Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Tale of Fat Man and Skinny Man

In a common town, in an unremarkable state, there were born on the same day two boys; one was Skinny man and the other was Fat Man. The boys grew up in the same town, and they both had an average childhood. Both of them went off to school, got happily married, and fathered a few lovely children.

When Skinny Man hit middle age, he began to notice that his fondness for donuts and cake and sweets of all sorts had begun to take a toll. Because he loved his family, and because he enjoyed playing with his children, Skinny decided to discipline himself. He began to excercise three times a week, and he rarely ate the sweets that he so enjoyed. Over a short period of time, Skinny was a pretty fit man.

When Fat Man hit middle age, he began to notice a little bulge around the middle as well. His love of cakes and goodies and sitting about had led to a tipping of the scales. Because he loved his sweets and leisure, Fatty did not change his life style. Over time, Fatty got fatter.

Skinny was an active fellow. Though he missed his sweets and sloth, he did not miss his children's baseball games, soccer games, or events of any kind due to fatigue or illness. He took his children on hikes in the mountains. He played ball with them in the yard.

Fatty liked to watch television. He loved his children, but his knees always hurt so he couldn't participate in their games. He could go to their games and watch, but sitting in those bleachers was hard on his back. He didn't go hiking much; his feet would swell. But he loved his pastries, and he ate all he wanted.

Skinny also enjoyed his grandchildren. Because he was fit, he got to enjoy with them the same things he enjoyed with his children. He could still run and play. He had more energy than most younger men. He went to all his grandchildren's games. He and his wife would take them on vacations to beautiful and fascinating places. They explored both the woods and the city.

Fatty enjoyed his grandchildren as well, but he mostly kept to his recliner in his older years. His back gave him serious problems, and he had already had a few surgeries on his knees. He didn't get to many games; he couldn't take sitting on the bleachers anymore at all. He didn't get to take his wife on many of the vacations that they had dreamed of in retirement; he simply was not able to go and enjoy it. But he did get his sweets, and he watched plenty of television.

It came to pass, as fate would have it, that both Skinny and Fatty died on the same day. Skinny had a stroke. Fatty had a massive heart attack. Skinny's self-discipline did not give him a single day of life advantage over Fatty. Could it be that all that exercise was a waste of time?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scornelius says:

It's not the amount of time but how you use what you have. Skinny may not have had any extra days (and in fact, he could have died before Fatty and the moral would be the same). But Skinny's time yielded more fruit for himself and those around him. With that said, I'm tired, and I need a bowl of ice cream before bed.