Personally, I have nothing against Laurel, you see. I would be the first one to admit that he was one of the best comedians of his time and more than a match for Hardy. Who, in their right minds, could contest the fact that this ‘thin and chubby’ duo was a riot on the screen? But behind the laughing eyes and waddling legs, did Hardy hide a truckload of hurt? Did anyone ever stop to think how the fashionably-thin Laurel might have made our flabby Hardy feel?
You may think that I am crying wolf when there isn’t even a trace of a puppy around but trust me, I have my reasons. As a fellow chubster (just because MS Word underlines this word in red doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, ok?), I feel like I can speak for all the Hardys of this world and tell you that it is a major pain in the you-know-what to be constantly surrounded by thin people.
I am not saying that thin people are bad. Definitely not. They may very well have a small golden heart inside their very petite bodies. It is just that, unwittingly, by their mere presence, they give us chubsters a huge complex and as God knows, we can very well do without anything huge, if you can catch my drift.
Take my case, for example. I happen to live in a town where all the women enjoy eating air for the main course and delight in drinking water for dessert at every meal. If it were up to them, without any qualms, they will rewrite the secret code to open Aladdin’s treasure caves to say ‘LETTUCE’ and then what will happen to poor Aladdin?
Now as one who salivates over a bowl of rasam rice for breakfast, I fail to understand how soy nuts can be appealing to anyone first thing in the morning. Fine, as long as you are at it, why not eat a nice cup of those soy nuts? Why count them every morning to eat exactly 6? And if you eat 8 instead of 6 one morning by mistake, is that any reason to call poison control? Seriously, if you are planning to relocate to my town for any reason and your daily lunch/dinner menu does not include a bowl of colorful leaves, do reconsider. You will thank me later and I will tell you why.
When I first moved into this town, I mistook all the inhabitants to be refugees from Somalia. It was an honest mistake really. I had never before seen anyone else walking around with bones jutting out of the skin like that. My heart bled for their misfortune and determined to do my part as a Good Samaritan, I hosted many parties in the hope of feeding my neighbors and friends with my no fat-spared cooking. But my plan was a big, fat flop. It was the same story at each party. One look at the long row of my wickedly tempting food trays, these folks would whip up their calculators and get busy. The minute the calorie count crossed zero, they would pretend that the food was e-coli infected and happily go back to their air and water diet.
So I gave up and switched to Plan B. If the town wouldn’t fatten up, then I would have to slim down, I thought. After all, I didn’t want to be the only Hardy in this town of Laurels. So I stocked my fridge with leaves and soups of all color. I even went out and got Quinoa. I was that desperate. Since that took care of the eating part of the Plan B, I next set out to buy a treadmill. Of course there is a gym less than a mile from my place but I didn’t want to take any chances, you see.
The shiny Nordic Track was finally hauled up the stairs and just as I got ready to jump on it and puff my way to health, I realized that something was missing. Ah, of course! What could motivate me more than a nice big TV mounted on the wall just across from my new machine? I know that my husband granted this wish of mine and installed a TV on that wall only because he was convinced of the sensibility of my plan and definitely not because he wanted to stop my nagging. Not at all!
Anyway, to make a very long story short(is it too late??), Plan B turned out to be an even bigger flop than Plan A. To say that the sensible diet plan was a complete disaster would be the understatement of the year. For every spoonful of the nasty Quinoa that I ate, I compensated by attacking the white rice with vengeance. For every green leaf that I had to push down my throat, I rewarded myself with a bowl of home-made spicy potato fries. For every cup of sugarless tea that I had to drink, I thumbed my nose at it with 2 glasses of kheer. Sigh, sigh…….......
With regards to the exercise equipment, it wasn’t a total waste after all. I am using the handle bars to organize and hang my thupattas these days so that is something, right? And about the TV, I realized that I liked watching it better from the bed anyway.
I have learned to forgive myself these days. Just like some people enjoy their air and water diet, I am fated to go through life as a Hardy. Philosophically speaking, some things are simply not in our control. As the French would say "Que sera sera".
So what are you? A Laurel or a Hardy?