Fat Kid Instincts

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Fat Kid Instincts By Blake Schwendiman http://www.blakeschwendiman.com/ Clutching my seventy-five sent deli corn dog, my body hanging precariously in mid air, I realized that time had stopped – which was convenient because it gave me both the opportunity to reflect on the past and to anticipate the near future with clarity. The past centered on a single decision that I was very quickly beginning to regret. The future held pain – at the moment that time froze I was still uncertain about the exac
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  Fat Kid Instincts By Blake Schwendimanhttp://www.blakeschwendiman.com/  Copyright © 2005 by Blake Schwendiman. All rights reserved. Clutching my seventy-five sent deli corn dog, my body hanging precariouslyin mid air, I realized that time had stopped – which was convenient because it gaveme both the opportunity to reflect on the past and to anticipate the near future withclarity. The past centered on a single decision that I was very quickly beginning toregret. The future held pain – at the moment that time froze I was still uncertainabout the exact level of pain forthcoming, but I was sure that there would be pain.Just moments earlier, I and my best friend stood at the top of the stairwaythat led to the basement cafeteria in the Madison Junior High school. It was winterin Rexburg, Idaho which meant that the temperature was only slightly aboveabsolute zero and that there was plenty of snow and ice to turn an otherwiseunremarkable stairwell into something resembling a luge track.We had just visited the Rexburg Food Center delicatessen from which I hadpurchased the aforementioned corn dog. Although I was not particularly font of corndogs, this particular dog represented the entirety of my lunch money for the day andwas therefore something of a treasure at the time.It was initially our plan to return to the Junior High school with our feast andeat with the regulars at the cafeteria and socialize. I use the term socialize looselyas at the time I actually only had one friend and he was with me. I learned later inlife that a five-foot one inch tall, one hundred thirty-five pound boy wearing thesame pair of Lawman jeans (upheld by a belt sporting my first name) every day of eighth grade has approximately as much social appeal as a dirty gym sock. At thetime however, I had no such information and was prepared to break into the socialscene by impressing my classmates by pointing out the superiority of my non-cafeteria corn dog.We surveyed the stairs for a moment. If we went around the school andthrough the front doors, we might miss the opportunity to flaunt our spoils. Thestairwell, however, was completely frozen – it had become a perfectly smooth, forty-five degree ramp of ice. Recently however, some sadist had chipped away at the ice  Fat Kid Instincts By Blake Schwendimanhttp://www.blakeschwendiman.com/  Copyright © 2005 by Blake Schwendiman. All rights reserved. leaving half-inch steps available all the way down the flight. To a thirteen-year-oldboy, that seemed reasonable enough.I remember taking one last glance down at the cafeteria. The windowslooking outward were filled with classmates. I decided to forego the handrail just incase any one of them might look out and see me clutching it for safety as if I wereincapable of descending stairs like a man. Fortunately for me, a split second later, Ino longer had to worry about whether anyone was going to see me – it was clearthat they all would.As I stepped down toward the first partially-revealed step, all of the physicallaws to which I had grown rather accustomed were replaced by the physical laws of Looney Tunes. Rather than simply sliding down the ramp, my body lurched forwardand outward so that I was parallel to the ground, but still several feet from it. It wasat that moment that time stopped and I was granted a moment of reflection.I suppose that some small alterations to my decisions could have preventedwhat happened next, but at the time I was able to fully evaluate those conditions, Iwas no longer capable of changing them.When the earth finally rushed upwards and collided with my body it did sowith enough force to completely knock the breath out of my lungs, but not quiteenough to knock the corn dog out of my fist. Aware that I had just fallen before alarge crowd of onlookers, I had the good sense to immediately jump to my feet andpretend that nothing had happened. I entered the cafeteria and found a quiet cornerin which I could weep and learn to breathe again.Two consolations comforted me in my lunchtime recovery: first, I was soconcerned that I might die before I regained my breath that I never heard thelaughter of my classmates and second, my fat-kid instincts kicked in during my falland saved my corn dog from utter destruction. I still had lunch.
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