TUNA BREATH sample (Chapter 2)

Greetings friends!

Here is another TUNA BREATH sample–an excerpt of chapter 2: Don’t Be an Oxymoron. This chapter outlines how I got superfat as a kid and what it was like for me as an obese teenager. I really struggled with wanting to share this embarrassing side of myself when I first started writing. However, a good friend that helped me get my writing into gear back in 2010 encouraged me to tell this side of my story.  The intent is open to the reader so that they can connect with me emotionally.

I’m proud to say that I’m not timid about sharing this truth about my childhood anymore.  I wrote these original words more than two years ago and, although growing up as an obese child made me feel pitiful, dumb and “oxymoronic,” I am proud of where I come from.  More importantly, I hope that my truth helps other people “pull themselves up” in some way. Enjoy!

Many thanks,

Doug P.

Opening paragraphs to Chapter 2: Don’t Be an Oxymoron

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt that I was the smartest person in the room. Not that I’ve ever felt dumb; it’s just that since I was a kid in grammar school, no one’s ever accused me of being the brightest bulb on the tree, the sharpest knife in the drawer, or the one you want to copy off of in class—if you know what I mean. I suppose you could say that I was a bit of a slacker when it came to academics.

I was selective, I suppose, and only focused on things I felt interested in. Like picking a good restaurant or swinging at a good pitch. You don’t pick a place that serves nasty food, and you don’t swing your bat at a wild pitch. So why concentrate on things that you don’t like—like homework? That’s how my young brain worked in the 1980s and early ’90s.

Most of the time I thought sitting in a classroom was like watching a soap opera: nothing said was relevant to my life, and the conversations were as interesting as yarn. In any given class in any given grade, you could assume that I was daydreaming about anything but schoolwork, cracking jokes, talking in the back of the class, or ditching school altogether. While other kids recited their times tables, I often looked around the room and thought about which kid I was going to peg in dodgeball during recess. While teachers passed out assignments, I would often daydream about how cool it would be to go swimming at my friend’s house, especially if I could fly there on a magic carpet first. If I missed an assignment, no problem! I had no shame in asking a fellow kid for a hand up. “Hey, guy, you know what would be cool? If you let me copy your homework!”

By the time I was in high school, I learned how to forge absentee notes and get out of class without being a truant. I remember one time driving to school when I was sixteen years old. I had just gotten my license and was proud while rollin’ down the street in my ’72 Oldsmobile Cutlass. It was made of steel, and I felt it was a real chick magnet. Actually, it only attracted crumbs from the food I spilled in it, but it was mine, and it gave me freedom. The bench seat was especially nice because my luscious love handles and bodacious buttocks could spread comfortably across it. I also had installed six-by-nine-inch speakers that I could crank Guns N’ Roses tapes (yes, tapes—I had a tape case too) when not listening to morning radio on the way to school.

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