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Getting Skinny – The Acupuncture Solution: Humorous Short Story

Getting Skinny – The Acupuncture Solution: Humorous Short Story

Getting skinny presents many pit-falls. This humorous short story reveals a weight loss surprise.

Load up everyone; today we’re getting skinny!” yelled Dad.

Getting Skinny: You'll feel no more discomfort than a minor incision.

Getting Skinny: This won’t hurt any more than a minor incision. Try this humorous short story.

My dad, mom, nine of my eleven siblings, and I loaded into three separate vehicles. Today was “GS-Day” (getting skinny day). Pound for pound my family was the biggest family in town. Not only were there twelve children but we were quite portly. In fact, the boys in our family were not considered grown unless they weighed three hundred pounds.  Needless to say, my family was always on the look-out for any “getting skinny” miracle cure.

Members of my family have tried getting skinny with every conceivable weight loss plan on the market and have pumped thousands of dollars into getting skinny programs. We tried low carbohydrate diets, high carbohydrate diets, vegetarian diets, meat diets, and liquid diets; nothing worked.

Acupuncture was popular at the time, and my dad read some testimonials about people who were getting skinny using acupuncture treatments.  Dad made inquiries and found a doctor in Wichita, Kansas, who spent six months in China researching acupuncture techniques for various ailments including obesity.

After visiting with the doctor Dad was convinced that this was the solution for our family’s weight problem. He talked with each family member and convinced us that acupuncture was “the cure.” He was so positive we were “getting skinny” he paid for everyone’s acupuncture treatment.

The treatment was simple. There is a nerve center in each ear which controls various bodily functions including appetite. A staple is placed in the nerve centers in both ears of an individual. When the person feels hungry he merely pulls his ear lobe and the hunger pangs are alleviated. It sounded too good to be true. Acupuncture is a simple outpatient procedure, and Dad scheduled all treatments for the same time.

Our caravan left at ten o’clock in the morning and arrived in Wichita at noon. The treatment wasn’t scheduled until two o’clock in the afternoon. We saw an all-you-can-eat chicken buffet on the outskirts of Wichita and decided to stop. We figured this would be our last meal before “getting skinny.” It was like a condemned man’s last meal. We attacked that buffet like vultures after road kill.

We arrived at the hospital stuffed to the gills. We couldn’t have eaten another morsel. We were directed to a conference room and the doctor and a nurse entered the room.

How is the procedure performed?” Dad asked.

The doctor held up a staple gun and showed us the staples. The gun looked amazingly like the staple guns used for stapling upholstery on furniture. The staples were made of surgical steel. They had one-half inch prongs and looked like regular staples.

I had great misgivings. ‘This is the solution for getting skinny?’ I thought.

Will we need a local anesthetic for the pain?” I asked.

No,” the doctor replied. “You will feel no more discomfort than a minor incision.”

His answer alleviated most of my family’s concerns. I was not fully convinced.

Who wants to go first?” the doctor asked.

DAD!” we shouted in unison.

We wanted to see Dad’s reaction before they put any staples in our ears.

The doctor put the staple gun to Dad’s ear and “click.” He then walked to the other side of Dad and “click.” I watched very closely for any adverse reaction. If Dad flinched I wouldn’t do it. He didn’t flinch.

I asked, “How was it, Dad?”

Not bad at all,” he said.

It is customary in our family for the boys to go first when doing something that might be painful or dangerous. Larson, my oldest brother, was next. I studied his face for any movement. If he flinches even the tiniest bit I’ll refuse. I’m a coward.

The doctor put the staple gun to Larson’s ear and “click.” He walked to the other side of Larson and “click.” Larson didn’t flinch.

How was it?”

Not bad,” he replied.

I’ve already explained that I’m a coward. I pushed my nine year old brother ahead of me, (I was eighteen), and said,“You go next.”

If Toby doesn’t flinch I’m home free. I examined him very closely. The doctor put the staple gun to Toby’s ear and “click.” He then walked to the other side of Toby and “click.” Toby didn’t flinch.

How was it, Toby?”

Not bad at all.”

I stepped to the doctor with confidence, (big man that I was). I’m getting skinny and the treatment is painless. I calmly waited as the doctor held the staple gun to my ear.

W H A M M O!

I never felt such pain in my life! I hurt so bad I froze. I couldn’t move! The doctor was at my other ear.

W H A M M O!

My entire head throbbed. I couldn’t believe I let somebody staple my ears to my head! I couldn’t move my jaws; they hurt too bad.

How was it, Mason?” June asked.

I wanted to scream, but thought, ‘Why should I tell them?’

With Herculean effort I turned to June, moved my jaw which was throbbing with pain, and said, “Not bad, not bad at all.”

I sat down and gave my brothers a knowing look. I knew no one in our family would flinch. No one would spare anyone else the incredible pain they had just endured. It’s tradition.

Everything went quickly until my sister, Abbeygayle, got her treatment. When the first staple was put in her ear the gun ran out of staples. She had to wait for the doctor to reload. She didn’t flinch. How could she stand there knowing what was coming without flinching? What fortitude she displayed. I had new respect for Abbeygayle.

Lora, my youngest sibling, was the last victim. The words she uttered to the doctor were not kind ones. It was something about his genealogy, I think. Anyway, I don’t think she won the “patient of the week” award.

We lost weight the first week because we couldn’t move our jaws due to pain. We drank through straws that first week. Slowly the pain subsided and we were able to move our jaws and eat again. We tugged our ears; we were still hungry. The procedure was a failure. We weren’t getting skinny. Back to the drawing board.

I learned one lesson through the ordeal. Whenever a doctor says, “This procedure will cause no more discomfort than a minor incision,” he is using doctor speak to say, “you’re about to scream in agony, but I don‘t feel a thing.”

Getting Skinny Postscript

Six months after the “getting skinny” treatment one of my staples worked loose and dropped out of my ear; the other staple was still firmly lodged.

Two years later one of my co-workers said, “Mason, you’ve got something in your ear.”

He placed his fingernail under the staple and yanked. The pain almost brought me to my knees.

Wow! How did you get a staple in your ear?” he asked as the bloody staple dangled from his fingernail.

I wiped tears from my eyes and decided he wasn’t worthy of the truth. I wasn’t about to tell him I shot staples in my head “getting skinny.” I fabricated a story.

I cut off my ear as a kid and the doctors stapled it back to my head,” I lied.

I believe you,” he said.

Really?” I replied.

Yes, because no one in his right mind would willingly shoot a staple in his ear.”

I agreed. “No one in his right mind would ever do such a thing,” I said as I walked away shaking my head.

Copyright 2009 J-me

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  1. Fay Klein says:

    This is hilarious! The story is told so well that you can almost feel the pain. Loved it!

  2. Darla Crooks says:

    Laughing because I had that done a few years back. A girlfriend convinced me because she thought it was helping her. One side wasn’t too bad, but the other got really infected and the staple was imbedded so bad we like to have never got it out. My dad was the one who finally was able to get it out, cutting it in half first with clippers, but I was in tears from the pain. NEVER again!! 🙂

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