Trailer for Fat Diary: Free Comedy eBook
Fat Diary by Duane Simolke.
A West Texas librarian makes fun of herself and the other people in her town, while writing about her reasons for wanting to lose weight.
Pamela Mae Willard must learn to love herself. Still, she can't resist laughing about her problems, and about the adventures of the colorful characters in Acorn, Texas.
This irreverent, politically incorrect tale reveals a woman finding joy in life, no matter what happens to her and no matter who mistreats her.
This short story also appears in The Acorn Gathering. Some of its characters also appear in The Acorn Stories.
http://www.barnes andnoble.com/w/ fat-diary-duane-simolke/ 1111648513?ean=2940033253258
http://duanesimolke. blogspot.com/2012/06/ west-texas-librarian-makes-fun-of.html
http://www.authors den.com/visit/ viewwork.asp?id=53159
http://www.good reads.com/book/show/ 14746061-fat-diary
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West Texas Librarian with Attitude
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January 20, 2001
Dear Fat Diary,
My nutritionist told me to write in you every day, until I can come to terms about why I'm not happy with my weight, and why I want to change. I'm supposed to call you my "love diary," but I'm not trying to get rid of love; I'm trying to get rid of fat. We'll talk about love later.
No, on second thought, we'll talk about love now. I don't have love because I have fat. If I didn't weigh 260 pounds, I might be writing a love diary, and teenage girls would read it and swoon, while listening to the latest boybands and dreaming of that guy who sits in the second row of their American history class. Wait, that's what I did at the University of Texas in Austin.
My name is Pamela Mae Willard, named after my Aunt Mae and my father, Samuel Carsons (yes, as in "Carsons Furniture, Acorn's best-kept secret"). He wanted a Samuel Carsons, Jr. He had to settle with a Pamuel, which became Pamela, due to the mercy of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, and my passive-aggressive mom. She kept "accidentally" referring to my father as "Samueluel," and when that bothered him, she said she "didn't give a damnuel," and when he wanted supper, she said he could fry some "Spamuel," and if he wanted someone to keep him warm, he could "buy a cocker spaniel." Even though she never actually said how much she hated the name "Pamuel," the message came through clearly enough, and he eventually asked if Pamela Mae would be all right.
Pamela Mae sounded sufficiently dignified and Southern for a member of Acorn's beloved Carsons family, so she consented, and soon began cooking meals that weren't primarily composed of meat byproducts. Harmony soon returned to our home, and my parents adopted an unwanted newborn baby just over a year later, naming him Samuel, of course, but calling him "Sam." If they were going to go through all of that just to call someone "Sam," they probably could have named me Samantha! Unfortunately, I wasn't quite in a position to impart my keen sense of logic at the time.
My parents were very happy with Sam, who would eventually join the Air Force. I taught Sunday school for a time and, after returning from college in Austin, managed the library.
Our childhood went by with very little trauma or disaster. Meteorites, tornadoes, and general flying debris never hit our house, unless you count acorns, pecans, and the occasional dust storm. Daddy wasn't a drunk, though he always liked touring the wineries that keep popping up around West Texas. Mom didn't have a secret past, unless it's still Acorn's best-kept secret, to use that tired catch phrase I mentioned before, the one Daddy's store shares with most of Acorn's local advertisers. And my adopted brother didn't turn out to be a space alien, despite my early suspicions; in fact, he and I remain the best of friends. Regardless of how some people around here make it sound, the sky isn't always falling in Acorn, at least not for our family. I had loving parents and a happy, well-rounded childhood.
"Well-rounded." Bad word choice.
I grew taller fast during my early teens, so much so that my mom worried I might have some sort of thyroid disorder, and it seemed like I needed to eat a lot for my body to keep up with its own growth. But then I stopped growing. Upward, that is. Then I got fat, and I stayed fat. So here I am, writing in my fat diary. Worst of all, I'll probably wind up writing about my joke of a short-lived marriage.
I'm supposed to examine key moments from any of my amazing thirty-something years, and find reasons to love myself, all the while congratulating myself for the conclusions I reach.
Do I get a lollipop for that?
January 21, 2001
Dear Fat Diary,
I attended Seventh Street Baptist Church for most of my life, like the rest of my family. In fact, I even taught Sunday school there sometimes. But I walked right out when they started promoting censorship and book burning, and I mean the term "book burning" literally! As a librarian, I just couldn't calmly support that, dropping my tithe into the plate, to see my money used not for helping the sick or the poor but to pay for full-page newspaper advertisements that attacked any literary work with the slightest spark of imagination.
So I started going to the local Episcopalian church. It's smaller, more intelligent, my friends Chandler Davis and Keith Colson go there, and the new minister is kind of cute. Hey, if you have to stare at someone that long every Sunday morning, he should look better than the sag-faced pastor of 7-Bap. Chandler and Keith are also pleasing to the eye, but I'm one of the few people in Acorn to notice that they're also pleasing to each other's eyes, if you know what I mean, so there was never hope for me with either of those two.
I probably would have just moved my letter to the Zionosphere Baptist Church, since I still consider myself a Baptist, but that congregation fell apart after all of those paternity tests came back positive. Sure, Pastor Jimmy Jacobs left his wild days behind when he got saved and went into the ministry, but everyone had trouble forgiving him when so many young members of the congregation—not to mention Acorn's general population—started looking like him. He made the best move by accepting a calling to another state.
His uncle, Coach Jacobs, still attends 7-Bap, and he's usually the one who encourages its backward "crusades." I really think that church would be much better off without him, especially considering some of the good work they still do, when he allows it. By the way, I want to state for the record that Coach Jacobs has no first name. I checked.
Mayor Nick Williams (who is stylishly handsome, if you're into pretentious fifty-somethings) couldn't understand why I would leave 7-Bap for a church that didn't endorse his reelection campaign, which obviously meant that they were the enemy of all that's good. Most of my relatives said I was losing my faith; one of the few kin to spare me that grief was my cousin Aragon Carsons-Friedman, who is one of the ten people who attend Acorn's Holy Chastity Catholic Church (the others being her husband, her daughter, an altar boy, the priest, and the choir). But I didn't care what anyone thought. I needed a church where I felt real, and where I didn't feel like I was supporting something I shouldn't support.
January 22, 2001
Dear Fat Diary:
I'm not sure when I realized that I didn't need a husband or even a lover to make me happy. It was probably as soon as I divorced my husband, but I think it really just sank in a few months ago, while I was training a new employee at the Megan Carsons Library, where I'm head librarian.
Considering that Megan Carsons was my grandmother, and that there aren't many librarians in the Acorn area, it wasn't a hard job for me to get, but it's certainly one I love.
I mentioned some of the censorship that goes on in Acorn. Sometimes, it affects the library, and we'll get people trying to ban books like Tom Sawyer, Common Sons, or even Lord of the Rings, but most Acornians are supportive of us, even if they never come in. The censors eventually got too busy protesting Keith's art gallery, which is what made me become friends with him. Still, they backed off on that after the gallery's re-opening led to grants and awards that helped Acorn get featured in a certain monthly magazine with "Texas" in its title that used to act like we don't even exist. Go figure.
With our location across the street from campus, we double as Acorn's public library and as Acorn College's library. The building itself, a moderately ornate, two-story mansion, served as the home of my grandparents for many years, before they donated it for its current purpose and moved into a smaller home. Many of the books on our shelves came from their collection, and Grandma Megan (known to most other people as "Old Lady Carsons") even wrote one of the books: An Acorn History. Aragon talks about writing a more up-to-date chronicle and calling it The Acorn Stories, but I doubt anyone outside Acorn would buy it, if anyone bought it at all.
So it was the fall of the year 2000, which I still can't say without thinking of space ships, world peace, painless exercise, and all the other stuff we expected by the year 2000. Thanks to Acorn College's student worker program, I received a sparkly new freshman every year whose paycheck came from somewhere else—I never really understood where, but why ask?
Tiffani Basil, a bleach factory with high heels and overly snug clothing, bounced my way fresh out of Acorn High. A little too fresh.
"So, what do you like to do?" I asked her, during our first day working together. We were standing behind the checkout counter, and, like most fall semesters, I knew not to expect many students until the day before midterms started. The only people in were housewives feeding their romance novel cravings, Ian Aristotle making a beeline to the science fiction shelves for the latest Babylon 5 novel, and Lynn Williams (the mayor's gray-haired and red-eyed wife) perusing our stock of self-help books before abandoning herself to the latest posthumously published Schafly Shlockel novel.
"I like mostly like movies." The extra "like" wasn't like a typo on my part, but like how Tiffani like talks.
"Really? What have you seen recently?"
"I like saw that Brad Pitt movie, Meet Joe Black. It was like three hours long! I think it was so long because everyone talked real slow." She punctuated her conclusion by jolting her long head backwards and staring into space.
Forcing myself not to scream, I quickly changed the subject. "I noticed on your application that you're married. How long?"
"How long what?"
"How long have you been married?"
"We were married five months. We just got divorced, but we were still married when I filled out my application for you."
"I'm sorry," I offered, trying not to think about the fact that my marriage only lasted five weeks, and that I wasn't sorry at all when it ended.
"It's okay. I'm like so over him! He thought he was all that because he was manager of the last Piggly Wiggly around here, but it closed down and he wasn't manager of nothing. He's a bag boy at the super center now, but I don't go in there. It's like a magnet for stupid people. My new man is more sensitive than my husband was. He's a theater major, anndduh…he has a part-time job at the flower shop!"
I stifled the stereotypes that flooded my mind, and I mentally kicked myself for thinking those stereotypes. "He sounds nice!"
She indicated exclamation with some sort of cheerleader motion of her right hand. "Oh, you wouldn't believe how nice! But we're not real serious. If he wants to buy me stuff, that's great, but I need to be my own woman now, and I don't need any help raising my kids."
"Kids?" I said the word too loud for decorum, especially in a library. One of the housewives, spending way too long reading the back cover of a love story she would soon check out for the fifth time, looked up and cocked her roller-covered head.
"I have two kids, but I live with my parents now, so I don't need any help. I'm a independent woman! My little sisters are both pregnant, though, so we need more income while I'm in college, planning for a career with some big company, maybe Enron or K-Mart."
While helping Ian check out his TV/paperback tie-in and noticing for the billionth time how he and Lynn Williams always appeared at the same places at the same time, I bit my tongue over a myriad of "don't go there" thoughts. Still, after Ian left, I couldn't help but voice one of those thoughts. "I take it the Acorn School District still uses the abstinence-only, no-discussion sex education program that's so popular in West Texas."
"Yeah," said Tiffani, chewing her bubble gum and tugging at the lacy bra strap that peaked out of her red sweater's V-neck collar. "Why fix what ain't broke?"
"And speaking of the Dewey Decimal System," I swiftly and breathlessly replied, before I could get myself into trouble.
"The what?" Tiffani scrunched her makeup-caked face. "I'm not good at math."
"Math? Oh. Decimals. Never mind. I was just joking anyway. The library catalog is completely computerized."
"Now I'm good at computers! I can sit at one all day, and not even know there's a world going on around me."
"Hm!" I replied, ambiguously. But even as I contemplated the possible ramifications of letting such a vacuous individual become second-in-command of Acorn's intellectual epicenter, I came to the important conclusion I mentioned earlier. If Tiffani could survive without a man, I certainly could. Only I wouldn't be such a glutton for melodrama as to move back in with my parents. I mean, I love them, and they've always been there for me, but I don't think we could deal with each other as adults on a 24/7 basis. It sounds too much like a TV sitcom that would be turned down by everyone but CBS and then wind up on UPN.
I haven't always been so independent or so outspoken as the person writing this diary. In fact, I only recently graduated from uniformity and timidity, via certain strange and/or wonderful experiences. I'll describe some of those in the entries that follow.