Fat walking

Trying to be honest and up front with the few people reading this, let's start with a confession. Tomorrow's entry is about 2/3 written, and it's better than the collection of crap below.

May 2, 2022

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I was eating an omelet at Mrs Rigby's diner, with a cinnamon roll on the side because I've been a good kid and I deserve it.

A 40-something woman walked from her table to the counter and said to the waitress, "I'm so sorry, but I just noticed the sign that says you don't take credit or debit cards, and that's all I have. Can you tell me where the nearest ATM is?" Heavy Hispanic accent. English was not this woman's first language.

"Sure," said the waitress, and started giving directions to a bank three blocks away.

Passing by, another waitress interrupted and said, "No, they closed that bank branch a few weeks ago. Now the nearest ATM is at the AM/PM minimart," and she explained how to get there. Heavy Asian accent. English was not this woman's first language.

"Thanks," said the customer. "I'll be back quick as I can."

Then the second waitress said, "Your order is already in, and it ought to be almost ready. You should eat it while it's hot, then go to the ATM afterwards."

The customer frowned and said, "That would be OK?" 

"Sure," said the waitress. Then came a ding, signaling fresh food from the kitchen, and she added, "I think that's your breakfast now." She turned and got the food, and both women walked back to that lady's table, where she then ate her breakfast.

That lady wasn't a regular customer that the waitress knew and trusted. Pretty sure this was her first time at Mrs Rigby's, but they let her eat and then leave, with just a promise that she'd return and pay.

And yeah, Mrs Rigby's is definitely my diner in Seattle.

For more than twenty years, I've lived in various apartments with my wife and then alone, always on the bottom floor of a few different apartment buildings. My new place is a boarding house, where four people live on the floor below me. I am a fat guy, so maybe you can guess where this is going, but it surprised me.

A couple of times a week, I cook what for me is a fancy dinner: Chinese food from the freezer, with lots of vegetables, also from the freezer. It all thaws and then simmers on the stove top, me stirring it every three minutes for half an hour. That's about ten round trips from my bedroom, across the kitchen to the stove, and then back to my bedroom, and then again in three more minutes.

27 minutes into cooking dinner, there came a knock at the front door. It was a flatmate from downstairs, a lady I'd seen but never met, wearing a frazzled look on her face. "Could you please," she said, "stop the stomping in your kitchen. It rattles our whole floor."

Yikes. I was surprised and speechless for a few seconds, but I think I handled the complaint fairly well. "I'll try to walk softer," I said, "but if it's still too loud please knock again and let me know."

She thought I was being sarcastic, I think. "I'm not trying to be the bad guy here," she said.

"And neither am I," I answered. "Not a bad guy, just a fat guy. I'll try to walk softer, but if it still sounds like thunder underneath, seriously, let me know and I'll frickin' tiptoe."

Huh. It's been so many years with nobody living under me, I'd forgotten that fat guys walk heavy. Until that lady said, "Could you please... ?" it hadn't flashed across my brain for even a moment that now, people live under my footsteps.

The floorboards creak in this old house, and in a good mood I've sometimes shifted my weight to make the floor creak again and again, just for fun. And I've cooked my frozen Chinese (ten round trips to the kitchen and back) at least half a dozen times since moving in, which must've been damned loud and aggravating every time, to everyone downstairs.

That's embarrassing, but I'm glad that lady let me know. Sigh. That's life as an XXXXL. 

Three sort-of interconnected dreams, all from the same bad night's sleep, jotted in my sloppy handwriting at midnightish, 1:30, and then 4 in the morning:

In the first dream, I was riding the light rail here in Seattle, but when I got off at my station and escalated up, I was in Madison, where I lived until a month or so ago. I walked to my old apartment, but of course someone else lived there now, so I wandered around town, homeless. It was late in the evening and I was tired, but I had nowhere to sleep unless I could find the light rail that would take me back to Seattle.

It's weird to dream that you're sleepy, but in all these dreams all I wanted was to sleep.

Then I woke up, peed, came back to bed, and fell asleep again.

In the second dream, I was back in Madison, still sleepy, so I crawled into the bed of a random pickup truck, and snoozed there until its owner came by. The engine started, waking me up in my dream, and the truck drove to an all-night grocery store. I kept my head down low so the driver didn't see me, and when he parked the pickup I hopped out and started walking around again, but the whole city seemed different and I didn't know where I was.

Then I woke up, peed, came back to bed, and fell asleep again.

In the third dream, again I dreamed I was sleepy, and in Madison, only this time in front of the office building where I'd worked for eight years. Inside were a few couches, I knew, and it was late at night, so I figured I could sleep there and sneak out before anyone came in. All the doors were locked, of course, and I'd turned in my electronic key long ago, but the security guard knew me or at least knew my face, and he let me in.

In my old office, though, there were voices, then people. The place was in chaos — broken equipment, confidential papers floating in the breeze, employees shouting at each other, phones ringing never to be answered. I was a trespasser, so I hid behind my old desk and then crawled out through a heating duct.

Hah! I always knew that company would go to hell without me.

Then I woke up, peed, came back to bed, but couldn't fall asleep again.

Science says there's a meaning behind our dreams, or at least that's what people who aren't scientists say science says. Do you see a meaning behind those dreams?

I'd guess it's just that I'm not sleeping well. Maybe I'm a little homesick for Madison, still feeling adrift here in Seattle. And when I start looking for a job here, I sure as hell don't want to work for another insurance company.

And now, my internet history…  

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Ken Levine can repair baseball's ongoing blunders

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Why Disney vs. DeSantis is the future of politics 

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Las Vegas-area authorities expecting to find lots of long-dead bodies as Lake Mead water level continues decreasing 

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Texas Gov. Abbott's border inspections prompt Mexico to move lucrative trade link to New Mexico 

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More renters added to lawsuit against Hertz over false car theft claims 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...

The End
Kathy Boudin 

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to All Hat No Cattle, Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S., and always Stephanie...


  1. Holy fucking shit, how DARE you not say if the lady came back and paid?


    Eliminating the shift? No way. Positioning your players strategically is fine. ~~~ Angel Hernandez is possibly the worst Ump in MLB history. ~~~ I don't like the challenge rule that guy proposes. Unlimited challenges, until you lose two in a row, then you're done for the game.

    1. Hey, I finished my breakfast and caught the bus home. What happens after I'm gone, stays in Vegas or something.

      Even if a few of that guy's proposals are wrong, it's still an improvement overall. I don't understand why people aren't mocking the game for putting phantom runners on second base. Screw that phillipshead.

  2. Sachel Paige used to call in the outfielders and strike out the side. He can't do that in MLB? The rules say that the pitcher has to pitch from the rubber and the catcher has to stay inside the white lines. The other seven fielders can all stand around second base passing a joint in states where that's legal. Don't tell me where to position my infielders.

    And slow pitchers piss me off, but clocks are for basketball. Teams tell everybody what their pitching schedule is, subject to change. If there's a slow pitcher pitching, stay away from the ballpark.

    Baseball is a city game played at a country pace in a park.


    1. When I umpired low-level adult softball, 30+ years ago, we had a pitch clock. It's fabulous, at least for the umpires, and it kept the games moving along smartly.

      I probably agree with you about the switch, though.

  3. Jesus Fuck. My longish Satchel Paige comment vanished like a fist when you open your hand. I saw it post, came back, and it was gone. Those bastards in Mountain View have my blood on their hands. It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come.

    1. Was it the post above, May 2, 2022 at 7:28 PM? If so, it came back, which isn't the first time I've seen that happen. The software be strange and unpredictable.

    2. Yeah, that looks like it. It's possible that the aggregate Blogger software lives in a quantum world where all comments happen simultaneously, so needn't be ordered, where "its" and "it's" are interchangeable on Tuesday's, and where, in order to know who and where you are its necessary to comment anonymously.

      That rotating sound you hear is/are Niels Bohr and Max Planck turning over clockwise and counterclockwise in each other's grave.

    3. Nope, that's not it. The original comment documented Satch's inning by inning performance and noted that he was 55 when he pitched five innings of hitless AAA ball. I said it better the first time.


    4. It's a mark of excellence, that even when you're forced to recreate something, it's still dang good.

    5. I had to type and retype that three times...

    6. I had to type and retype that three times...

  4. About ten years ago I unplugged my cable box and internet modem, took them down to the company, and told them I wanted to be disconnected.
    "Could you tell us why?" she asked.
    "Yes," I said. "I know way too mush about Charley Sheen."
    I guess my point is that for the next six months (until guests arrived and I re-hooked up) I got out of the house by going to internet cafes almost every day, which was good, socially.
    Good stories, the city is giving to you every day, not so much inspiration out here in the hills.

    1. Was at one of the local internet/cable provider's awful stores, trying to sign up for service. Old man walks in and before he reached the counter or the door closed behind him, said "I want to cancel HBO BECAUSE IT SUCKS and get Turner Classic Movies instead."

      My man!

    2. Does TCM have commercials? It's one of two channels I'd be willing to pay for (BBC is the other) but they make you buy fifty channels of shit to get the ones you want, and anyway, no TV.


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