There comes a time in every man’s life (maybe) when your doctor tells you you have to eat less and move more, otherwise, you’re gonna’ die. The doctor, well-intentioned and passionate, sends you home with some test results and a bag of medications, telling you with a point of his finger there’s no secret to weight loss except fewer calories in and getting your engine running faster more often.
Sitting there during this conversation, all I wanted was a hot dog.
Not just any hot dog, but a Detroit-style Coney dog, nestled into a soft steamed bun and slathered with chili sauce. (That’s what it’s called. I don’t want to get into the argument about what is and what isn’t chili.) I like mine with onions, though I shun mustard. I do enjoy the ketchup, probably because ketchup is a sugar cube stuffed into a smashed tomato.
As we chatted about exercise, even exercising in the cold, I imagined how satisfying the warm bun and kettle-hot chili would feel in my hand. The pungent smell of the onions. The dashing wave in the line of ketchup.
The doctor’s right, of course: I am too heavy. I’ve never thought of myself as “fat,” though I probably am, and I certainly was. I am a solid thirty pounds lighter than I was at my heaviest. Losing weight will help me live healthier longer, but I’ve always had a more lofty goal when it comes to weight loss:
I want to be able to buy and wear concert t-shirts.
Concert t-shirts always run small, and the biggest sizes sell-out fastest, and that’s assuming the biggest size would have fit me, anyway, which very often it wouldn’t. I got a generous Toad the Wet Sprocket t-shirt once. I bet it doesn’t fit now.
So that’s the goal: eat less (and better), and move more, so I can look good when those 90s alt-pop-rock revival concerts start-up again.
Imagine how good I’ll look proclaiming my love of Matchbox Twenty, Soul Asylum, Goo Goo Dolls, and The Verve Pipe.
Or picture me dashing by in the latest merch from Guster, Barenaked Ladies, or Spin Doctors.
So long as the shirts aren’t white.
I don’t want to ruin any with ketchup stains.