How I earned my humiliation patch.

As part of my prerequisites for my bariatric surgery, I had to have a psychiatric evaluation. I must do this, along with six months of physician-directed diet and exercise. Six months. Jesus, what’s going to happen in six months? I’ve spent 25 years being the fattest person in the room. Trust me when I say that there is nothing a doctor knows about diet and exercise that I didn’t already know by age 8. I knew the fat grams in a Chips Ahoy cookie before I could tie my own shoes.

Talking to the psychiatrist, she asked me what my first fat memory was. I thought for a moment, and said “second grade.” It was in second grade that I joined the Brownies. I was so excited to go the meetings with my friends and do all the fun things that a group called the Brownies must surely do. Hey, maybe they sat around and ate, gasp, brownies all day. Now that’s an organization I could put my weight behind.

It was all good until it came time to order uniforms. I was only slightly overweight, but none of the uniforms came in my size. I was devastated. There were no husky sizes to be found. I mean, why be a Brownie if you couldn’t wear the brown jumper? untitledmother took matters into her own hands and sewed me a Brownie uniform out of thick brown corduroy. It was most obviously not standard issue. The only thing more embarassing than that brown abomination was when I split my pants in gym class while playing “Clean Up Your Own Backyard.”

Looking back on this scenario, it just pisses me off. How fucked up is it that an organization designed to boost the self-confidence of young girls was directly responsible for ruining mine? Thinking about this got me all worked up, so I went to www.girlscouts.org to check out their current offerings. Low and behold, they now carry plus sizes for the kids and adults. God blessit. As untitledhusband so keenly noted, “it’s the least they can do, considering their organization freely peddles fat and calories door-to-door in every town in America.”

Two words: fucking awesome.

This here is why I do business with a car repair shop owned and operated by two Greek brothers (who look exactly alike, and are both named Nick. True story.).

Two Words: You Lose!

Take me to the creative team behind this masterworks, which is posted in the brothers’ waiting area. Share with me the vision. Are the flames emanating from a secret bunson burner somewhere — or did they spontaneously ignite after the oxygen came in contact with the awesomeness of the GTO? Did the car break the sound barrier upon takeoff, creating a sonic boom and a road of flames in its wake? I want to know.

There’s something about this piece that warms my cockles. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and I’d sneak into untitledbrother’s room while he was at football practice. I’d hopscotch around his Dungeons and Dragons game pieces, dirty tube socks and fossilized Totino’s Party Pizza remnants. A crusty bottle of Oxy would be tipped over on his desk, alongside a copy of “National Geographic,” opened to a photograph of an African woman with pointy boobies and neck rings. I’d walk past his album collection — which included John Lennon, Bob Seger, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Sometimes I’d listen to his records, making sure to steer clear of “The Wall” and “The White Album” (the artwork gave me nightmares, like any good rock album should).

On the paneled walls of his room were all these pictures of muscle cars — Chargers, Super Bees, Mustangs, Furys — all suspended with yellowing Scotch tape. The photos would be accompanied by headlines like “Out to Launch” and “Pony Up.” I can’t make this shit up, people.

It wasn’t long before he graduated from the pictures to having a motor hanging from the ceiling in our garage and a carburetor on his bedside table. I was careful to get the hell out before he returned, lest he pin me to the floor and fart on my head. My reconnaissance gave me a narrow glimpse into what was cool and important in this world, be it right, wrong or indifferent.

So when I see a poster like this at my mechanic’s, I can’t help but think that when I drop my keys off, he and his brother are scurrying to the back room to eat Doritos and glue together model hot rods until their mother says it’s time for dinner. Tell me — knowing this, how could I take my business anywhere else?