It's All About The Dimensions, Three -- No Actually Four
I really thought that I had gotten over it, that it was now outside of my psyche, that I was once again as "normal" as the next guy.
Many readers recall my adventures with my "friend" Spike. Fortunately for my sanity, Spike left our area, went on to where he thinks he can earn more money, and his wife can bake more cakes; now their call home is somewhere down the mountain, far out of my sight. I don't [have to] squeeze by him anymore. He no longer comes to our gym. He doesn't drink our coffee. He doesn't ask his dumb questions. He has removed his bulk elsewhere. The volume of the room he once occupied is free, having been returned to the human race.
With his remotion, thought I, my unfortunate racist bout had terminated.
They say Poles hate Jews so much, that even after more than sixty years of not seeing any, Poland remains an extremely antisemitic nation. Mention of anything Jewish brings forth an incomprehensible negative reaction. Am I the same? Just the thought of blubber . . . .
No, my racism is not like that of Poland. I do not sit here at my desk, praying not to meet another obese creature, wondering how to react were I to perchance upon one.
I really thought I was over it.
And I was . . . until the day Moe turned up on my doorstep. I'll call him Moe, because that's the name his parents adorned upon him. Who am I to use a pseudonym when there is already a perfectly good title?
Again it was to the gym that Moe suddenly arrived. The place is a magnet for these types. They must believe that merely being in the presence of handsome, well-built, fit gentlemen, will somehow rub off onto them. Just a little stroll on a treadmill every now and again should do the trick.
With Moe, it is not just the gym. His presence is also rife in the swimming pool!
Please give me the benefit of the doubt -- I am not really a racist. Allow me to transcribe what irks me about Moe.
First some Moe background. He appears one morning in the gym, out of the blue, with great self proclaimed fanfare, weighing in at some 180 kilos. Announces to all and sundry that he is here for one sole purpose, he has but one ambition, to lose weight. I look at him, encircle him, saying to myself (OK to myself and to everyone within earshot) "Riiiight!".
Later the selfsame day, I am speaking to my friend, Dave. Dave is embarking on a new career move. He again needs my expert advice which I am always pleased to provide. Seems Moe is seeking involvement in the same venture. Moe tells Dave this morning, obviously in attempt to help him slide into the business, that he, Moe, is a good friend of mine.
"A good friend of mine??!!", I explode, "Moe?!".
"Today was the first time I met him!"
[An almost true statement. I recall another business incident, with a con-man Dave and I both know. One day I was meeting with the gentleman, trying to recruit him into a legitimate business (OK call me a simpleton). Moe happened to be there. He was being, willingly, seduced by the trickster. I know Moe came out a lot lighter (only in the pocket) after that experience. Moe was such a willing participant that there was nothing I could say to him to forewarn him. He was certain he was on his way to making millions.* I reminded Dave of the incident.]
Like many intending dieters, Moe doesn't attend regularly. He arrives to the gym, for a leisurely meander on a treadmill, two or three times a week, to the pool a little more often. I'm not sure on what basis he assumes twenty or so minutes in the pool, and a little longer in the jacuzzi, will effect massive weight loss. Swimming 25 metres, a break, then continuing back down the pool.
At our inkwell, we change in a big room in which the lockers occupy a central area. There are benches and shelves all around the room. Moe has to get dressed in the very narrowest section of the room. He always plonks himself in the same place, no matter whether the room is full or empty. It just so happens that I inhabit an area nearby.
But when Moe dresses, no-one can pass, necessitating a full circle around the lockers to avoid him. Moe doesn't comprehend social norms.
People put their shoes on the floor or atop the lockers. Moe puts his muddies on the bench.
People take off their wet togs and hang them to drip on hooks, set aside for the purpose, in a wet area. Moe dumps his oversized, almost knee length pantaloons, plop, on to the bench. His garment retains gallons of water. He never wrings them. He just throws them onto the bench -- Splash! -- water flying in every direction.
Moe, people sit on that bench, getting dressed, putting on their shoes. Of course, Moe has never, not once, wiped the bench.
But the drip from his swimming costume is nothing compared to that which falls of his body. Here comes Moe, oozing blubber flapping up and down, hair in the creases of his body fully loaded, dripping soapy water. As he waddles into his dock, water is flying. Quick, where's my umbrella. Moe I have already my shower. I was already dry! He reaches for his towel, dumping a tsunami onto the bench and floor from his armpits.
In the pool Moe takes up more than half the lane. This is not an exaggeration. Our pool was originally built with five lanes. A few years back, the bathes were renovated. Due to gross incompetence, the "new" pool is slightly narrower than the previous incarnation, and now has an additional lane. Instead of 2.5 metres, each lane is now a shade under 2 metres.
Moe's shear width is only the start of the problem. "I don't get in the way! You're just audacious. I always swim behind you." Resting on the wall, Moe spreads his arms and legs for support, making it impossible for another swimmer to tumble turn in the same lane. Any complaint elicits a grunt.
Having Moe the next lane is a horror story. I'm nonchalantly swimming backstroke in the neighbouring lane. Suddenly a leg of lamb flies above my nose. I duck just in time. He swims slowly, so escape is a possibility. But why is this necessary? Because this man is so wide that he cannot reach over in front of his head like a regular swimmer. His hands sweep out to the side. As Moe is not a short specimen, his reach is well into the adjacent lane.
And don't assume I can anticipate the point of impact. No! Moe changes lanes on a whim. Like Eric Clapton and the Yardbirds, "I have Moe to the left of me, Moe to the right of me, I've got Moe all around me . . . ". He keeps turning up . . . like a rabbit out of that proverbial hat.
This experience has caused me to rethink my sanity, my morality, my attitude to humanity, to my fellow travellers. How is it that I, an intelligent, handsome, athletic and humane individual, can descend into such depths of racism? It truly bothers me.
Upon much introspection, I arrive at the realisation that I am not a racist, certainly not in the classical sense. I do not automatically hate a black men because he is black, nor a yellow man because of his shade. I judge each as a human, based on each individual's interaction with and contribution to society.
I realise that my adverse reaction to rotund gentlemen is not a pavlovian response, a conditioned reflex. Yes, I do admit to an automatic wariness when encountering a new pudgy man for the first time. But I am sufficiently broadminded to allow him the opportunity to prove himself. "A few of my best friends are" very large. Take Tib for example. What a great guy!? I truly love him. I look forward to his company. He fluctuatingly weighs in at between 130 and 140 kilos -- definitely zaftig. He has weighed a lot more . . . and a lot less too.
After deep soliloqual reflection, I solved my problem. Why do most fat man irk, while others I love intensely? Their interaction with our environment is the key.
There is a human trait which I call "fat-mindedness". The key to this fat-mindedness is in one's relationship to his environment. A fat-minded person is a solipsist, one who sees himself as the centre of the universe, a believer that his self is the only thing that is real and verifiable. No-one in his immediate environment is of importance or even exists in his eyes. Water on your clothes, water on your person as he squeezes past, your socks are wet -- tough!
With most people, this psychology of fat-mindedness, commences in the plump state. But most roly-polies, even the few who really manage to lose weight via diet and exercise -- or the majority who now undergo gut shortening or stomach banding -- remain in the fat-minded state, forever! Sad as it is. Even if they reach a state in which they occupy a reduced volume, they exert an influence equal to, and sometimes greater than, their previous bulk.
I admit it is impossible to carry out a successful scientific study to verify my thesis. Very few overblowns ever metamorphose into thin people; so there is a shortage of experimental data. Porcines may lose weight -- I have a friend who lost ninety kilos -- but sadly the vast majority of men who manage to shed significant mass, not only return their portliness, but increase it, usually beyond the point of their previous peak. Some become weight yo-yos, with stretchy string.
I confess my findings are based on my observations. And I do not claim unbias.
At the timeof writing, Moe has lost twenty kilograms. This doesn't yet transfer him out of the super heavyweight class. In my opinion, he doesn't have the right life view to become a thin man. I sincerely hope, for his sake, that I am wrong.
But I don't want to wait around for the outcome. I just wish Moe and his magnitude would dissipate.
* In case you're wondering, I lost nothing. We never set anything up, even though the bilk liked my idea of a legitimate business. I think he figured it was too much hard work. Perhaps this will be a future story.
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