Israel Stories

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fat George

George was a huge monster of a man. Fat was not the word, obese paled into insignificance, mammoth maybe, gargantuan seems most appropriate. We called him Fat George, because gargantuan George was, for want of a better phrase, to much of a mouthful.

George, how on earth he got that name remains a mystery, was a Bedouin tracker. He could tell whether an Ibex had recently been nibbling on a bush, where it was now and what its ID number was. He was very good. He'd been decorated by the army for being so good. But now he was contented to lead tour groups across the country's southern deserts and eat. The nimble and agile George of yesteryear was replaced by the lumbering and wheezing giant tour guide of today. Was he happy, you bet your crown jewels he was.

Why was George so happy? Well he was doing what he wanted to do. Walk about in the open air, meet nice people, eat and get paid for it.

Now why am I laboring on about the fact he was so huge. Well, as with many people, I am little insecure about the fact that since getting married all those years ago, there isn't a chance I could ever fit in to my wedding suit. But George was so blissfully happy with himself it made me sick and jealous. The only thing that kept me going was the certainty that he wouldn't fit into my suits either.

So I made the resolve that if George was happy with his temple then I should be to.
At home, biscuits and crisps are more or less banned as we all try and lead a healthy lifestyle. So I decided, why deny myself; and went out and bought cookies, chips, bisli, chocolate and anything that would ordinarily be taboo.

For the first few days it was a feeding frenzy. Before meals, after meals, mid morning and mid afternoon snacks. I felt good, not denying myself anything, touching the realms of hedonism, feeling Greek and Roman all in one, with a touch of fat Bedouin.

And then the fall. Preparing to go out one evening, something didn't fit my wife the way it used to only a week ago. Fear struck me as I was the target of her frustration.

"Why did you have to buy all that rubbish. Why didn't you stop me eating it. Now I have nothing to wear and it's your fault!"

"But look, it's not so bad, I mean just be happy with yourself." In retrospect maybe that was the wrong thing to say. But of course like most men, we don't know when we are digging ourselves very deep holes and so I continued with my analogies with Fat George the Bedouin tracker.

"So let me get this straight, your idea of support is to compare me to an overweight former Bedouin tracker turned tour guide called George, Fat George?"

The cull in the kitchen went on all night, destroying all evidence of anything vaguely tasty and anything with more than 1% fat.

The next time I saw George I asked him why he was so happy and what his wife thought. "My wife doesn't tell what to do, what to eat in fact she doesn't tell me anything at all and so I go through life, my own man, blissfully following my own path."

"Wow, you have a very understanding wife." Jealousy rising, biting back the resentment, knowing that in reality all men need a wife to keep them in line.

"Actually I never married!"

Cynical, moi?

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