Okay, okay, it’s time to come clean. My name is Staffan Sivgaurd and I’m from Stockholm, Sweden. I work for a company that designs t-shirts with magazine articles printed inside of them.  I’m currently starting a new company that will focus on t-shirts that will have stories inside them. Over the past 17 days I’ve written a variety of stories in different narrative voices. If you are interested in any of the previous posts just put down which story you’d like and what color t-shirt you’d prefer and we’ll set you up with a t-shirt with a short-short story inside. In the future we hope to make available more well-known works of literature and further down the line we’ll be making t-shirts with small chips and speakers implanted inside the armpits.
   But without further ado, here’s today’s short-short story which has been inspired, in part, by a cursory reading of Samuel Beckett’Molloy, one of his early novels written well before the years of his success with Waiting for Godot. 


    Some people call me simple. I don’t recall right now who’s called me that but I know it’s been said. It’s difficult to remember their names but this difficulty bolsters my confidence for it leads me to the observation that there’s more “difficult” in me than “simple” and I can thus conclude that those… who were they ?… people, yes those people are so wrong. In any case, I don’t care what I’m called so long as you don’t call me fat, fasto, fatty-pants, fatty-fatty two by four couldn’t get through the trailer park door. There’s some other name I don’t like… Fat…something.  Whatever. Nobody has ever called me any of these epithets. I don’ t think. I forget. I forget what epithet means but I’m sure nobody has ever called me an epithet either.  I don’t want to become fat, fatso or fatty pants but inside of me there’s a voracious appetite that – if I’m not looking – will leap out from me and stuff my gob with all manner of food. There have been times when it’s escaped and its claws have raked across a table of food to pile heaps of chicken legs, potatoes, crab cakes and more into my mouth.  Afterwards, I’m stuffed with an unpleasant feeling of my body bursting at the seams. A horrible feeling that lasts for days.  So I keep an eye on this vociferous appetite and I always have to stay one step ahead of it. I must outwit it, I tell myself in confidence, quietly, secretly so that the appetite won’t hear. For my appetite has called me all sorts of terrible names like fatso, fatty-pants, fatty-fatty dumpster mouth the garbage truck couldn’t pick you up and also fat… something. Anyway to outwit my appetite I always travel with several rolls of packing tape in a backpack. It’s strange yes but I don’t mind if people call me strange. Strange is a complicated mix of simple and difficult and voracious. No, I don’t mind strange at all. My appetite is a terribly simple thing that recoils at strange. I know this for a fact as I’ve empirically observed it around myself. For you see when I’m tempted by food at the table or at a buffet what can I really do ? I feel my appetite lunging against the bars of it’s cage (my ribs) and I feel so weak. So I try to outsmart my appetite by bringing strange to my aid, for if I can summon strange then appetite goes into hiding. Thus, when I feel tempted to eat I will grab that food, take out a roll of packing tape, lift up my shirt and secure the food tightly to my midriff. Yesterday, I was in a store where I saw a gorgeous cupcake whose chocolaty top was like a dark wave of ocean on a moonlit night. Oh yes it was a romantic cupcake that wished to seduce me. In the thralls of this temptation I grabbed the cupcake, lifted my shirt, splattered it to my belly and made three (maybe four ?) revolutions of the wrapping tape around my body. No maybe I made five turns of the tape around my belly. I don’t remember. Oh yes I do remember it was a fried chicken that I plastered to my body.  (Oh it burned terribly.) Yes, if I lift my shirt right now there’s definitely a decaying chicken under ten layers of thick packing tape.  Certainly this is disgusting but it’s a method that works. I have no… oh what is that thing called again ?  Well whatever it is, I suffer under its reign no more.
   Anyway, my name is Fatima and it’s nice to meet you. I come to these weight lose meetings just to make sure everyone knows there are alternatives. Thanks for the free tea. I’ll be leaving now.