This old chair

It's not easy being fat. Wait, it is easy in the sense that I never leave the recliner voluntarily — no exercise, no activities, no walks around the block or such rubbish — but in other ways, it's not easy.

Clothes for me are not sold in stores, so there's no 'trying on' shirts or pants in a dressing room. Everything's purchased online, guessing how many X's — XXXL or XXXXL or XXXXXL. Everything's 'tried on' at home, and often too snug or too baggy. And the X's cost extra.

Fat people are easily out of breath, just from climbing a flight of stairs. Bending over, we're familiar with the sound of fabric stretching and ripping. And of course, there's early death by heart attack or diabetes. 

There are further frustrations for fat folks, which thinner readers might know nothing of. 

There's prejudice against fat people. It's nothing next to the racism against black people or sexism against women, but employers don't want to hire fatties. People of ordinary weight sometimes shun the large. We're the enormous butt of jokes, even when people hold their laughter until were out of earshot.

Everyone knows that big fat people sweat a lot, but have you considered it from the fat guy's perspective? You step out of the shower feeling fresh and clean, but if it's even a little warm out, or you're doing something more strenuous than reading a book, fresh and clean is quickly superseded by sweaty and sticky.

My belly flab folds over onto itself — skin-on-skin contact where perspiration can't evaporate. In the winter, that's where there's the beginning of a rash every day, between those skin folds. Fat People's Rash, I call it, and it's worse in the summertime — the rash can be in full bloom, itchy and red, six hours after a shower. I keep wet-wipes handy, to clean the affected areas and leave a layer of witch hazel behind, which slows the rash but doesn't stop or prevent it.

Perhaps the most unpleasant unpleasantness of being fat is wiping one's ass. Reaching your hand toward your backside and deep into the crevice becomes more and more difficult with each inch of added belly cellulite, and I have numerous inches.

Plus, I'm old, with ordinary old-people aches and pains and dexterity limits that fluctuate from day-to-day. There are definitely times when a clean wipe is a distant reach that can't be reached, and instead I waddle away with a squishy feel. 

And for fat people, furniture can be a gamble and an added expense. My wife and I, both of us big, broke the first three beds we owned. Just sitting down, I've broken chairs, and always I avoided the couch at my in-laws' house, after hearing it creak and crack a little the first time I eased onto it.

In my overweight dotage I've become a recliner guy, and this old chair I'm sitting in wheezes and groans more than I do, every time I sit, and again when I tilt it back.

There are 'big and tall' recliners, of course, built for men of my magnitude, but they're ridiculously expensive. For $2,000 I could buy a recliner that claims it can handle my weight, but I don't believe the claim, and anyway, it's guaranteed for only 90 days.

For less than a tenth of that price, I instead purchase the very cheapest recliner I can find, and sit in it until it breaks. It starts creaking louder as it's getting ready to go to pieces, so that's when I order another cheap recliner. When the old one finally collapses, I drag it to a resting place beside the dumpster.

Twice my old recliners have been claimed by neighbors or scavengers before the garbage crew came, so it's recycling, right?

I'm typing this from my fifth cheap recliner, which said right on the box it came in, "maximum capacity 250 pounds." I laugh at such maximums — ha ha — and certainly exceed the max. The trick is to sit gently, never with a flamboyant flop, and avoid too harshly tilting the chair back.

This old chair is now my all-time recliner champ — it's lasted almost two years. That's impressive, especially since I sleep in my recliner (don't own a bed), and live in my recliner 24/7 — I've been mostly unemployed for as long as I've had this one.

Yet it still stands firm enough to welcome me, and folds flat enough for me to sleep.

With this chair as with its four predecessors, after 4-6 months my astounding weigh had flattened all the fibers inside the cushions. That's when I bring out a few pillows. When the pillows are flattened, I bring out more pillows.

At present there are four pillows under my butt and thighs, and two between my back and the back of the chair, which has begun leaning sideways and is no longer spine-aligned.

Since I'm confessing all the indignities of being a fat slob, might as well add that as a cheapskate, I won't spend two nickels on pillowslips. And to avoid Fat People's Rash, I sleep without jammies or underwear. This means all of my many pillows have faded from white to grey with brown streaks.

I'm not buying a new recliner until this one's rubble, but the frame of this old chair is struggling under me, and one day soon it'll crack under my weight. Then I'll push it to the dumpster, and move into the next recliner just like it.

And I'll flatten the new chair's cushions, stress its lumber, until eventually that recliner, too, will be beside the dumpster.

It's a new kind of 'musical chairs', which I'll play until the eventual heart attack, or until I get serious about losing some weight.



  1. I love the sign-off, nice fat burger...well, I met you recently and you didn't seem that fat...nice run in the ava, now I'm sending them in weekly, fun...okay, everything we didn't know about fat, I wrote a tell-all about my calendar recently which i might try to get you to run here some time, definitely no one else would! (spoiler alert: i keep track of orgasms on my calendar)...okay, take care old dude, that was a good donut at Lucky's, should have got the donut maker to take a picture of us talking in the back, oh well, i did get a nice one of the sign...getting closer to writing the second draft of the story of meeting you...one of these days...take care...Eel

    1. Doughnuts forever, man. We should've rushed the guy and beaned him with a carry-out box for closing the shop early.

  2. A weighty subject overall, and well written!


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