Johnny America


Our La­dy of Cibo


Illustration of a fat business baby looking at a martini.

Her ba­by is a lit­tle man, thick and self-com­posed and for­ward-lean­ing, as if ready to con­tribute to the heady con­ver­sa­tion. Her size has come in­to ques­tion: some say she’s mon­u­men­tal. She could have been seen as god­dess in some far­away time and place, and her son would have been ven­er­at­ed for be­ing her son and for look­ing so­phis­ti­cat­ed. But at the mo­ment she faces ob­jec­tions from a score of tiny face­less trolls about the loss of fo­cus on her waist­line, and her neg­li­gent child-rear­ing skills.

“What does it mat­ter how big I am and how big I may get?” she ar­gues. “I’m as healthy as the lot of you, and I know how to have a good time.”

They ask about her son. Isn’t he at risk with all his ex­cess adi­pose and his pro­nounced florid demeanour? 

“He looks like a di­vorcee!” some­one cries.

Touché. There is some­thing to that. The lit­tle man now fuss­es about as though he could use a dry mar­ti­ni to calm his nerves and hone his appetite.

The mon­u­men­tal woman says she will not apol­o­gize for be­ing who she is and how she is, nor does she think her son will die be­fore his time.

“Look at him,” she says, “how could you say any­thing bad about my Fred­dy. Look at him. Hi Fred­dy, hi my lit­tle an­gel. How dare you people!”

“Is he dri­ving yet?” some­one asks.

“Does he have an ul­cer?” asks some­one else.

“Are those side­burns?” And so on.

The meet­ing dis­solves short­ly there­after, the lev­el of of­fense pro­hib­i­tive. As for re­li­gious over­tones and al­lu­sions, they were nev­er in the pro­gram, and since most folks think the moth­er and son set a ter­ri­ble ex­am­ple, the ques­tion re­mains moot. “They’ll be pun­ished for this,” one of the tiny ones as­sures every­one, the hunger and yearn­ing for ex­cess writ­ten large on his face. 

Filed under Fiction on September 8th, 2023

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Daniel wrote:

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