A Superhuman Story by MadMikeMarsbergen
"Two weeks later and here you finally are, Frankie," Doc Strudelbäcker said, looking down his nose and through thick glasses at the human blimp sitting on the patient's table before him. "What took you so long? Your results came in"—he glanced at the chart in his hands—"three days following your last appointment with me. Do you not care about your health? What's the holdup?"
"Well, uh, Doc, you never said it was an emergency," said Frankie Phatt, oil mogul. There was a laugh attached to the reply, and it was a real boomer. The other patients in the hall probably wanted what Frankie was having—anything to make their own upcoming grim news all the more appealing. He was a big guy, he knew that, and often people called him "jolly." Guilty as charged, yeah. He fit that trope like a spandex suit. "So what's the poison? Give it to me."
"Well, it wasn't an emergency," Doc noted, eyebrows raised as he glossed over the chart displaying the detailed blood results of one Franklin Bartholomew Phatt, Junior. "But then you didn't see me for two weeks. And given your, shall we say, habits—"
"Give it to me straight, Doc," Frankie cut in. "I eat like shit and smoke like shit's baby. Go on and say it."
"Yes. Anyway, I suspect your levels are even worse by now, naturally. And if you don't change your habits—a big change in those habits, I might add—well, Frankie, I hate to say it but you might wind up a citizen of Heart-Attack City."
"Ouch." Frankie looked down at his ample gut. Couldn't even see his feet. How young had he been when he last saw his feet without his belly getting in the way? Eighteen or so? "It's that bad?" he asked.
"It's that bad," Doc confirmed. "And given your family history, I'd advise you to change those habits soon. Like, today."
Frankie cleared his throat. Not laughing now. It wasn't easy being a fat man. Doc Strudelbäcker had it easy—him being a stringbean and all. "No shortcuts or corners—"
"No, Frankie. None. There's no magical formula to instantaneously lose weight. Sure, we could suck the fat out of you, but what's the point when old habits die hard? We'd be delaying the inevitable. Slapping on a Band-Aid when we've got to do an amputation. Unless you make a change, I'll see you in the future for the same problem, or something worse. The time has come to avoid the McDonald's. And the smoking, for that matter. One more Big Mac or Camel—"
"Come on, Doc. You know I'm a Marlboro Man. Yeehaw," Frankie joked, but he wasn't laughing. Not really.
"One more and that might be it," Doc said. "Do you understand me? Don't do this to yourself, Frankie. Don't do it to Cheryl, either. Go for a walk every day. At some point, do some running. Do some swimming. Eat healthy. And before you know it you'll be a new man."
Frankie nodded. Just kept nodding. Would he change? Probably not. He'd been eating better lately—mind you, better for him was three trips to McDonald's a week, rather than seven. But he had been eating more vegetables. Damnit, he'd really been trying. "I'll try," he finally said. Harder, he didn't.
"Good. Please do." Doc held his hand out.
Frankie shook it, limply, and his hand suddenly felt to him like nothing but a wad of fat. Today's trip to the doctor had taken out most of his fight. Reduced him to a lesser man—and, sadly, not in terms of weight, haha. He wasn't laughing when he said goodbye, wasn't laughing when he penguin-walked past Jennifer the receptionist, wasn't laughing when he left the building and hopped into his red Corvette. Hell, he wasn't even laughing when he started the car and his favourite AC/DC song blared from the radio.
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