The Weight Loss Ransom Note

As John Owens learns, sometimes New Year’s encouragement to lose weight can be abrasively frank.



A House Divided

The true ongoing story of a man trying to beat Type 2 under difficult domestic circumstances.

There’s a tradition in our home that on every January 1st my wife and I each get to choose one New Year’s resolution for the other to follow. I don’t recommend this. After you learn your lesson the first time, you’ll end up suggesting things like “Try not to be so darned attractive,” and “Stop making everyone jealous with your natural charm and effervescent wit.” But tradition is tradition, so the practice remains in our household.

Irish Kay went on a real rant this year. First thing New Year’s morning, she had my resolution written in Sharpie on a pad on the refrigerator in an all-cap “WE-HAVE-YOUR-CHILD” sort of font. Because this is a family publication, I’ll have to substitute some of the language, but here it is in its entirety:

STOP EATING MY (Emphasis!) FOOD!
YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT (Material!)!
WHEN YOU GO BACK TO THE DOCTOR IN FEBRUARY, HE’S GOING TO KICK YOUR (Dump truck!)! AND WHEN YOU GET HOME, I’M GOING TO KICK YOUR (Dump truck!) TOO!

She loves me.

Let’s just say the holiday season was somewhat of a challenge, a challenge to which I rose to like Napoleon at Waterloo. What was I supposed to do? I was up against an army of deliciousness. Candied yams to the left of me, marinated beef tenderloin to the right of me, and giblet gravy in front of me ─ the Charge of the Rice Brigade!

I gained 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and January 1st. I lost 55 pounds for the year, but still. It could’ve been 60 or more, if I didn’t have the self-control of a kitten near catnip.

Speaking of, let’s review my own personal New Year’s resolutions from last year:

  1. Scoop Spike’s litter box every 3 days.
  2. Find an agent for my first novel
  3. Complete my second novel
  4. Lose 52 pounds

I actually succeeded in 2 of those. If you’re wondering which 2, let’s just say the cat’s been a lot happier lately. Here are my resolutions for 2014:

  1. Continue making the cat happy
  2. Lose another 52 pounds
  3. #2 and #3 from above
  4. Stop getting nasty-grams from my wife because someone around here has broken into her chips, cake, and whatever. I’ll have to find out who keeps doing that.

The only thing left now is for me to come up with a resolution for Irish Kay, something I have inexplicably put off until now. Since I know she’ll never want to try any of my low-glycemic index foods, and she’s fairly comfortable exercising by herself (thank god!), I think I might have to go with an old, reliable stand-by:

“Try not to be so darned attractive.”

As the months go on, I’ll try not to give her reason to kick me in my (Emphasis!) (Dump truck!).

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John Jasper Owens’ writing can be found in several anthologies available through Amazon.com, including Day Terrors and the Mystery Times 10. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction.