Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not So Private Thoughts

WARNING: The following is a piece I wrote a decade ago and recently re-discovered it. It is absolutely politically incorrect, but I laughed out loud upon re-reading it. Whether you choose to laugh with me or chastise me is entirely up to you.    -dlw

The number of ways a single notion can be interpreted is cause for my never-ending fascination with how the human mind latches on to a myth then repeats it ad nauseam until one day it becomes the truth. We say it aloud so often it eventually hardens into irrefutable fact.

No getting around it. We’re all guilty of it. Even if we just think it, same thing. Once given life, that cute little notion will grow into a strong, healthy truism.

You know what I mean, like standing before the mirror and staring until the reflection looks good. The longer I stare, the better I look. “Oh yeah. I’m the man!”

Sometimes it’s dangerous to think aloud. Even worse, to put those thoughts in print so it can’t be denied later. But, I’m going in head-first anyhow.

It bears mentioning that I’m semi-retired; meaning I can’t afford not to work after walking away from a 32-year career in television. To fill that financial void and get motivation to stay fit, I became a personal trainer at a local health club. So, my mind was in that particular channel one Friday evening, not so long ago.

The wife and I searched out the best restaurant deal and followed that with a walk through the mall, taking in a sale or two and, of course, some good old-fashioned people watching. The latter was more to my liking. The sales I left to her. Circling a rack of clothes like buzzards over road-kill wasn’t my style. The eye-popping iridescent “75% OFF” sign just wasn’t enough to hold my attention—never has and, likely, never will.

Hearing a nearby conversation, I was unable to resist eavesdropping, just to understand another’s point of view about the mall experience, mind you. With hands stuffed deep inside my pockets, I nonchalantly looked and found more interesting action than the melee-in-the-making at the sale rack.

Like the Kilroy figure, popular among World War II vets, I peered over a pile of sweaters. I saw an attractive woman, maybe a tiny bit overweight, talking to a clerk about a dress she held up. She fondled the fabric. I thought she did that in a strangely seductive way. But, that’s probably a whole other story.

“Do you think this dress will have a slimming effect on me?” she asked.

With the media covering obesity in America almost daily, I couldn’t help myself. My mind took that question and ran with it. In six months will she be back buying another garment? The question becoming, “Will this dress camouflage my widening hips?” Let’s round this timeframe out to a year. Will she then be asking, “Does this dress hang loose enough over my ballooning thighs and butt?”

I’m not saying we shouldn’t attempt to dress attractively, but people like that drop-dead gorgeous woman carrying a few extra pounds…with an obvious fabric fetish…consulted the wrong person. That clerk would have told her anything to ring up a sale, like sale prices are real discounts, for example, and, “Oh yes ma’am, that dress makes you look like a 98-pound super model.”

That’s the clerk’s job. No sale—no revenue, no revenue—no job. What would we expect a store clerk to say? “Oh, sweet heavenly Jesus! You look like a sausage in a microwave about to explode.”

I don’t think so.

She should be asking a personal fitness trainer at the local health club how to mold her body back into what she had obviously been a short time before. Listening to others opinions concerning appearance is a slippery slope. In fact, mothers aside, I can’t think of anyone capable of that level of honesty.

Listening to gushing store clerks will doom her. She will metamorphose into a jewelry laden, perfume reeking, makeup encrusted delusional woman waddling into an ice cream shop, clearly seeing something different in that mirror beyond the double fudge ripple barrel than the world sees.

What good are toe rings and ankle bracelets if she can’t look down and see them?

Of course, if I said anything remotely resembling this thought, I would have ended up with her handprint on the side of my face, not to mention my wife’s embarrassed and emphatic denial of knowing who I am—and, rightfully so.

Instead, I stood quietly and admired her physical attributes for the way she appeared at that moment. I feared she stood at a fork in the road (yes, I chose the word ‘fork’ purposely), taking baby steps down the wrong one. My over-active imagination created an image of her fifty or more pounds overweight, attempting the equivalent of putting racing stripes on a pig.

You may be thinking I’m crass and rude…that I’m the pig. Maybe I am. Don’t know. But, thoughts like this are common, I dare say.

As I turned away to, again, mind my own business, I conjured a happier twist and chose to believe she dropped by to check out the sale, but was actually on her way to pick up a diet book before going on to the gym.

I have the personal training thing down pretty well. At some point, though, I may need to address my people skills.

Nah. I’m good.

Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright
Author of
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007
"The Last Radiant Heart"/Virtual Tales/August 2010
"Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/ ebook available now 2010
“Trouble”, short story/CrossTIME Science Fiction Anthology, Vol. IX

“Defining Family”/Virtual Tales
“Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy/Virtual Tales