MODINE: Oysters and Oreos, dieting is so complicated
My mother-in-law can’t fit in her shower no more, so she decides to go on a diet.
Now, I got to explain. It ain’t a normal shower she can’t fit in. It is a FEMA trailer shower, which is understandable. Half the people in Chalmette can’t fit into their FEMA showers. That’s why they got all them hoses rigged up on poles next to the trailers.
Because of modesty purposes, most people only shower at night. Which is why you should never drive around the Parish after 9 p.m. with night goggles on, unless you are a pervert.
But Miss Larda worries about this, so she asks if she can shower at my apartment, which is in back of my gentleman friend Lust’s Sloth Lounge in the Quarters. And while she is in there with her clothes off, she wants me to run down to the Quarter Launderette and run a couple loads of laundry for her, being as she don’t have a washer in her trailer.
When I get back, she is sitting on a barstool in the Lounge in her hot-pink terrycloth robe telling Lloyd the bartender about how her trailer is so small she can stir her beans while she is on the toilet. He feels sorry for her and treats her to a frozen Irish coffee, which is not on any diet.
Next thing, my sister-in-law Larva waltzes in. She got weight problems too, which she proceeds to tell us about over a cranberry-and-vodka. She says she had enough time to get pregnant and have a entire baby since Katrina, and she should have done it because she gained just as much weight, but she ain’t got no baby to show for it.
It ain’t just them. Before Katrina, I myself was never fat, but before Katrina I never sucked down a entire bag of Oreos during one episode of “American Idol.” Tight clothes are in style, but I am so stylish I can’t tie my shoes with my blue jeans on.
What is it about hurricanes that makes you hungry? Maybe this is God’s way – fatten us up, so if we get another flood we can float out of here without no life jackets.
But if there’s another flood, we ain’t hanging around, so we might as well get rid of this fat.
Miss Larda used to swear by Sugar Busters!, but her diet book washed away with her kitchen, which is the one good thing to come out of this, being as she used to carry slabs of bacon in her purse for snacks.
Larva says she would like to try Weight Watchers, but it costs good money, which we don’t have a lot of these days. Then I come up with one of my brilliant ideas. We will all chip in for her to join, and she can go to the meetings and then tell the rest of us what they said, so we can all follow the plan for the price of one.
She goes the very next day, and when she comes back, she tells us they don’t count calories and they don’t count carbs, they count points. You get a certain number of points a day to eat, depending on how fat you are to start with. I, for instance, can eat 20 points’ worth a day.
Every food is worth a different number of points. Broccoli and celery and stuff like that got no points, so you can eat as much as you want, not that you want much. But every Oreo cookie counts for one-and-a-third points. So if I eat a 16-cookie bag, and don’t eat nothing whatsoever else all day, I still have eaten more than my 20 points.
I hide my Oreos in the freezer for when I am skinny again, and for a entire week, I carry a calculator around trying to figure out what I can eat next.
Then Larva goes to her second meeting and comes over with big news. She has lost two pounds, and better yet, she has found out raw oysters got no points. They are as good as celery. But they got to be raw.
Now, I never thought I would be slurping down raw oysters in a month that don’t have a R in it, but that don’t matter now. My brothers-in-law Leech and Lurch got a friend who comes up with a couple sacks of them, and we all sit out in front of Miss Larda’s trailer and eat them as fast as we can shuck them.
That night when I am going to bed, I stop in front of the freezer. I realize that, thanks to them oysters, I haven’t used up hardly any of my points today. So, just to keep things even, I should eat a couple Oreos.
I eat the whole bag. Still frozen.
Well. I still don’t know if I got a bad oyster or you just shouldn’t wash down oysters with frozen Oreos. I do know I ain’t going to eat either of them ever again.
I spent the next 24 hours in my bathroom, and I ain’t going to say anything else about that because I don’t want to think about it.
But my clothes ain’t tight no more.
I call up Miss Larda to ask if she got sick, and she says she didn’t, and neither did Larva. But they have had a talk and decided God wants them to stop cheating Weight Watchers. So they will both find the money to pay and they will go to the meetings together, and they will stick with it until they are back at their pre-Katrina weight.
So if she soaps up real good, she should fit back into her shower any time now, she says.
Too bad for them perverts.