Monday, January 18, 2016

The Weight of the World

Fiorella took a look at the state of the world and decided it was time to rerun one of her short stories.

Once upon a time there was a fat woman with a big heart, a woman who carried the weight of the world upon her shoulders.  She went to a doctor for a minor health problem, and he sent her to a psychologist who specialized in eating disorders.
The psychologist was a young, slender woman who also had a big heart.  She worked with the fat woman for several months and finally realized that the fat woman considered herself responsible for the welfare of the whole world, which she maintained by eating and eating and eating. 
The psychologist gradually gained the confidence of the fat woman, then persuaded her to cut back on her food intake.  "Don't worry about anyone except yourself." she said with a smile.  "I will take over your responsibility for the welfare of the whole world." 
That month the fat woman lost ten pounds, and a terrible earthquake devastated Turkey--but earthquakes are always devastating Turkey.
          The fat woman was so proud of losing ten pounds in one month that she cut back even more and soon had lost another ten pounds.  An out-of-season monsoon swamped India and half a million people died, but half a million is hardly a drop in the bucket in India.
         The psychologist cheered the fat woman on as she lost twenty more pounds, then fifty.  The Arab nations wiped each other off the globe with nuclear weapons.
The fat woman was developing a figure now--a waist was almost visible.  The AIDS virus mutated into an airborne form, and people started wearing surgical masks outdoors.  Millions died.
Spurred on by her success, the fat woman dieted with a vengeance.  Mount St. Helen's erupted again and California split off from the mainland.  The New Madrid fault was reactivated.  Riots broke out simultaneously in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, and Los Angeles
            "I'm not sure it's a good idea for you to lose so much weight at once," the psychologist told her patient as she listened to a broadcaster on her short wave radio speculating as to the nature of the strange blip that was approaching Earth at such a fast rate of speed.
            The former fat woman tossed her head petulantly. "I want to lose weight.  I don't want to worry about anyone but myself.  You said you would be responsible from now on!"  She paid her bill, donned her party pink surgical mask, and almost skipped out of the office, the weight of the world lifted from her shoulders.
            The psychologist watched her patient leave, listened a while longer to the news broadcast, then looked around for something to eat and eat and eat.


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