The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

February/March, 2003 Humor Writing Contest Winner
Best Very Short Humor!

Hitting Above the Belt


Rick Frizzell

I've been receiving some discomforting feedback lately. According to all my friends, family, and co–workers, I seem to be getting a beer belly. First, I am within striking distance of my vivid yellow years (pre–golden), so I can and will use this as an excuse. Second, I have better things to do than to worry about the physical, mental, physiological, or social aspects of the natural course in an abdomen's life.

I decided to conduct an experiment. I will go on a one–day fitness regiment, and if there are no visible results within that twenty–four hour time frame, I will continue my current lifestyle of a poor diet, lack of sleep, zero tolerance for exercise, and an occasional adult beverage. I had a friend take some pictures, so I could compare the before and after, and decided I have a cute rear end.

I began researching all available avenues for information relating to this painstaking endeavor and miraculously stumbled upon the perfect book. While waiting in line to check out at the supermarket, I glanced at the final resting place of the items you just cannot live without. In front of me was the largest selection of $1.89 books I had ever seen. Trying to decide which one was best for my physical journey, I rapidly skimmed the titles:  Naked Shoplifting (The Bare Essentials), Two Letter Crossword Puzzles for Beginners, Self Defense Techniques for Red Headed Stepchildren, Staying in the Closet (A Claustrophobic's Handbook), Lobster Recipes on a Two Dollar Budget, What Not to Name Your Baby While on Narcotics, How to Juggle Helium Balloons, Toilet Paper Origami, and there it was – How to Lose Your Beer Belly While in Striking Distance of Your Vivid Yellow Years in Twenty–Four Hours or Less.

I set the book, ice cream, and adult beverages on the checkout line. The cashier quickly remarked, "I'm sorry. You are in aisle two. This is for people buying one self–help book only. Aisle three is for people purchasing a self–help book to help with their current beer belly, while at the same time buying the staples that are contributing to their problem." I put all the items back except the book, returned to aisle two, and proceeded to check out.

I went home and decided there was no time like the present. I wrote down the exact time and knew in just a mere twenty–four hours, I would be slim and trim. Opening the four–page book, I read the table of contents. It contained three chapters:  Chapter 1 (Sit–ups, the first eight hours), Chapter 2 (Sit–ups, the second eight hours), and Chapter 3 (Sit–ups, the third eight hours). After locating my calculator, I would end up doing 621,986 sit–ups.

I set the book in the closet next to the unopened thousand–piece puzzle. I reached the conclusion that someday I would make another effort to attempt this project, but until that happens, I will continue to live with my cute rear end.

©2003, Rick Frizzell

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