Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's Not The Heat, It's the Humility

Well the predicted high for Sunday here in beautiful Mission, Kansas is 102 degrees, but of course we get a bit of humidity here as well, so the heat index will probably be closer to 113. Now I know that's not a big deal in many places around the world, but here in the KC area, it's what we sometimes call "damn hot".  More than that however, it's uncomfortable for someone of my advanced years and calorically challenged condition.

That at least, is the conclusion that I've come to in describing the case for those of us who can only use the word 'fit' when describing the clothes that we used to wear, but which are too small for us now.  Or in my case, those of us for whom the term "smokin' hot" is only used to describe the lit end of the cigar often plugged into my pie hole.  Of course it would probably be far more comfortable in such conditions to find myself soaking in the local municipal pool; but a member of the male of the species participating in such activities is required to go 'topless' in public, and many would consider the exposure of so much pasty white flesh (which would likely turn rather quickly to the color of a well-cooked lobster) to be showing a lack of respect to fellow pool goers. As a believer in the rule of law, I might even go so far as to say that I have far too much respect for indecency laws in this country to go shirtless in such weather (or any other for that matter).

Respect is likewise part of the issue to be considered as I contemplate the humiliating effect that such an appearance has made on the shambles of my social life.  While I freely concede the idea that there are very few women compatible with the Curmudgeonly existence and stogie-smoking lifestyle that I enjoy these days, I am nevertheless not ready to rule out the possibility that (dare I say it) dating might yet lie in my future.  Such contemplations seem far less realistic however when I see the figure that I cut these days, unless of course the women in question were to be of the sort that have romantic fantasies of Sydney Greenstreet ("The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca), Orson Welles (from his Gallo wine days) or Lionel Barrymore ("It's a Wonderful Life").  

Then of course, one must consider the possibilities if such social interaction should follow its natural course.  There's always a chance, however unlikely, that romance might ensue.  Eventually such consideration seems doomed to run into a situation where the previously mentioned removal of a shirt (or heaven forbid, even more) rears its ugly head. A genuine respect for the fairer gender on my part could easily be seen as reason enough to prevent one of them from the sight of undress that such a situation could lead to, if not actually require. 

It's sometimes strange to consider the curious condition of this personal situation; as I was in my youth little more than a skinny, clumsy, tow headed rug rat.  In those days I consumed mass quantities of every sort of food group known to mankind without a care in the world, and without gaining enough weight to keep me upright in a strong wind. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I should note that this consumption was indeed prodigious, with the exceptions of uncooked tomatoes, cooked cabbage, and pickles.  Such discriminating taste convinces me not only of discerning judgment, but that I was never pregnant.)  During High School days I even took to the use of protein powder supplements in the hope of packing on enough weight to gain further stability on hockey skates, but never managed to satisfy either my coaches or myself and felt humiliated by my failure as a consequence.

These days however, it's the opposite.  Though a better cook than I am often allowed to prove, I use little of that training in the culinary arts; since calorie counting was never a part of the style in which I gained my knowledge.  Food preparation method not withstanding however, I seem to gain weight these days merely by looking at a recipe of ingredients, let alone actually preparing or eating them.  This is not to say that I don't occasionally sit down at the table with the rapacious longing of a python contemplating a meal larger than itself. (I saw this picture once on the Internet of this python that  had eaten an alligator ... oh, never mind.  Look it up yourself.)  Nor is this that I don't understand that the snake in question only eats once a week or so and I'm still pounding down two squares a day, but you get message.

The bottom line of such indulgence is that where once I was considered too small for the game of hockey, I now tip the scale far enough to place myself in the position of a large tight end or linebacker in football, and far too close to the scale (pun intended) which would allow me to take my place on the offensive or defensive line.  This in spite of the fact that I often find myself walking as much as 20-25 miles a week.  I am however, contemplating some rather serious lifestyle changes in the hopes of changing my attitude, my fortunes, and the numbers on the scale.  I won't go into detail on them now, but promise to annoy you with it in the future if these efforts begin to produce any worthwhile results.  

In the meantime however, I am bracing up for a weekend heat wave with all of the enthusiasm (and much of the size) of a beached whale.  And though the numbers on the thermometer do indeed seem high, they are are in fact paltry when considered against the one staring back at me when I can lean over far enough (without falling) to read the ones on the scale.  I have already promised myself not to slack off on my weekend routine of perspiring perambulation regardless of the temperature, moisture content in the air, or the volume of material required to decently cover myself.  The efforts of exercise are in fact those of self-improvement (OK, they're an excuse to smoke a larger cigar) and heaven knows I can use some improvement.  As for the relative discomfort involved, after having lived both here in the Kansas City area and in south Georgia; I believe that I can say with confidence that when it comes to the discomfort involved it's not the heat, it's the humility.

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