Back in June, I wrote a post called, “The Incredible Shrinking man.” At that time, after a visit to my doctor, I was convinced that I was rapidly shrinking. Since then, I’ve been noticing some disturbing trends involving my size, and that of the world around me. I’m not exactly sure, but one of two things are happening. Either, I’m growing at a frightening, and exponential rate, or the world around me is swiftly getting smaller. At this pace, I’ll soon be an enormous giant, similar to the man in the classic novel, “Gulliver’s Travels,” and average people, I meet during the course of my day, will look like tiny Lilliputians.
Recently my wife bought a new Prius Eco. She said that, not only did it get tremendously improved mileage per gallon of gas, but was better for the environment. I told my wife that it seemed a little small. She said it was considered a midsize vehicle, and would seat five people. “Five very small people, or maybe even children,” I thought,” as I crouched down, bent my knees, ducked my head, painfully bumped my noggin on the top of the door, and squeezed into the front drivers-side. Even after adjusting the seat as far back as possible, the steering wheel pressed uncomfortably against my stomach. My hair brushing against the roof, reminded me that I needed a haircut. The good news is, the car has a rear hatchback. If I open it while driving, the back of my head, won’t be pressing tightly against the rear window glass. I was surprised there weren’t twenty clowns stuffed in the back seat, looking for a ride to the circus.
Yesterday, I asked my wife, “Honey, are you on a diet? You seem to have gotten smaller.” She said she hadn’t lost weight, but thanked me for the compliment. When I told her about my concerns over my ever-increasing size, she said, “Patrick Dykie – get a grip on yourself! You write all these crazy stories, and then you go off on all these wild tangents. If you are growing; it’s because you eat like a giant.” She could be right about that. I do eat enormous quantities of delicious meat, which most likely has been produced with massive doses of steroids, growth hormones, and unknown, but dangerous chemicals. It probably doesn’t help that I like fried foods and potato chips, and have been known to ingest an entire piazza in one sitting.
Personally, I don’t think it’s my food intake that is causing me to grow. I’ve been eating like this for years, and my weights been the same for over two decades. I will admit that I recently bought a belt, two inches bigger, now wear relaxed fit jeans, and moved from extra-large shirts to XXL. It still doesn’t explain why my shoes are now one size bigger, and this past winter I got a knit hat for Christmas that was so tight it hurt my head, and gloves that looked like they were made for babies.
I just had a crazy thought. Maybe, I’m not growing at all, but there’s an insidious and diabolical plot by communist China to subvert western culture, by messing with our minds. Could the manufacturers of the majority of imported apparel into America, be manipulating the labels on clothing? Are they putting larger size tags on smaller clothing to drive us insane, and destroy the American way of life? Ladies – do you really think you went from a size ten to a fourteen in one day, due to having just one delicious coffee roll at Dunkin Donuts, yesterday? How many of you guys have been wearing large tee-shirts for years, but recently went shopping, and the large’s looked like they came from the toddler department?
I’m still not sure if I’m growing bigger, or if everything around me is shrinking. I do know a lot of things seem to be much smaller these days. How many of you have been on an airline lately? I have; and my knees were two inches closer to the seat in front of me, the overhead compartment was too small for my carry-on luggage, the aisles appeared narrower, and the enormous guy next to me was encroaching on my personal space. About half way through the flight, after fighting over the armrest, sucking in my breath, and keeping my arms tight to my side, I finally turned to him, looked him in the eye, and said, “Sir, my names Patrick, and I’m pleased to meet a fellow traveler, burdened with the same condition. Maybe, you could answer a few questions. When did you start growing, how long has it been going on, and do you think it’s ever going to stop? He said, “what?” Looked at me with a confused look, and then turned back to drinking his tenth soda, and devouring a fourteenth bag of peanuts.
Even food is rapidly shrinking in size, or else I’m growing faster than I thought. I was grocery shopping this week, and as I pushed my cart down the aisles, everything seemed smaller than I remembered, from even a few short years ago. I felt like a giant, as I wondered among tiny portions of grocery items, cans of cat food that looked like thimbles, and household products made for cleaning doll houses. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Ken and Barbie, casually strolling the aisles, with a tiny shopping cart. Even the overheads lights seemed to be closer to the top of my head.
I was wondering about something. Didn’t laundry detergent use to come in enormous square boxes, so big, it took three of you to load it into your car? What’s with the new hand-size containers, with the words super concentrated on them? As I loaded, and checked off items on my list, I grabbed two ice-cube-sized bags of sugar, instead of the one five-pound bag, I used to get. When I was a kid, my mom would buy huge, half or one-gallon containers of ice-cream. I couldn’t find any. All that was in the cooler were what looked like an assortment of Ben and Jerry ice cream, in one pint portions.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten my reading glasses at home, and was squinting to read how many ounces were in each container. I found some miniature yogurts with Yoplait on the side. I picked one up, and held it between my thumb, and forefinger. I wonder if Yoplait is French for, “Starvation.” I needed enough for the week, so I threw twenty-eight of them into my cart. It might just be my drastic increase in size, but candy bars used to fill the palm of my hand. Now they look like those bite-size ones you give out at Halloween. I decided to buy a bag of those bite-sized ones for the trip home, and they looked like M& M’s. I was popping three or four into my mouth at a time.
I’m still not sure if I’m growing into a massive giant, whose mere footsteps will shake the very earth beneath my feet, or if the rest of the world is shrinking, and I will be a normal size human, amidst tiny people. The other day, I did see one ray of hope. I visited a Sam’s Club Warehouse, and signed up for a premium membership. As I strolled the massive building, between enormous racks rising towards a distant ceiling, I noticed that my cart was very large. Filling my over-sized wagon with gigantic, fifty pound bags of dog food, enormous packages of paper towels and toilet paper, and pillow-size bags of potato chips, I realized something. I was either, beginning to shrink, or I had found a supermarket – FOR GIANTS!