1st Person

Pastries and Punishment

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

I exercised! I exercised!

In related news, the skies above South Carolina are dark with flocks of winged bovines, and ice skating lessons are currently being offered on the River Styx.

Why did I exercise? (Thanks for asking.) I am doing penance. For Lo’ I Have Eaten My Beloved Irish Kay’s Birthday Cake. Not the whole cake, just two slices.

And. Um. Maybe I ate two slices of the cake my stepmother baked for her, also.

Four slices of delicious, delicious, cake (chocolate pound cake up front, pistachio yellow on the flip side). And maybe slice isn’t exactly the word I’m looking for. Maybe wedge is a more accurate descriptor.

So this was an indictment for cake thievery. If found guilty by the judge of the house, the sentence would be 4 hours hard labor. In the yard.

Good Lord, do I despise our yard. It’s like a supernaturally healthy green amoeba determined to swallow the house, our cars, the mailbox, and maybe stray cats. I just don’t trust it.

“Your honor,” I pleaded to my wife, “I’m a victim of the system!”

“What system would that be?” Irish Kay was admittedly snippy. She loves her birthday treats.

I mounted my soapbox. “The system that puts delicious cake in this house, when, in a just world, our pantry would be stocked only with fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-glycemic complex carbohydrates. I’m not out of order, you’re out of order! This whole kitchen is out of order! How can I be expected to resist pistachio yellow cake when this court knows the crust was crispy and baked with chopped nuts and chocolate chips?”

“Are you going to mow the lawn?”

“You’re asking why I went off my diet? You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

“The truth is you ate things you know you aren’t supposed to have, which is bad for your condition. You have plenty of healthy choices here, but you chose to eat things that could make your fat self end up back in the hospital. Now. Get. Out. There. And. Mow. Our. Lawn.”

My soapbox was feeling pretty shaky at that point. As I stood there, steaming, she added, “And you know you’re going to put on a few pounds during the holidays, so go ahead and trim the hedges while you’re out there.”


Sadly, there was no avenue for appeal to a higher court in this case. If there were, I bet I could have gotten a few sympathetic Supreme Court justices to side with me.

Instead I went out and worked in the yard. I exercised.

I exercised. The Eagles reunited. And the Doppler radar reports bacon on the wing.



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

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