Thursday, August 30, 2007

Those who are 'fluffy' don't need reminding

Hi everyone... I write a weekly column for the Moncton Times & Transcript. Yesterday's column was about being overweight. Thought you might like to read it. :)

Brian Cormier
Hump Day
Published Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Appeared on page D6, Moncton Times & Transcript

Having been "fluffy" for as long as I can remember, I've been on the receiving end of more than my fair share of verbal abuse and mocking, including: being laughed at while trying to exercise; being screamed at by a carload of people hurling insults about my weight while I gassed up my car; to being loudly and publicly reminded of my fluffiness by a bespectacled three-year-old flower girl at a friend's wedding.

Quite frankly, that's only the tip of the iceberg. I didn't mention the times I was pointed at and made fun of in shopping malls (I'm in the room, people! Can't you at least wait until I'm far enough away so that I can't hear you?); being yelled at by people walking past me on the street; or being put down by loudmouth ignorant teenagers in restaurants -- emphasis on the word "ignorant."

I'm not seeking pity. There's no need to e-mail me and tell me how sorry you are to hear all of this. (Gifts of cold hard cash, however, have been known to cheer me up! Just throwing that out there, folks. No pressure.)

I've grown a bit of thick skin about the whole thing, but I would be lying through my teeth if, for one second, I told you that it didn't bother me. Of course it does. I'm not made of stone. It's no fun.

Oh, and before I go on, if one more person (usually male) tacks on "big guy" at the end of a conversation, I swear on my cats' giant hairballs that I'm going to have a certifiable conniption fit that will top the newscast on CNN. "Thanks, big guy!" "Not a problem, big guy!" I could just scream. I feel like responding, "Thanks, guy with horribly ugly children!" "OK, guy with freakishly long nose hair!" While we're pointing out the obvious, let's just go for the jugular and see how everyone likes it now, shall we?

Anyway, back to my story. I was walking toward the grocery store entrance the other day when I passed a mother and her toddler son (about four years old) who were walking out to their car after finishing their shopping. He was a cute little tyke with a baseball cap and held his mother's hand as we crossed paths.

I have a sixth sense when it comes to these things and just felt that something was coming. Ah yes . . . here we go. The kid pointed at me and then started to talk.
"Look at him!" he yelled at his mother. Of course, I knew why he wanted her to look at me. His mother did, too, because she immediately reprimanded him for being rude. She told him very loudly that it wasn't polite to do that. Quite frankly, she may have also broken into a chorus of Jingle Bells, but I had long since gone to my self-preservation "happy place" and stopped listening to her. Kill me now!

I know he was just a kid, but after a lifetime of being the target of comments, I've lost all sympathy for the perpetrators, even if they're children who don't know any better.

I walked through the grocery store, chose a cart (that wasn't full of garbage like they usually are!) and then proceeded to shop, all while getting my childish mental revenge on the kid by pretty much wishing upon him every evil that the world could muster up over the next 80 years of his life. He may have been only four, but that didn't stop me from thinking bad thoughts.

This is a family newspaper, so I'll just water down those evil thoughts to the three following things: 1) spray painting a neon orange Star of David on his roof this December so that Santa Claus skips over his house because he thinks the boy's Jewish; 2) sneaking into the boy's room one night and super-gluing his baby teeth to his gums so that they never fall out, thus guaranteeing him no visits from the Tooth Fairy . . . ever!; and 3) e-mailing the Easter Bunny telling him that the boy thinks he's a fraud and threatening his life by telling him that he'd better not show up at the kid's house next year or risk becoming part of a delicious rabbit stew before sundown on Easter Sunday.

As vengeful thoughts evolved in my mind, I found myself in the organics section of the store, contemplating buying some sort of weird newfangled food supplement and a variety of other things that only hippies and goats eat.

All of a sudden, I saw the kid again. Ack!! What was he doing back here? I'd seen him leave! Was he coming back to tell me that my shoes are unfashionable, too? Was he going to loudly proclaim my lack of hair? Oh God, when will it end?

This time, he was being dragged forcibly down the aisle by a man who I assumed was his father -- and I was right. "My son has something to say to you," he said. Eventually, the little boy croaked out a barely audible "I'm sowwy." He hung on to his father's arm with both hands and looked dejectedly at the floor while apologizing.

I have to say that I felt two things: 1) I just wanted the whole episode to be over with; and 2) I thought the kid was just too cute for words. (He literally did say "sowwy.")

Then, those paternal instincts kicked in and I knew that he had to learn a lesson in socialization, so I sincerely thanked him for his apology and they went on their way with me standing satisfied and grateful in the aisle full of hippie and goat food.
So I cancelled my plans to text message Santa, order that gallon of super glue online and sit down at my computer to e-mail the Easter Bunny. The kid came close to not being a happy camper for the holidays.

Oh geez . . . and I'd better cancel those real-life vampires I hired to scare the daylights out of him on Halloween otherwise I won't get my deposit back. The boy's lucky I'm a nice guy.

Things could have got really ugly.

www.briancormier.com
brian@briancormier.com

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well you have to give those parents credit........pretty soon you will have the last laugh Brian.
Thanks for sharing that.

I think we have all had that.
I don't get it now but in highschool.....now that was a different story.

I think the boy can have a great Christmas, seems like his parents are teaching him a thing or two!

Wanda

Brian Cormier said...

Thanks, Wanda! Yes, I was very impressed with his parents.