TUNA BREATH sample (Chapter 4)

Greetings friends!

Here’s another TUNA BREATH sample–the updated opening to the book’s marquis chapter: Tuna Breath.  I originally didn’t reveal my obsession with, or the identity of, the weight scale until the end of the chapter.  But I re-wrote it with more transparency after a good friend pointed out how some future readers may misinterpret the message.  Apparently, you can be too clever! Anyway, here’s the excerpt. Enjoy!

Doug P.

Opening paragraphs to Chapter 4: Tuna Breath

Do you believe that pride is a deadly sin? I imagine that most people feel pride at one point in their lives and don’t take the “sin” part too seriously. I had a buddy who used to be so proud of every little thing he did that he couldn’t help but share it with everybody, like a peacock strutting his stuff all the time. On the other hand, I had a girlfriend who was just the opposite. She was quiet and humble, but at times her face beamed with joy while sharing facts about teeth. She was a dental student and proud to be able to pick out gingivitis and gumboils from color photos. Even my high school’s motto was “pride.” We were the Burbank Bulldogs, and pride was painted in large white letters all over the campus, on our school T-shirts, and in the middle of our football field.

Deadly sin or not, I couldn’t help but feel extremely proud after losing twenty-five fluke pounds in 1992—like the “proud parent of an honor roll student,” I imagine. I didn’t feel better than anyone else for doing this (not yet anyway), which is the type of pride I believe the “experts” classify as a deadly sin. I just felt good enough (proud enough) to finally take a chance at getting my childhood confidant to like me.

My childhood confidant was something I loved to hate: the weight scale that sat on my parents’ bathroom floor. For me, this confidant, this mentor, this evil weight loss tool, ruled over much of my obsessive behavior, especially in the early years. I first accepted the scale’s strong opinion on things in 1985, when I was eleven and just coming to grips with my super fatness. It assumed its power position the very same day I got all worked up over my hanging belly and plump man boobs. Instead of comforting me when I stood on it, the scale took on the personality of Hannibal Lecter (the mind-twisting psychiatrist) and communicated with me through the scale’s digital screen (like an electronic message sign you see in Times Square). These messages registered more than a weight total too. To me, they were raw bits of emotional truths that were packed with influence. The first thing it ever said to me was, “Hey, fat boy! Did you like E.T.? Of course … I can tell. You look like you ate the little booger!” What kid wouldn’t react to that?

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