Sunday, March 21, 2010

Skinny Guy

I can see, by gazing at the time in the lower right corner of my computer screen, that it's time once again for one of my scribblings. And whoever in the back just blew that raspberry, please go to . . . somewhere else.

* * * * *

I’ve always been a skinny guy. L-o-n-g and skinny. Bill the dentist used to marvel at how long my teeth were, back in the days when I had ’em. X-ray technicians marvel at my long lungs, barbers at my long ear hair, and my dragon-breathed piano teacher at my long fingers.

But being the male equivalent of an anorexic runway model hasn’t always been so marvelous. Especially during kidhood. I was an easy target for bullies, so I had to outsmart them—not too tough (excluding the fear factor) when you consider the average I.Q. of a bully is twenty-seven. I knew all the street corners where they skulked, squatted, and scratched, so I mapped out an intricate route from school to home that eliminated corners altogether.

I took right turns, left turns, about-face turns, turn-about turns, roundabouts, circles, crop circles, S-curves, switchbacks, diamondbacks, up one side of the street and down the other, dirt paths, paths of least resistance, diagonals, Diagon Alley, blind alleys, bowling alleys, Kirstie Alley, railroad crossings, crisscrosses, double-crosses, cross dressers, crosswords, crosswalks, sidewalks, jaywalks, and the road less travelled.

I always arrived home safely but I was dizzy and seasick, an hour or two late for supper, and had smoke coming out of my socks.

High school was better because the bullies were too busy sneaking smokes and copping feels to bother with me. And the girls—well, they were a lot less male-skinny-conscious. I mean some of the girls actually liked me for me. Not the cheerleader-Britney Spears-type of course, but even in my hormonal teens I preferred a girl who had a brain and used it for something other than holding up her teased hair.

The main thing about being skinny is that people feel a compulsion to point it out to me, as if I’m totally unaware that I’m thin. “GEE-SUS CHRIST YOU’RE SKINNY!” they bellow, looking at me as if I escaped from a circus sideshow. “Don’t you ever EAT?” they ask. Of course I eat, but with some qualifications: I do not stuff my big mouth at the almighty troughs of McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, and Coca-Cola.

That is something I have never understood. It seems perfectly okay to tell a skinny guy that he is skinny, but how often does someone walk up to a fat guy and bellow in his face, “GEE-SUS CHRIST YOU’RE FAT!” Or ask him, “Don’t you ever STOP eating?” I guess if you’re a fat guy it’s always a “gland” problem—a physical malfunction of some sort—regardless of a fat belly caused by beer, a fat ass caused by sitting on it, or a fat head caused by sitting on it.

Well, to all of the truly fat guys out there, there are a ton of advantages to being skinny:

•I can crawl through the dog door whenever I forget my keys.

•I have absolutely no use for miracle diets or Dr. Phil.

•Martha likes it because she gets eight-tenths of the bed.

•I use less soap and water when I shower, which makes me environmentally friendly.

•I can buy off-the-rack in clothing instead of off-the-tent in sporting goods.

•I don’t need four gallons of Gatorade to get me to and from the mailbox.

•I can see my pecker any time I need it for something.

It used to hurt when people derisively called me skinny. It hurt a lot. I likened it to weakness as a male and I felt ashamed of myself.

I hurt no more, though, about people with thin minds. I realized a long time ago that if people don’t like me solely because of my physical appearance, then I cordially invite them to fook themselves. Like the bullies they were as kids, they are missing out on knowing a decent human being beneath these bones. Let their shallowness and their judgmentalism be their problem because

I like me just fine.


savannah said...

i like y'all, too, sugar! ;~D xoxoxoxoxo

Charlie said...

How do you pick up on these posts so fast, oh Wonder Woman?

EmcogNEATO! said...

Bravo! Can you guess my favorite line? Yup, it's "I can see my pecker any time I need it for something."

Well written!

Ponita in Real Life said...

Excellent post, Charlie!! I was skinny as a kid, but then the hormones hit and things grew and now the hormones are kicking in again (many years later) and things are growing that I don't want to grow, so it's a never ending battle.

But at least I can always see my boobs, no matter what my size! Like EmcogNEATO!, I loved the "I can see my pecker anytime" line! I laughed out loud when I read that one!!!

I like you just the way you are, Charlie... you have a very full-bodied mind... and that is all that counts. xoxo

Diane said...

LOL you really know how to make a smile Charlie. Damn those bullies, someone should create an 'electric shock device which deploys when a bully gets going....skinny, fat, it's what's inside that matters.

have a great week

Robert the Skeptic said...

I had the opposite problem, I was always (and still am) short. When the bullies couldn't find you they looked for me.

In Jr. High I avoided the bullied by walking home instead of taking the bus... a 3-mile walk. By the time I got to high school I was in good enough shape to go out for cross-country and run the 2-mile in track.

Never met a bully who could run as fast as I could.

Wandering Coyote said...

Great post, as usual. I have always been a bigger girl and was bullied because of that, but I have come to the same conclusion you have: if you can like me for me, you can fook yourself. :D

Murr Brewster said...

Of course it's rude, but most people are too fat to imagine that a skinny person wouldn't take it as a compliment. It's just jealousy.

I'm built like a stone-age goddess fetish and I hadn't seen my feet since puberty. Lately they're starting to show up again. I had a sighting just last week. This is not good.

I sure enjoy your site; I think I'll trundle over to mine and hook you onto my tiny blogroll.

The Child said...

I'm laughing at the thought of someone walking up to a fat guy and pointing out their fatness. All skinny-haters should read this.

TechnoBabe said...

This is so so so good. You throw the humor around and it is a good mix with the pain. Why are some people obsessed with appearances? I so like it that you say even in high school you were interested in meeting girls with brains. Good for you. I like your list of advantages too!

laytonwoman3rd said...

Where were you when I was in high school, Chuck? I was short, and I attracted what my dad referred to as the Big Ox kind of guy who thought it was funny to rest his elbow on the top of my head to "keep the brains under control." Thank goodness my parents were way ahead of their time, and they encouraged me not to squelch my thought processes (although they did mention once or twice that my MOUTH might need a few controls placed on it. 'Fraid I still haven't mastered that one.)

Kim said...

love you just the way you are xoxox

Tiffin said...

And then there's the emotional bully, a "she" in my case, who made my life living hell for three years of grade school. You don't know when you are a skinny/fat/short/geeky/shy/tall/nerdy kid that they're doing it because they are deeply insecure people themselves. You only know that it is one of the most hateful things to experience. Oh yeah, Charlie, you'll be striking chords here.

Charlie said...

NEATO: You speak! I believe a pecker is an important tool: I cannot do a proper job if I can neither see it nor find it.

PON: Ah yes, the dreaded female hormones thing. It's nice to know, though, that you filled out after the first round of hormones--and that you're still, uh, filled.

DIANE THE LIBRARIAN: There are Tasers, but I don't think they sell them to little kids. A tranqilizer dart might work, though.

ROBERT: Yeah, the shorter guys put up with the same bullshit. The difference is you ran while I stealth-walked.

WC: Using a cooking analogy, it isn't the packaging that counts, but the contents.

Charlie said...

MURR: LOL at "I'm built like a stone-age goddess fetish." I don't see many of those around nowadays.

The next time you have a feet sighting, shoot 'em. That will get rid of the problem.

CHILD: Since you're just a kid, maybe you can get away with it. But that would be encouraging you to be a bully, wouldn't it.

BABE: In high school, I couldn't stand girls who were airheads or giggleheads. I was a bookish fellow, nerdish perhaps, and I preferred girls who could communicate rather than worry about their clothes and makeup.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's one of the things I love about this blog-life. It matters not a rat's ass what one looks like. Cleverness, humour and a good heart are our currency. And you've got loads of those, Charlie!

Stinkypaw said...

I think you're great just as you are... and thank God for glasses so you'll alwys be able to see your pecker! ;-)

Buzzard said...

Your comment, "The main thing about being skinny is that people feel a compulsion to point it out to me, as if I’m totally unaware that I’m thin.

I can't tell you how much that resonates in our home. I will just say that my wife has been ill for quite some time. The illness as left her weighing about 90lbs. I cannot count the times I have been with her or she has come home and someone has made a comment on how skinny she is and brought her to tears.

It does hurt, because she cannot do anything about it. She doesn't choose to be the size she is, but her medical condition has taken a terrible toll on her body.

As I said, your story resonates in our home.

Thanks for writing this.

papa t said...

aahhh once again you prove that Stan Laurel was just as funny as the big guy

Charlie said...

LINDA: How'd ya know they called me Chuck in school? You're one of those psychotics, aren't you.

The Big Ox kind. Is that the same as no-necks, the guys whose heads sit on their shoulders?

And please, don't master the mouth control thing. Laura won't have anyone to taunt.

KIM: It's GREAT to hear from you, and I love you just the way you are too. A big hug.

TUI: An emotional bully has to be worse than a physical one. Physical wounds, like a black eye, heal quickly; emotional wounds take much longer to heal and always leave scars.

Insecure or not, it is hateful.

Charlie said...

BARB: A great comment. I would add that the color of our skin and our nationality don't mean a rat's ass either—at least in our sphere of blogging.

So. Do you blog in your dainties?

STINKY: I don't need glasses to see it, Madame S. Remember how I wrote that I'm l-o-n-g and skinny?

BUZZARD: I am truly sorry to hear about your wife's illness. For some reason, fat-headed people seem to think that skinny or underweight is always a "choice". For many it's because of illness, just like it is for obesity.

PAPA: Actually, I think Laurel was funnier than Hardy, but in any event they are my favorite comedy duo of all time.

kara said...

have you ever had FRITO CHILI PIE? that'll fix ya.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm in my dainties right now, in fact.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I can still see my pecker, I just can't remember what plans I had for it.

Fay's Too said...

Hard to believe now, but I used to have the same beef with people commenting about how skinny I was. I remember who they are and I think I'll go sit on them now. That'll teach 'em!
To quote Billy Joel. . . I love you just the way you are!

Pat said...

I was skinny and small so my childhood was spent being pumped with cod liver oil and malt and longing for muscles.
I haven't been skinny since mid forties and look back on the thin days with nostalgia.

Attila The Mom said...

As well you should. I like you too. LOL

Lady_Amanda said...

This is a really good post. I can relate because up until I was ninteen years old, I was the skinny chick. I remember being in the seventh grade and some bully shouting in the hallway at school about how skinny I was. Then you know what happened? I got a mental illness and I would only respond to the meds that make you gain weight. True those first couple of years of being diagnosed, the highlight of my day was eating Whoppers at Burger King with Fr. Ernie (God rest his soul). But I gained a hundred and fifty pounds. That was TWICE my size. Now having the illness for over ten years, I am stable and they are trying a med. that doesn't cause weight gain, but weight loss. No I don't mean a diet pill. It an actual med. for schizo. that causes weight loss. I have already lost twenty pounds. I really do hope to not be that skinny chick again, though! Your right. No one yelled in any hallway about how fat I was!


Charlie said...

KARA: I'm sure that it would. But for what, I don't know.

BARB: I hope you're blogging from home, then, and not some Internet cafe.

KEVIN: I know the feeling, but I take mine along just in case. It's the same as an umbrella: you take one along just in case it rains.

FAY: Sitting on people is only allowed in professional wrestling--and you ain't nearly big enough for that!

PAT: Baloney. You're still petite and svelt--I see photos of you, you know.

Cod liver oil. Yech.

MOM: I like you too, only double.

LADY: I truly hope that new med keeps working for you. First you were skinny, then meds caused you to gain weight--perhaps this time you'll reach a happy medium.

Charlie said...

One gigantic thank you to every one of you for the nice things you said about me in your comments. [blush, blush, blush some more]

Kate said...

I like you fine the way you are too :-)

"when you consider the average I.Q. of a bully is twenty-seven."

I think you'll find that's the combined IQ of their whole gang ;-)

Charlie said...

KATE I like you fine the way you are too, too. Perhaps we should don our too-toos and perform Swan Puddle.

You are probably correct about the IQ thing--mine was just an unintelligent guess, and you're the researcher.

papa t said...

I think you have hit a subject that touches everyone; counted the number of comments, more> than most of posts, just thought I would weigh-in with an observation,

Charlie said...

PAPA: You're right: this post has the most comments in the history of this blog.

"Weigh-in with an observation"--that's a good one.

It's apparent that few of us have gone through life without bullies or idiot people who say hurtful things about our physical appearance.

At least you legally have needles and drills to exact revenge ...