooves me to take care of my personal health. There are others that can work on their personal hygiene. Procrastination has a way of creeping into my daily routine, however. When I received the umpteenth letter in the mail regarding renewable term life insurance, I knew it was time to act.   

They make you feel so guilty: “What will your spouse and children do if you are gone?”

I know what my wife would do. Cash in the policy and head straight to Bloomingdales.

And what better way to lower my premiums than to lower my overall weight. I decided to schedule an appointment with an experienced nutritionist in my neighborhood who I had seen a few years earlier. The visit was, surprisingly, thorough. But then again, he gets paid by the hour.   

“I’m going to disappoint you. But you knew that already.”

With those concluding words, the nutritionist wrote in his traditional sloppy handwriting “284 pounds” onto my medical chart.

“You can always round it to 250,” I said.

“Aren’t you round enough?” he quipped.

With a stern look, Seymour Kale, M.S. pointed a finger at his decorative wall.

“This certification didn’t come through lying, Avi. There are no shortcuts in life. One must constantly work on himself. I’m putting you on a diet.”


What a vulgar four letter word! I’ve become immune to much of the crude language of the street. But this one was completely obscene! And what type of diet was he considering for me anyway? The last three that he put me on went nowhere. In fact, I gained weight! In my humble opinion, only farm animals can live on shrubbery, not humans. I should be the spokesman for the next Bosch shareholders’ meeting with all the blenders that I have purchased over the years. I am juiced out!

“Food was made to chew,” I always say.

Popeye didn’t blend his spinach and he turned out alright. He even smoked.

“You’ll never be able to buy a decent life insurance plan,” Seymour said, breaking my train of thought.

“Of course I will,” I responded. “These companies have been making way too much money off the stomachs of skinny citizens. It’s time this nonsense comes to a stop!”

“Think about it,” I continued as I inserted my hands into an oily paper container filled with cheddar fries. “Without folks like me, how would you maintain your extravagant lifestyle in that mansion of yours with the whirlpool tubs, outdoor movie system, and entire line of Build-A-Bear Workshop accessories including the stuffing machine?”

“The collection from the Build-A-Bear Workshop is for the kids,” Seymour interjected.

“Not when you stubbed your toe, it wasn’t,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Nothing else was consoling me,” Mr. Kale replied, his face red with embarrassment. ”It really hurt.”

I looked at the plastic Pokémon watch I received from my wife as a birthday present. She said instead of wasting time with an addictive app, this would help me focus on what time I was required to come home. It was 12:15 p.m. I was already 15 minutes late to lunch.

I unwrapped a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and headed for the door.

“At least exercise a little,” Seymour said dejectedly.

“I always do,” I answered. “You have no idea how far I need to stretch my foot against the gas pedal until the car accelerates.”

“Try running down the aisles of the grocery,” Seymour said, smirking as he held the door open for me.

“The only aisle I ran down was at my wedding,” I replied. “I like to take my time in the supermarket.”

“You just go ahead and continue eating your quinoa,” I concluded, “and I’ll continue supporting the economy.”

I licked the chocolate off of my fingers.

“I wouldn’t want to disappoint you.”

Avi Steinfeld, a Chicago native, currently living in Brooklyn, NY is a freelance humor writer and school psychologist. He can be contacted at
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