So I’m playing cards with the guys. Normally I avoid that; inane activities drive me nuts. But in the spirit of fraternizing and to quell some boredom (can’t read all the time) I have learned the game of Euchre. Then, out of the blue, the guy who wants to own the Sports Bar says to me, “Hey, I watched that movie you gave me. Twice.” I said, “Wow, that good, huh?” The other guys asked him “what movie?” and he said, “That Joseph Smith one.”
You don’t say.
Well, these guys watch movies all the time, so they asked him what it was about. The would-be Sports Bar owner, Jason, tells them the Joseph Smith first vision story. To the “T.” I’m trying restrain my mirth by not laughing through the novelty of the moment. I am incredulous: One non-member telling the others the Joseph Smith story with earnestness and detail. The rest nodding their heads in understanding. “Guess it‘s not that hard” I mused. Then he turns and asks me, “Did I get it more or less right?” I told him he did and even I learned something-- common terminology to use next time I told it.
But that is not the funniest thing.
Unfathomable. Inexplicable. Miraculous. I thought the scales at the gym were a joke, off by over 10 pounds. Finally I brought the 90 pound weight and the 60 pound weight and stacked them on the scale. The scale read 150, almost to the pound accurate. This Twilight Zone feeling came over me, my palms felt sweaty and I scanned the gym nervously for possible aliens, or something. You know, from outer space kind-of-aliens.
I stepped back onto the scales, the accuracy of which I just verified. And there it was again, it showed over a 14 pound gain over my previous known weight when I got on. I am totally serious.
Having gotten on last week and seen the new number I told my buddies that the scale was way off. It wasn’t: I am. After a decade of being the EXACT, same weight, I have gained 14 pounds in Iraq. Fourteen pounds. It is a miracle. Or, lots of meat and the typical American diet that they feed me here, and not much exercise. But it is so surreal…
Kudos, Susan, by the way. You are the only one who asked if I had gained weight. I’m sorry that I chortled aloud when I read your email. My brother-in-law used to ask me every other week if I’ve lost weight, and he stopped asking; but then I’ve been out of the country so he gets no points (sorry Giovanni). But my dear Susan, you loved me enough to notice and say something. So I have this spare tire now--a child’s bicycle spare, but a spare tire nonetheless. I have no idea what to do with it. Obviously, this is new territory. Do I get a calorie counter?
And finally I wonder, do weird things come in threes? ‘Cuz the next one is going to blow my wig right off. What? I didn’t tell you about my wig? Just kidding. But who knows what may happen next…
A bigger, happier…Ernie
P.S. Since I wrote this, the third weird thing happened, but I’ll give more detail on that later…
Pic : A new straw hat for the Summer sun (Thanks, Maria!). Underneath it, my new, bigger self.