A stroll in the park

by Gary Torres
I love living in a small town and I hate living in a small town; but mostly I love living in a small town. 
It makes life like a stroll in the park.  It’s that time of year when the weather is crazy but it is before the time when you have to lock your car or someone will leave you a pile of zucchinis.  It is nearing the annual Pioneer Day celebration.
I am watching golfers from my house, eating a donut and drinking a Pepsi, thinking that it is about time that I lose some weight for the annual Pioneer Day celebration.  Nothing motivates me to lose five pounds like the annual stroll in the park. 
The annual Pioneer Day stroll has caused more people to lose weight and buy a new outfit than any other event except for the summer bathing suit season.
I don’t weigh the same as I did in high school, but it doesn’t mean that I need to lose weight, does it?  I thought about diet and exercise, but that seemed kinda extreme. 
My first option is to rent some chubbier friends to create an optical illusion that makes me look thinner and younger.  Chubby friends in horizontal stripes and me in vertical stripes should easily shave off a few pounds. 
Maybe even a man-girdle, okay technically it’s called the Upper Body Full Compression Men’s Shaper.  Believe me, to get Bubba back in his wrestling singlet there would have to be more compression than a race-car engine.
Let’s face it, during the Pioneer Day celebration, most of the graduates of Monticello High School will be coming to town for the Mother-of-all-Reunions. 
Everyone is anxious to see what kind of minivan the classmate that was voted “most likely to succeed” is driving and what that perky cheerleader that was voted “cutest” looks like after delivering five kids in six years and is now the Relief Society president.
Do you remember back when you attended Monticello High School?  Back then, you believed anyone out of high school was an Ol’ Geezer.
Well you were right. And now you are that Ol’ Geezer and considered older than dirt. 
Look in the mirror. See those age spots, extra wrinkles, hair in your ears, a healthier girth? That Ol’ Geezer is you!
I know that you don’t feel old, but look down at what you are wearing: knee length shorts with black socks pulled smartly up, Dockers with gym shoes, or maybe a banana clip, or a head band with matching wrist bands. How about a shirt with a stain on it, or levis with the waist longer than the in-seam? 
There you go, stand tall, try to suck in your gut and try to rationalize that you look pretty good... for someone your age!!
I suppose if I skip a meal, I might fit into my skinny Levis, but then again, just thinking about working on losing weight is making me hungry. 
I thought that perhaps it would be easier to just sew a different tag on my jeans so the waist is smaller number than the inseam.  Hey, don’t judge me, but even as I write it, it does seem a little shallow and pathetic.
But on a good note, remember as you get older you become invisible to young people. 
Really, a few weeks ago Daniel and I are strolling down the sidewalk in Provo and a young girl runs in to me as she is ogling at Daniel. She says, without even looking up, “Sorry.  Didn’t see you there grandpa!  You should watch where you’re going.”
I know it is close to the 24th of July because the weather turned crazy. So, what about that rain?  I got a text from Bubba who said my culvert was flooding the neighbor.  The downpour reminded me of a joke.
Seems there was this new arrival in Hades and he was brought before the devil.  The devil told his meanest demon to put the man to work on a huge rock pile with a 20-pound sledge hammer and to make it hot, dang hot!
At the end of the day, the devil went to see how the man was doing, only to find him smiling and singing as he pounded rocks. The man explained that the heat, hard labor, and frequent rocks were very similar to those on his beloved garden spot back in Monticello.
The devil told his demon to turn up the heat, take all the water away and put in more rocks.  At the end of the next day, the devil again checked on the new man, and found him still happy to be sweating and straining.
The man explained that even though it was hotter, harder labor, and even more rocks it felt like the good old days, because it was similar to his beloved farm back in San Juan County.
This made the devil furious and so he told his demon to lower the temperature to -20 degrees with a 40 mph wind. At the end of the next day, the devil was confident that he would find the man miserable.
But instead, the man was singing louder than ever, twirling the sledge hammer like a baton.  When the devil asked him why he was so happy, the man answered, “Cold day in hell – it must have rained in Monticello!”
Well, like I said, I do love living in a small town. The weather is crazy, so get ready to stroll.  Suck in your gut, comb your hair, buy a man girdle if you have to, and get ready to do the stroll in the park and meet your old-geezer high school buddies. 
I’ll be the one in vertical stripes surrounded by chubby people in horizontal stripes.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

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