The Ex-Lax Diet

The Ex-Lax Diet

By Garland Davis

A shipmate’s post on Facebook about diet and healthy eating reminded me of a story from the ‘70’s.

I was the leading cook in an oiler out of Pearl Harbor. We were pretty much chained to the pier because of the oil shortage and penuriousness of the Carter administration. For want of something to do, the XO decided to punish those persons who placed extreme pressure on the buttons of a dungaree or khaki shirt. He had a weigh-in of selected personnel and informed them they must lose weight to comply with Navy standards.

The Chief HT, to put it bluntly, was morbidly obese. He was the personification of the Jolly Fat Man. Me, being a smartass, I was always joking around with him. I walked into the CPO Mess behind him. He had just returned from a meeting with the XO. He said to me, “Dave, you’re a cook. You know all about calories and shit. What kind of diet do I need to go on to lose some weight?”

About that time the Smartass in me surfaced. I said, “The Ex-Lax Diet.”

HTC asked, “What’s that?”

“Eat two of those little squares of chocolate every four hours and you can eat anything you want. It won’t even slow down as it goes through you,” the Smartass replied.

The Chiefs in the Mess all laughed, realizing that I was just joking.

The following Monday morning HTC was admitted to Tripler Army Hospital for extreme dehydration.

When he returned to the ship, I said, “Man didn’t you know I was joking.”

He said, “Yeah, but it fucking worked. I lost twenty-six pounds!

NOTE: The reason fat folks are jolly folks. They have to be Jolly to keep getting fed. ENDNOTE


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