Friday, July 20, 2012

Fat chance

A few days ago, Saffy woke up and decided that she was fat.
            Some people wake up and decide that this is the day they’re going to change their lives or, at the very least, change their brand of moisturiser. Because sometimes, you just need to get out of your rut and make a change. Saffy wakes up and decides she’s fat. I’m not making a judgment here. I’m just saying.
            “I’m fat!” she announced as she sat down to breakfast with a slice of watermelon on her plate.
            Amanda dropped her head further behind her copy of Vanity Fair as she slurped up her chee cheong fun. I frowned as I scrolled through the emails that had come through overnight on my Blackberry.
            The silence settled down for an uncomfortable wait.
            Eventually, Saffy couldn’t stand it any more. “I said…Hey, where’s everyone going?”
            “I’m very…uhm…late,” I mumbled as I scooted off to my room.
            Still hidden behind Vanity Fair, Amanda hustled towards the front door, muttering, “Meeting. Meeting.”
            As Saffy later complained over a coffee and mee rebus supper with Sharyn and Barney Chen, “It’s a good thing I didn’t say I had cancer!”
            Sharyn coughed. “Choy! Why you always say such thing, one?”
            “It’s not a joking matter, Sharyn. I am fat! Here, feel this!” Saffy grabbed Sharyn’s hands and put it on her belly. “I could be four months pregnant! Pretty soon, people are going to be looking the other way on the MRT and ignoring me and refusing to give me a seat!”
            “Ay, please let go of my hand, can?” Sharyn begged.
            “Let me feel,” Barney growled, his huge hand reaching out to feel up my flatmate.
            Saffy glowed with all the attention. “It’s all this eating out with Bradley that’s no good. I’m not like you, Sharyn. You have those fabulous Chinese genes. You could eat a cow and still look like a malnourished Ethiopian. I need to start a new exercise regime!”
            Of course, Barney Chen was in seventh heaven.
            “Girrrrl,” he drawled. “This is going to be so much fun. We could be gym buddies. But without the fringe benefits!” he added in a hurry.
            Saffy looked doubtful. “I’m not sure I want to go to the gym with you. Don’t you spend like three hours in there?”
            Barney lifted an immaculate eyebrow. “Only four times a week! The other days, it’s just two hours!”
            Sharyn was astonished. “Wah liau! You spend 18 hours a week in the gym?”
            Saffy’s eyes were saucer-wide. “You just did that maths in your head?”
            Sharyn puffed up her flat chest with pride. “I’m my company’s senior accountant, ok?”
            “No, listen, Barney, Sharyn is right. I can’t go to the gym with you. You’re too hard-core! I need to start slow. Like maybe an hour a week. Or something.”
            “You can’t do an hour a week!”
            “I don’t see why not,” Saffy said virtuously. “Look at Sharyn, she’s stick thin and she’s never seen the inside of a gym!”
            “Yah, correct!” Sharyn said proudly. “I got no injury! Never! My knees and hips are perfect! Not like you! You go gym, you sure kena injury, one!”
            Barney later told me that, never in his pink life, had he heard such nonsense that made so much sense. “I mean, look at that Sharyn. After the mee rebus, she ordered two roti pratas and a big mug of sugar cane juice. I can’t even work out how many bazillion calories she ingested in 45 minutes. And she’s rake thin!”
            “Meanwhile, you spend half an hour on the treadmill after eating one croissant!” I said.
            “I know! It’s so unfair! But what can I do? I can’t risk getting fat! My people would never accept me back on the dance-floor!”
            Saffy has since bought an electronic bathroom scale. Every two hours, she takes off all her clothes and gingerly steps onto it. The reading is then faithfully recorded in a little notebook. So far, she’s lost two grams.
            On Barney’s advice, she is also cutting out all fruit and carbs while ingesting only poached skinless chicken breasts and chewing on a celery stick if she gets hungry. “Celery has zero calories!” Saffy said as she dipped a stick into a pot of hummous. “Which means I can eat as much of it as I want!”
            Needless to say, her temper has become progressively worse as her body eats itself up from the inside. This morning, she burst into tears at the sight of cupcake in 8DAYS. And tomorrow, she starts her gym sessions with Barney.
            “Maybe his people will take her in?” Amanda thought out loud.

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