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Humor April 2018

Puttin' on the Gritz

Calories Are Our Friends

By Cappy Hall Rearick

“Mary Grace, that blue light did not signify a K-Mart special. The car is equipped with handcuffs and guns. It has the word POLICE painted from front to back and on both sides. You might want to slow.”

“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.”

   ~Forrest Gump

Mary Grace, Ladye Gayle, Georgia Faye and I are trekking to Weighcross for an appointment with a diet doctor, aka Dr. Fat.

Ladye Gayle turns off her cell phone and puts a scary look on her face. “I’ve decided to tell Dr. Fat about my addiction.”

My mouth drops open. “What? You’re on drugs?”

She looks at me like I’m blonder than I am. “Breyer’s Ice Cream renders me powerless, just like a drug. If I get near the frozen food aisle at Tweeters, I get withdrawal-like symptoms.”

Georgia Faye yawns. “Not me. Passing up Breyer’s is easy, but not Starbucks ice cream. If it’s on my buggy path I jump off the diet wagon faster than you can say Chocolate Almond Fudge. That’s what I call a problem, girlfriend.”

We don’t talk to Mary Grace when she’s driving because she’s got a one-track mind and we don’t want to die. Today when she speaks up, we start looking for a quick way to jump out of

the car.

“I’ve got a computer chip embedded in my back molar,” she says suddenly. “It kicks in when I eat good food.” 

Ladye Gayle, tightly gripping the door handle on her side of the car, is the first to speak. “A computer chip in your molar, you say? You mean like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind? Mary Grace, he was crazier than a run-over dog.”

Mary Grace keeps talking in a singsong voice. “When I eat a piece of celery that dang chip doesn’t make a sound, but one bite of Breyer’s, and it buzzes like a bee on crack.”

The inside of Mary Grace’s SUV has not been this silent since it sat alone on the showroom floor. I don’t know what the others are thinking, but one word pops up for me: schizoid.

Georgia Faye clears her throat. She’s been in therapy so she likes to hold forth on psychological issues. We anxiously await her comment on the molar chip.

“That’s understandable, Mary Grace,” she says in a voice so bland you’d think she was talking to a lamb chop. “Celery makes enough noise all by itself so it doesn’t need a computer chip to speak for it.”

I tighten my grip on the door handle. One more loopy comment and I am so outta here. Ladye Gayle won’t take her eyes off Mary Grace’s jaw. She says, “Russell Crowe saw imaginary people. You don’t see make-believe people, do you?”

Mary Grace whips her head around to the back and I do some big time praying. She turns and glares at Ladye Gayle in the back seat and says, “What’s wrong with that?”

Ladye Gayle’s eyes swell to Frisbee size. “Do you draw pictures and stuff like Russell Crowe did?”

Can they both be as goofy as they sound? At what point did I fall down the rabbit hole?

“Ladye Gayle, you’re just jealous because you don’t have a chip!” She sniffs, turns back around and drives.

When I tear my eyes away from the door handle I see a black and white vehicle a quarter of a mile up ahead. Mary Grace sees it too, but instead of slowing down like a sane person would do, she floors it and we sail like the Flying Wallendas.

“Uh, Mary Grace? Are you nuts? That was a police car.”

“Don’t talk to me while I’m driving.”

“Mary Grace, that blue light did not signify a K-Mart special. The car is equipped with handcuffs and guns. It has the word POLICE painted from front to back and on both sides. You might want to slow.”

She zooms past the fuzz like the frontrunner at a NASCAR event. My head swivels around long enough to catch the cop’s facial expression. It is not a pretty sight. I expect he will tear after us flashing that blue light, but he doesn’t.

Wise Miss Georgia Faye nods her head and mutters, “Nothing to worry about, y’all. That man knows.”

She’s a goofball, too? “Knows what, for God’s sake?”

Ladye Gayle keeps staring at Mary Grace’s jaw as if the computer chip is about to pipe up with the Gettysburg Address.

Georgia Faye lets out a turbo, know-it-all sigh and says, “He sees four women speeding to Weighcross to see a diet doctor. Hello? He could stop us and keep us from reaching our goal, but he’s smart.”

I have no doubt about the rabbit hole theory now. “What are you talking about, Georgia Faye?”

She sighs. “If he causes us to miss our appointment with the fat doctor, he’ll have to kiss his first Social Security check goodbye. He’d be dead before his siren stopped screaming and he knows it.”

She’s right, of course. Sniffing out a dieter on the way to see Dr. Fat comes easily to cops, like finding a Krispy Kreme Donut Shop.

For a month we starved ourselves almost into electrolyte coma. We’ve crunched enough celery and carrots to convince Mary Grace that she’s growing a computer chip in her back molar. If Dr. Fat declares a loss of even one pound, we will celebrate.

“Hey, Mary Grace, what does your computer chip say about lunch at the all-you-can-eat buffet?”

Mary Grace doesn’t miss a beat. “I don’t give a hoot what that thing says. But if that little girl with the Mary Jane shoes and organdy pinafore opens her mouth to fuss at me again, I’m gonna slap her into the middle of next week.”

I reach for the door handle and begin the count down … one more goofy word and I will join the Flying Wallendas.

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