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The Fisher of Stories


Before we dive into the blog, I’ll update you on my wight loss/get in shape goal. When I weighed in on Friday, I was 341.9 lbs., which brought me down a total of 11.7 for the month. It’s not exactly the most drastic drop, but after speaking with my trainer, he’s reminded me that I laid a lot of lean muscle on this month and that weighs more than fat. Here’s a pic of my measurements, which came down too. 

My biceps are evening out. Draw your own conclusions.

Now on to the good stuff.
About a week ago, I had to go take the Oklahoma General Education Test, or OGET for short. I guess when you want to become a teacher, they like to make sure you at least have some general educatin’ in your background.
I am absolutely forbidden to discuss the questions that were on the test, and I signed a pretty strict nondisclosure agreement on the front page of the test that said the state of Oklahoma would take my firstborn and give me a fantastic wedgie if I told anyone about the questions.
However, the NDA said nothing about discussing what took place in the time I spent before I took the test. And believe me, things happened.
Let’s start with how early the test is. I had to report to the testing site at 7:15 in the a.m. 7:15. 7:15. 
My kids don’t even have to be at school until 8:30 and that’s not even on the weekend. 
Of course the night before, I woke up at 3 in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep for an hour, so when my alarm went off at 6, I was dragging more butt than a dog on a freshly washed carpet.
In my desire to reach the testing site on time, I forgot to bring “several #2 pencils, sharpened.” I wasn’t gravely concerned because I figured I could pick some up on the way.
I stopped at two places on the way in, neither of them had pencils.
I arrived at the testing site sans pencils, late, and sat down at a table with 5 other very tired people, all of whom had freshly sharpened pencils, industriously laid out, ready to be used.

Essentially what the table looked like.
Image source

I looked at the three young ladies on the opposite side of me and said, “Do any of you have a spare pencil I can buy?”

I crap you not, all three of them looked at me, pursed their lips, shook their heads primly and did their best Elaine Benes “I can’t spare a square” impersonations.
“I’m sorry, no.” “I just don’t have any extra.” “You really should have brought pencils.”

Excuse me?

The two gentlemen on my side of the table witnessed this transaction, laughed openly, and then one of them said, “Here you go man.” The other one said “And here’s an extra, just in case.”

When I reached for my wallet to pay the blessed men, they both politely refused.
Chivalry, it would seem, is not dead in the male species.
*side eye at the women*
Pencils in hand, I walked down the hall to the testing room. I realized I had been worried about something in the back of mind, almost unconsciously, all morning long.
When I walked in the room, I saw what it was.
The desks.

Never has such an innocent memory of childhood wrought such terror as in the heart of fat adult.

As a portly person, I live in constant fear of standardized desking. I walk into classrooms and immediately look for the “fat kid desk” or even a table and chair. When I have a new class at the beginning of the semester, I have to get there ten minutes early the first day, just so I can lay claim to the most comfortable seating arrangements, anyone else be danged.

Sure enough, the testing room I was in contained a desk.
A small desk.
My thought process went something like this.
“Dude. You can’t fit in there. No way.” “I totally can. I’ve been working out.” “For a month you fat sack of flan, no way you’re getting in it.” “Watch me.” “What?” “WATCH ME!”
I may have screamed that last part out loud, which got me a few strange looks, but I got to the desk. What happened next can only be described with a gif.

This is actually scary accurate, including the sort of bracing hand grab and wedge technique.
Image source

It was rough, and it even hurt a little bit, but I made it. I felt like a beach ball being squeezed between two pieces of flat wood, but I was in there.

There was but one tiny problem.
I couldn’t breathe.
Well, not normally.
I was taking these sort of breaths that were causing other people to look at me with various stages of concern, all of them I’m sure convinced I was having an infarction.
So when the teacher came around and asked for my driver’s license, the following conversation took place.
Teacher: “Sir, I need to see your license.” Me: “The other lady already looked at it.” Teacher: “Well, you have to keep it on the desk, in case you go to the bathroom and try to come back as someone else.” Me: “Oh, you mean someone who can fit in desks better?” Teacher: “Oh! Are you uncomfortable?” Me: “Yes, ma’am. I am very uncomfortable.” Teacher: “Would you like alt…”Me: “YES I WOULD LIKE ALTERNATE SEATING ARRANGEMENTS.”
So the teacher yelled into the hallway.
For the love of God. She was going to say fat. I know she was going to say fat, and she was about three letters away from giving me an automatic passing grade on the OGET, because I can promise you this, if you call Travis Sloat fat at a party we’ll laugh, but if you do it when I’ve been woken up at 6 a.m. on the weekend to take a test that measures nothing but my common sense, well then sister, you’re sued.
So Mr. Guy went traipsing through the school, looking for seating arrangements large enough to accommodate my industrious bulk.
He brought back a desk that looked as it belonged in a kindergarten classroom or under a meal in Japan. It sat about 3 1/4 inches off the floor. With it, he brought a full size chair.
I spent the entire test bent over, finishing in just under two hours, and leaving looking alarmingly like this:

That’s the face I make when I get up at 6 a.m. on the weekend.

I’m still waiting on the scores. If I don’t pass, do you reckon I have a legitimate case for a redo? Maybe next time they’ll let me bring in my own seating arrangements, an easy chair and one of those hospital desk things they put people’s food on. I think that’s the ticket.

In the meantime, I’ve designed a new logo for OGET.

Accurate and efficient.

Hi there. My name is Travis, and I run this blog. We’ve probably met before, you know, at that convention that one time in Querqe.

You get it?

I’ve been gone a while, so I’m making jokes.

Please don’t leave yet, I swear I have a legit blog going on here. But real quick, let me get you up to speed. We’ve had the kids about 2 months now, and things are going great. We love them, they’ve adjusted rather quickly, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I figure you guys are going to want a picture, so here you go:

This isn’t them, obvs. You have to wait 4 more months for that. However, they are every bit as cute as this.

At this point I probably have one or two people still actually reading this. Lauren and Mandy, thanks, and keep going.

Today at work I helped my department head move from an office in one town to one a couple of towns over. She had accumulated quite a bit of stuff in her office, and we loaded a some of it into a couple of trucks and headed out. When we got to our destination, I started unloading the trucks. There were quite a few heavy items, and I’m notorious for being a “fewer trips is better” guy, so I tend to overexert myself on lifting, carrying, pulling, etc.

I love to watch people. Before you get that crawling feeling at the base of your spine, know that I prefer to watch them fully clothed. I think people are, among many other things, fascinating, and I love observing their individual behaviors. I discovered Chat Roulette a few weeks ago, and I honestly had a blast observing the 3 people on there who didn’t have their penises out. Fortunately, this morning provided me with an opportunity to observe some people who were fully clothed and all too helpful.

When I walked up to the entrance the first time with a heavy load in my arms, I was trying to figure out how to open the door, and a gentleman of about 45 walked up and opened it for me. I told him thank you, and continued on. A few minutes later, I walked to the door with another heavy load, and a pregnant woman jumped out of her seat and ran to open up the door. Smiling, I thanked her, and continued on my way.

I had one major load left, and as I was carrying it to the door I realized that I was going to be able to open the door on my own this time. However, just through the door, I spotted something that absolutely thrilled my heart. A handicapped African American lady of about 60 struggled to her feet, grabbed her cane, and walked over to the door to open it for me. We kind of opened it together, and I walked through, thanking her politely.

Three trips to the door, three people being kind. The office I was at is an Unemployment Office. It is the place people go when they’ve lost their job, they are looking for a job, or are just generally down on their luck. People usually aren’t in good moods at the Unemployment Office. They aren’t kind, they aren’t thinking of anything but their situation, and they are usually stressed out and dealing with wounded pride. I’ve been in the office, I know how it feels, and I can’t say I blame anyone for feeling like that.

However, three people – two of them in “conditions” – went out of their way today to commit a simple act of kindness that reminded me of why I love the human race. The fact that people are basically good. We may not all believe in the same God, we may not all be having a great day, but deep down there is a good person in all of us. A person who loves their fellow man, who wants to help out when they can, and who knows what the right thing is and tries to do it most times. I’m not saying we’re all perfect, and I’m not saying even the kindest person is going to grab every opportunity that comes their way. As much as I say I hate people, I still believe in the basic good.

To the three people that helped me today: You inspire me, and you give me hope for us humans. May we all learn to be so considerate.

Thank you.



Here’s the thing. It’s really not all about the money. But…

I’ve been doing this whole “blogging for free” thing for about 2 years now. And I got to thinking about it, and I thought, “You know, I could totally use a MacBook Air.” So I created a little online savings account thing through Smarty Pig. Then I thought about it a little more, and I thought, “You know, some of these followers of mine might want to donate some money for all the laughs and stuff I’ve provided for them over the years.”

I immediately answered myself with, “No, don’t do that. You hate people who do that.”

Then I realized that if even one of you donates even just a dollar, I’m that much closer to my MacBook Air. If all 300 of you donate a dollar, well then, I’ll come to your homes and hug you. That’s real talk.*

Anyway, you have my word that this money will go towards a MacBook Air. I need it so I can be cooler than you. Also it will help me…do…more stuff? I don’t know. I just want one. If I have to save the money on my own, it’ll take years, y’all. Do you really want me to wait that long? Do you?

I even did most of you a favor. I turned OFF Facebook commenting. See? I care about you. I want your comments…and your cash.

Anyway, just go over to that pig there on the right and click “Feed Me.” Then donate the appropriate amount, which I think currently is around 32 cents per laugh you’ve had here, American.

Also, this month, if you go over to Facebook and “like” my blog’s page, I’m giving away a $25 gift card of your choice. If I make 100 likes, I’m giving away a $50 card. Again, your choice. You can use this link to get there.

Next week we’re going to have a guest poster, it’ll be Rita from Fighting off Frumpy

You guys have a great weekend, and thanks in advance for all the money!

As long as you live within 5 miles of my house. Also as long as you aren’t naked. Wait. Unless you’re an attractive female. THEN you can be naked. Some restrictions may apply.

Edit: If you donate anything at all, and you let me know you did, and I see that you did, I will blog about you. I will make up a story that will make you seem like a hero. Something you can show your kids. Something you can show your GRANDKIDS. That’s right, I will make an epic poem about you. Homer style.