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The Sound Of One Arm Flapping

This is an old one from 2015, although it may actually be older still! Either way, it explains a lot about me.


"Please stop. Please."


I am in excruciating pain.


It all goes back to my teenage years. I suppose I could also say that it was the car accident or the quack of a chiropractor that jumped on me when I was pregnant with my son, Michael, but I suspect the 150 extra pounds I’ve been carrying around with me ever since the blessed event. I think I’ve spent too many years relying on the Diet Coke Miracle.

It goes something like this...

“Um, yes…hi. I’ll have the Big Mac Combo, a Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap, supersize the fries, and could you please throw in one of those butter-drenched cinnamon bun thingys? “hmmm whammmmm mhmmmm hmmmmm whmmmmm?” “No... just napkins for one, and what is that supposed to mean?

“hmmm whhhmmvng mapmma.” “You’re conserving paper. I see, well, that’s wonderful with the Earth in the state it’s in. You know, most of the fast food restaurants I frequent don’t even consider – “ “hmmmm wmmvwhmmm?”

“Oh, my beverage??? I’ll have a Diet Coke. Yes. And supersize that as well, because this is a hell of a lot of food – you know, in relation to the miracle required here today- “whmmmm hmmmm mwhhhmmm?” “Miracle. I said miracle.” “mwhmmacle?” “Well yes, that’s the secret! Diet Coke will eliminate any and all calories…but you do need to supersize it, or Big Gulp it, as the need may – “ “hmm hmmdn mnow mhad.” “Really? You didn’t know that?” “mno” “Well, wait ‘till you see me. I look like a freaking supermodel” So, we were talking about my back.

Well, technically speaking, I’ve been told that I have herniated two of the disks somewhere back there, and that the spongy stuff between the vertebrae has compressed, which has actually made me shorter over the years, but basically, I can throw my back out just by sneezing. But the long and short (ha, ha) of it, is that I need to lose some serious weight. And here I am at the drive through again, wondering at the fact that somehow, they actually seem to remember my name, which is probably a really bad sign. I have to admit, as nerdy as it sounds, I am psyched. Tomorrow, I go on a diet.

A big one. I suppose this is a kind of Last Supper. Well, a last breakfast, technically, and let’s be brutally honest, the Last Supper will probably be a big bucket of fried chicken with some sort of chocolate cheesecake monstrosity for dessert. I probably won’t stop eating until my weigh-in tomorrow morning. I make skip sleep. What is it about finally deciding to go on a diet that makes you pig out? I know I’m not alone on this one; nothing whets the appetite like the desire to drop a few. So, I suppose, this could be the chronicle of how I got myself out of the Diabetes I’ve been cultivating for twenty-four years. I used to have the strangest dreams about flying. I would close my eyes, lift my head up and just do it. Rise above everything down here and just lift off. No flapping required. And the weird thing in these dreams was that while I wasn’t afraid of falling, I seemed to know that if I tried too hard – if I thought about it too much, it wouldn’t work. No wonderful exhilaration or marveling at my new-found ability, though. That’s the weird part. It’s like I just always knew I could somehow do it, so one day, I closed my eyes and lifted my head, and up I flew. It’s as if any actual flapping would wreck it all, and boy – would those birds hanging out on the power lines below be surprised when I crashed into them! It’s the flapping, the floundering, that will bring you down. But then, I have always been a flapper. My mother used to tell me, “Carla, stop flapping!” I guess I was a bit high-stung and dramatic, as a child, but really? Flapping? I am fairy sure that I have only actually flapped once in my life. It was two nights before my wedding, and I was really freaking out, and probably a bit hormonal, since I was four-and-a-half months pregnant (whoops!), and there, she said it. “Stop flapping!” I was so mad, I stomped away, and was half way up the stairs when I turned around, marched right back to her, raised my arms, and pumped, furiously at the air with what could only be described as all of the elegance of an approaching buzzard, and yelled, “FLAP. FLAP. THAT IS FLAPPING!” I will never forget the stunned silence in the room that followed. Honestly, I don’t think my poor parents ever knew quite what to do with me. So, yes. Maybe I am a bit high strung.

And speaking of flapping, It’s a little-known fact, that bumble bees aren’t actually supposed to be able to fly. Scientists have tried (and failed), to figure out exactly how they do it. I guess in a way, I’m like those bees.

So, it occurs to me that I have no idea what I really intend to be rambling on about here, but I will share with you one little pearl of wisdom I have learned. Never go to lunch with a recently born-again-jogger-health-enthusiast. To wit, the last thing one needs when crossing the parking lot to Ye Olde Chip Wagon, is someone screaming "Be STRONG!"

across the parking lot at you. That’s really not helping. I guess the point of this, apart from regaling you with my stories from the edge, is to keep my bitchy inner voice on the inside, and only let you hear it. For your amusement and delight. And so my husband won’t figure out exactly how messed up I really am, become frightened, and divorce me. But really…it’s just the sound of one arm flapping.


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