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The Fisher of Stories


For those of you wondering, I have not died.

For those of you wondering if, I am not dead, I have continued my weight loss journey, the answer is yes.

I’ve lost 25 pounds or so over the last 4 months. It has not been easy, and I’ve stalled out around the 330 mark for right now, but a recent diet challenge presented by a friend will either push me past that or kill me slowly, either way.

In the course of my “trying to look less than that guy on the turtle” journey, I have spent a lot of time at the gym.

Go on. Stare. Get you an eyeful. There’s plenty to go around, ladies.

A lot of what I do at the gym now consists of me getting on an elliptical trainer and trying not to die for an hour. Since it is a big gym, some days people don’t work out next to me, and some days people do.

I’ve found out that I much prefer it when people do, as it leads to finally getting me to post a blog again.
About a week ago I was giving an elliptical the business, and had my fat head buried up in a Mark Twain novel while I was gettin’ my sexy on.
A woman then proceeded to jump onto the treadmill immediately to my right. She was a very attractive woman, clad in the traditional yoga pants and skin tight tank that you see so often these days…out in public.
Can I just pause, just for a second, and let you ladies know that these yoga pants and leggings are NOT pants? In all seriousness, put on some pants.
No, no. Shut up, and put on pants in public. I’m trying to raise a daughter modestly, and I can’t have her thinking it’s okay to show off her fanny in a pair of yoga pants or leggings. Guys, I know you’re probably upset at me for this, but it changes when you have a daughter, trust me.
Back to my workout.
This woman gets on the treadmill and starts going at a pretty good clip. I’m reading, minding my own business, and all of the sudden I hear a noise.
Y’all know the one. A soft little moan. Just a little “uhhhh.”
Being practically deaf, I decided I was hearing things, and went on to my reading. Then…
The lady next to me is making the sweet, sweet jogging love to that treadmill. She had her headphones in, so I guess she could have been listening to some Al Green or some Barry White, but whatever it was, she was enjoying it.
I had my hands on the heart rate monitor at the time, and I’m pretty sure I broke it.

My heart rate slightly increased.

Now look. I understand we all make noises and funny faces when we work out, and some of them might even be our “O” faces. Heck, for example, I’ll cite myself.

My “workout” face. Also probably my “O” face.  This is how I landed The Missus.
My “unloading the dishwasher/pooping” face.
My “surfing the Internet and blogging/looks like I’m doing something terrible to Sub-Zero” face.

You see? I have my faces. I make my funny noises. But what I don’t need is to be sexually frustrated while I’m trying to exercise, you know? We need to tone it down with the passionate jogging and maybe sit the next couple of plays out.
I sent The Missus a text about it and got the following:
“Ha, well they did just release 50 Shades of Grey on audiobook.”
Isn’t she helpful?
And I thought this post would end right here, but since it’s me, of course it didn’t.
About two days ago I was hitting the weights pretty hard, and I put a lot of strain into a particular set on the bench press. Then it happened.
I farted. Not just a little squeak either, I’m talking people looked at me like they thought I’d ripped the vinyl smooth off the bench. I didn’t have the chance to hear it because I had my headphones on, but I sure as sugar got to smell it, and I got to watch everyone in the gym look at me awkwardly for the rest of the day.
Just desserts?
I’ll never know, but I know I dang sure wouldn’t break gym equipment if I heard the chick next to me fart instead of daydream about a BDSM relationship with a fictional character.
And at least my Facebook friends were supportive.

Life changes people. Life changes.

When I was growing up, Highway 51 was this little two lane road that ran from Wagoner to Coweta that took me to my grandmother’s house on Sunday’s.

I hated that road sometimes, because you’d get stuck behind a slow driver, sometimes for miles, and you couldn’t pass, and my grandma had good food cooking, and I was hungry, and I wanted good food, and these slow drivers wouldn’t let me get good food.
It was pretty lame.
Then they four laned it. Champagne fell from the heavens, the Lord stepped out of Heaven and proclaimed it good, the speed limit was changed to 65, and the drive to grandma’s house got a lot cooler.
It wasn’t until a couple of months ago I discovered the other side of Highway 51. The side that runs from Wagoner to Tahlequah, which is where I work now. The side that is ugly. The side that makes you cuss at people in the morning. The side that you want to throw whale semen and Crystal Pepsi on and deem unfit to drive on so they build a better road.
I’ve got a picture.
Seriously. You’ll never find Lost City. They have a monastery there. They have the whole town covered in some sort of monastic force field cloak type thing. Monks have mad cloaking skills, yo.
So you see Highway 51 there in all of its shittiness. Now I’d like to give you some things that you’ll run into on the drive.
I’ve got another picture that depicts 6 different things that are usually problems for me on my drive.
1. This bridge is seriously 500 years old. I am almost entirely sure that this bridge was first erected (heh) in the year 1510 to help with the Battle of Marv. It has more patches than the new iPhone 4 OS. It is one vehicle holding a fat guy away from falling into the water, and it is one of the true sources of motivation for my weight loss. It is also about 3 feet wide. I would have trouble WALKING across it and not getting stuck.
2. This is the Tri-B Nursery, employer of the most illegal immigrants in the state of Oklahoma. It’s an accomplishment, y’all. Here we usually have a person of the Latino race with a vague concept of what the words on road signs mean drive out into the middle of the highway on some sort of farm implement with a top speed of 2 MPH, taking me from 70 to 2 in a gut wrenching 3.2 seconds. And I wonder why I’m always out of brake fluid. And the greatest part? They go about 10 feet in said farm implement, stop completely, make the slowest right turn in the history of right turns, and leave the highway. I’m going to stop busting their balls though, because I seriously love Mexican food. Stay up, hombres.
3. Clear Creek Road. If you live on Clear Creek Road, you are a FUCKING RETARD. I know that the grass is so tall you can’t really see that you are pulling out into the middle of oncoming traffic, and I know that you assume we’re all still going 2 MPH following a Mexican on a tractor, but the fact of the matter is, we’ve gotten a good pace going again, and you’ve just gone and fucked it up. Also, brake checking me while going 35 is not a wise idea, because I’m looking to get a new truck anyway, and I’m pretty sure that I will fuck your Prius up. Die in a fire, Clear Creek Road.
4. The town of Hulbert. It’s a speed trap. The speed limit through this town drops down to 30 MPH. If you are going 30 and 1/2 MPH, you will get pulled over. If you are going 29.99 MPH, you will be pulled over. I have had to seriously calibrate my cruise control to get through this town unscathed. Stay classy, Hulbert cops.
5. Usually there is a dead animal of some kind laying in the road at this point. The animals I’ve seen have ranged from cow to turkey to deer to wild hogs to bald eagles to elephants to zebras and to cats and dogs. I am starting to think there is a zoo nearby, or someone is killing endangered species and planting them on the road to make it look like an accident, or a circus truck is traveling a hell of a lot lighter right now and wondering why they are getting better gas mileage. I’m open to suggestions.
6. This is the last stretch of “No Passing” zone until you get into Tahlequah. This is where you will undoubtedly have a vehicle with more than 13 axles or be longer than 10837 feet pull out onto the highway and do a steady 45 MPH on into town. This morning it was a school bus. IT IS FUCKING SUMMER. SCHOOL BUSES ARE NOT RECREATIONAL VEHICLES. To make matters worse, I think there was one kid on that bus, and I’m pretty sure they were in the backseat crying and holding a sign that said ‘HELP ME!’ Those crazy kids.
So that is the story of my drive to work daily. You might think you have it bad in rush hour, but I encourage you to come out for a ride on Highway 51. You’ll fall in love with rush hour all over again.
And you may get to see kids being abducted in school buses.

P.S. If you’ve made it this far, you are probably a fan, and that means you’ll be excited to learn that I’m going to do a Memoir Monday on Monday morning. So if you’ve been waiting to hop on that train, here is your chance.