Friday, October 02, 2009

Fat kids are fun. Richard Simmons has a vagina.

What is the definition of food?

The chief comfort Southern women are born and bred to provide to their loved ones.

The Grandmother isn’t a true Southern woman in a lot of ways, but that heifer can cook. Fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, rice and gravy, biscuits. And bake...Boston crème pie, cheesecake, pound cake, peach cobbler. When she wasn’t cooking, she was feeding me store bought goodness. Cheetos, cookies, ice cream sandwiches, candy bars.

I would sit in my brown wing chair, watch “Clarissa Explains it All” marathons and stuff my chubby little face. Then I’d lock myself in my room and read about horror (Goosebumps) and pre teen angst (The Saddle Club).

Misty water colored memories....

Until...TG decided she was tired of my expanding, adolescent waist. She began her campaign then and there by making the most beautiful cheesecake I’d ever seen.

(There’s a long list of things I’ll do for good cheesecake and most of them are felonies and/or crimes of a sexual nature.)

She brought said cheesecake out on a lovely glass platter and called my 10 year old self into the dining room. “Look what I made”, she said as she extended her arms, bringing the platter level with my face.

As I looked, it sang its cheesecake siren song and demanded I inch just a bit closer. So I did. But as I took that one tiny step, TG took one back. I looked up at her in puzzlement. This was my offering, was it not? I was the chosen child, was I not?

“Oh, I can’t have this”, she declared. Then she whipped around and toted it back to the kitchen.

That was the day my sister became the undisputed favorite and I became the “Oh, you can’t have that” grandchild. Even 15 years and a normal weight later, I’m still the “Oh you can’t have that” grandchild. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

Once TG started her campaign to shame me into losing weight, my mother jumped on the band wagon. She realized that she had found the perfect work out buddy to help her lose that 2nd baby poundage.

I saw my life flash before my eyes when she purchased matching work out clothing and a box set of Richard Simmons exercise videos.

But no matter how much I protested, I was told that the Department of Social Services most certainly wouldn’t consider it child abuse. No amount of threatening, begging, or bargaining with my candy stash could keep her from her goal: 3 days a week mimicking Richard’s scary, tan legs pump pump pumping away at the pony.

Have you ever seen a fat kid and her mom do the pony in spandex shorts? Don’t. Ever.

To this day I can’t listen to most oldies songs for fear of regression. If I hear Peggy Sue, my feet start doing the quick step heel toe heel toe heel toe and I start pulling out my hair in panic. When I watch Dirty Dancing, I put the TV on mute through the Wipeout song montage.

But copying and watching that giddy man stomp away wasn’t enough punishment for the fat kid. NO.

My mom thought Richard Simmons was sexy.

While we ponyed across the living room, he ponyed across the TV screen in his tiny red and while stripped shorts...tan, shiny legs flashing and afro bouncing.

And she would say, “OOOOO WEEEEE! Huff, puff left. LOOK AT THOSE SEXY LEGS! Huff, puff right. I’D LIKE TO LICK THOSE CALVES SOMETHIN’ FIERCE! Huff, puff left. LOOK AL, LOOK AT UM MMMM MMM! Huff, Puff right.”

Her favorite saying though, was “Richard Simmons’s legs were hand crafted by Jesus.”

Once she said it in front of my dad and through him Crown Royal replied, “Jesus don’t craft fag legs.”

My daddy was (is) an eloquent, well mannered drunk.

As you can well imagine, after weeks of being subjected to this treatment I was growing more and more agitated. Rebellion was inevitable.

It came on a Saturday afternoon. My mom had some kind of lunch get together for her friends and one brought their daughter for me to play with. Her name was Suzanne and she was a walking fence post. Of course I hated her.

As they fixed our lunch plates, our mothers discussed Richard Simmons and his “Sweatin’ to the oldies” tape. And then it came.

“His legs were hand crafted by Jesus”, my mom said reverently to her nodding friends.

And the angry fat kid in me heard those words, saw all the vegetables on that fucking lunch plate and lost it.

“Daddy says Jesus doesn’t craft fag legs and with shorts that small he probably has a vagina. And I bet he’s right! Richard Simmons is a woman!”



“Excuse us”, my mom said.

She grabbed me by the arm and pulled me down the hall, into her room, and beat my ass with the biggest belt she could find. I laughed.

She banished me to my room with my plate of vegetables and the fence post Suzanne. I dug out my candy stash.

“Are you supposed to be eating that”, she asked.

“No”, I said.

“But what if you get caught? You could get spanked again.”

“So what?”

“Well...I’D be scared!”

I popped a piece of chocolate in my mouth and grinned. “That’s because you don’t have any padding, fence post.”

Then I did the pony out the door.

(Ok, so I didn’t do the pony part...but that would have been awesome right?)

After everyone left, my mom called dad at work to tell him what I’d done. When he got home that evening he stopped by my room.

“Here”, he said, handing me a $10 bill.

“What’s that for”, I asked.

“For making me laugh and pissing off your mom’s friends.”

I bought lots of candy with that $10...and I never did the pony again.


just me said...

Richard Simmons has always made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Much the same way PeeWee Herman does...

Judearoo said...

You, are. a. legend.


Steam Me Up, Kid said...

I think this is my most favorite thing I've ever read of yours.

And yes. *Sigh* I have seen a fat kid and her mom do the pony in spandex shorts. Not to a workout video though. She was giving me pointers for my first school dance. The pony didn't go over so well that night, if I remember correctly. Thanks mom.

Organic Meatbag said...

Haaaaa! You see how well we comically feed off of each other? Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

If he has a vagina, it is a smelly tuna pocket.

Chelsea said...

lmao! man that was hilarious.

"because you dont have any padding, fence post."

love the blog!

sAm said...

Too funny - I love the fact your dad gave you $$ for pissing off your mom...and making him laugh about it! During gym class in my 9th grade year we did aerobics to Jane Fonda. Really there's nothing more to say about that - it sucked. Gym sucked, period. And yes, I was a fat kid! (and funny). The other day my son got into an argument with a "friend" that's fat over who would win in a fight. The ending line was when my son said that, "well, the padding would help but I would still win." See - the fat is good for something!

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

I actually think the whole 'Richard Simmons has a vagina' thing is a National Secret and you're not supposed to reveal it. Your phone may be tapped from now on.

Gorilla Bananas said...

You daddy's girl! He may not be a woman, but I wouldn't be surprised if he took it up the butt.

Anonymous said...

She... she took away the cheesecake?! NO. NO.

I think I would kill for a cheesecake. I'd set a bunny farm on fire just for one slice.

rubbish said...

That guy looks plain scary.

p-huong said...

You are my idol. I was scared shitless every time my mom grabbed her yard stick or the feather duster.

Mr. Condescending said...

haha I just read meatbags post and saw you write that comment, and agreed you should post about richard simmons. Now I feel like a big retard for not seeing this already!

BrightenedBoy said...

Aw, that's so wrong. But at least your father saw the humor in what you did.

You sound like you were a rebellious youngster.

I like that.

Selectively Bitchy said...

I feel all pitiful-sad when I think of Richard this whole 'he has a vagina' thing just made me even more sad... probably because his vagina's never been used. Which kinda makes him like...a 50 year old virgin or something right? aie...

The Peach Tart said...

My Mom still loves Richard Simmons and Sweating to the Oldies. He's a little too up and fake for me. Oh no, I've got the sudden desire to do the pony to the refrigerator and get some cheesecake.

ladytruth said...

Most of the man's videos have the word 'sweat' in the title; that in itself makes me think it's bad and gross. I've never been a fan of workout videos or dvds or whatever myself. Just seeing the instructor with a stupid smug smile on his/her face whilst making other people dehydrate faster than you can say 'goodbye brownies' is just a disguised way of torturing another human being. Burn the bloody lot, I say.

The Peach Tart said...

Hey girlfriend. I've got an award for you on my site. Some people hate the whole award thing, so if you do, no problem. I just wanted you to know I love your blog.

Fragrant Liar said...

Mama was into fluff love. Guess it didn't work? But what great writing fodder she gave you.

Don't be dissin' the pony.

otherworldlyone said...

Just me: Ditto.

Judearoo: Like that famous hooker. What's her name?

Steamy: High praise from the master.

No, say it isn't so?! Not the pony at a school function??

Meatbag: I like our song and dance routine.

Secretia: You said it, chick! Boo! Tuna!

Chelsea: Thank you very much.

sAm: We did aerobics in gym too. I think there are a few girls that still have injuries...mostly from standing next to me.


GB: I'll bet you're right on target.

otherworldlyone said...

Cool as folk: You carry the can of gasoline...I'll light the match.

Rubbish: Exactly.

p-huong: A feather duster? I hope she hit you with the right end, otherwise that might be awkward.

Mr. C: You are. ;)

BB: Rebellious is just another word for insane. And yes, yes I was.

SB: Thanks for stopping by. I never thought of it that way...but you could be right.

Tart: Thank you!

Fragrant Liar: I will rip the pony to shreds. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

erin said...

That's what I'm missing in my diet. Richard Simmons and those hot fag legs. Your parents are eloquent.

mylittlebecky said...

jesus is such a good leg crafter.

otherworldlyone said...

Erin: Do the pony on a vlog. DO it.

Becky: Praise him.