A mate told me he didn’t love my last blog, because the punch-line wasn’t very funny.
Punch-line?? I explained that I’m not Rodney Dangerfield telling a “did somebody step on a duck” gag. My blog is my musings on things that strike me, as I drag myself through life as a Hornswood dad.
Case in point.
My wife and I were in San Francisco a few years ago, at a carnival, when I spied an “I’ll Guess Your Weight” stand (very American).
Now I am, fairly… broad. Broad in the shoulders, broad in the legs and broad in the gut. The thing with broadness, is that people ALWAYS severely underestimate my weight. They say “you carry it well,” which of course means “you’re fat, you carry it well.”
I look about 12kg (26lbs) less than I really am. I know this because whenever the subject of weight comes up and I tell people I’m 112kg, they inevitably say, “wow, you don’t look any more than a 100“.
Anyway, I’m thinking, a guess your weight competition is tailor-made for me. My KFC Retention Problem, is finally going to do some good.
So you pay $5 and if they guess within 3lbs, they win. If they are wrong, but are within 6lbs, you get to pick a prize from the first two (dodgy) shelves. However, if they are outside 6lbs, you get to pick from the entire stand! It was a big stand.
It was my turn. They handed me a microphone. There were about fifty people standing around watching the entertainment and the carnie had picked the last eleven players correctly, so the crowd was right into it.
I knew he wasn’t going to get within 20lbs of mine and I’ve always had a chronic, un-abating distrust of carnies, so I was playing it up a little.
Cigar-smoking carnie – “I’m Calvin. Where you hail from son?“
Me – “I’m from SYDNEY, CALVIN. AND YOU AREN’T GUESSING ANYWHERE NEAR MY WEIGHT MATE.”
The crowd cheered loudly. I got the sense they were keen to see somebody knock Calvin off his high-horse. I was just the man to do it. Calvin chewed on his stogie.
Carnie Calvin – “We take a disliking to loud Aussies here son.“
Me – “That’s all right Calvin. I’VE ALWAYS HAD A CHRONIC, UN-ABATING DISTRUST OF CARNIES.” The crowd cheered again.
Calvin was getting angry. He’d lost the crowd, despite having won the last eleven weighs. He walked around me three times, mentally calculating my height, my clothing and (I assumed mis-calculating) my broadness.
I tried to put him off a bit. It was a battle of wits, for the ultimate prize – a five-foot tall, foam-filled, Spongebob Squarepants.
Me – “Calvin… that’s a funny name for a carnie. Just so you know mate, I’ll be taking that big Spongebob.“
The crowd oooh’d. They all admired the massive Spongebob sitting pride of place, atop the stand.
Me – “Hey Calvin, maybe you’re just not used to guessing Aussie weights. Maybe there’s just more to us than meets the eye Calvin. If you know what I mean.” The crowd laughed at Calvin. He was fuming.
Me – “Factor in Aussie girth Calvin.” A bit rude, but I was on a roll!
My wife – “JASE.” She was not enjoying my battle with Calvin.
Me – “Shoulder girth I meant, darling.“
Calvin was ready to guess.
Me – “Do you want a hand getting Spongebob down Calvin?” Everybody laughed, I was loving having a microphone.
Carnie Calvin – “YOU’RE TWO HUNDERED AND TWENTY THREE POUNDS SON, OR ONE HUNDRED AND ONE KILOGRAMS.” He smiled a wily old smile at me. He was confident.
I threw my arms into the air in a victory salute as I stepped onto the scales. 246 LBS, 112 KG!! I HAD WON! YES!!
The crowd roared. I pointed at Calvin and his face reddened. His run had been put to an end by the loud Aussie. I had secured a hard-fought win.
My wife walked off when I started “AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE.”
A few hours later when we were leaving, a Japanese tourist was trying to console his youngster who’d just dropped his fairy floss onto the ground only to have it rolled over by guy moving a keg of beer.
Because we were stepping on to a plane that night, I gave the kid Calvin’s massive Spongebob. The father was very grateful and became excited when he recognised me from my earlier triumph.
Japanese dad (in a thick accent) – “Hoh, you Australee fat man!“
I had no way of informing him that I had in fact won the competition for being deceptively fat, not just for being fat.
My wife just shook her head.
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