Tom Martin: Mistletoe, holly and a visit from Aunt Rhoda
Just in time for the holidays, I have a weight loss plan that takes only about 24 to 38 hours, requires no initiative or discipline and REALLY works.
Forget the South Beach diet, the Atkins Diet and sensible eating and exercise. Those are for suckers. And no, you won’t have to look at Richard Simmons in those striped shorts.
This weight loss plan is so natural and simple I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. It’s not a pretty process, but I’m six pounds hotter, which still leaves me plenty cool. No kidding. I lost six pounds in about 38 hours.
What’s my secret?
Doctors call it gastroenteritis, laymen call it the stomach flu, but to me it will always be Aunt Rhoda (I’ll explain later).
Auntie paid me a visit Monday and by Wednesday, she’d worked her magic.
I tried to shrug her off Monday as the floor began moving like I was standing in a carnival funhouse. To be honest, it wasn’t all that much fun.
Finally, I christened her arrival by burying my head in a public toilet. Oh, did I mention this weight-loss program does exact a little dignity. OK, there will be a cavern where your dignity used to hang out.
But digestion, smigestion, six pounds is six pounds, right?
So now you’re sensing some downsides to this Aunt Rhoda plan. OK, I’ll come clean. It’s not for everybody.
You need a fairly quick 0 to 60 mph, so as not expel said contents on carpets, furniture or bedding. It also requires a day or two off work, since most jobs are hard to do from a crouching position. And you’ll want to restrict your diet somewhat, eliminating Campbell’s cream of broccoli cheese soup (trust me). Oh, and have a few breath mints on hand. Your cohabitants will thank you.
And speaking of cohabitants, the Aunt Rhoda diet can be done in groups. It’s real easy to get the whole family involved. In fact, it’s downright contagious.
Our 8-month-old son, Finn, was the first to cry Auntie, with me succumbing the following day. My wife, Sharon, buckled on day three, and Jay, nearly 3, rode the horse on days four and five. And what a wild ride it’s been.
For instance, at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, I awoke to hear Frank Sinatra singing “Oh, by gosh, by golly, It’s time for mistletoe and holly” blaring from Jay’s room. I found my toddler son standing in his jammies, facing his portable CD player and swaying left and right. I don’t know what was going on. He could have been hopped up on cold medicine -- he’s had a stuffy nose and cough since Christ was born, er, for a while anyway.
Jay’s always had a fondness for Dean Martin’s singing, and then my wife turned him on to the Rat Pack Christmas CD and he’s seldom let it out of the player. Naturally, that was his selection for the early morning serenade of the flu dance at our home. He was dancing, my wife had the chills, I was still achy, and a stupendous stench was coming from Finnie’s diaper. I felt like I was in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
And about that stench, well, that was good ol’ Aunt Rhoda. Others know her as rotavirus. My wife and I recognized the smell because Jay had been hospitalized with it as a baby. Rotavirus is like the heroin of the gastroenteritis world. It’s hardcore, hard to kick and does plenty of damage in the meantime (up to 20 diapers per day). It lasts up to eight days. The real kicker is that all surfaces must be disinfected regularly. All clothes, bedding, etc. washed in hot water.
Today is officially day seven. My family is pale, haggard and our stack of tainted laundry reached a pinnacle.
We’re about ready to pull down the police tape surrounding our home and show off our new Aunt Rhoda-reduced bodies, just in time for Christmas.
Tom Martin is editor of The Register-Mail. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 343-7181, Ext. 250.