Diet and Exercise

Damon Runyon


March 20.

DEAR SIR the other night when we came home from the movies I was reading the paper and my wife Ethel was looking at herself in the mirror and she ses hay Joe do you think I am getting fat?

I ses why no Ethel. I ses you are just nice. She ses you are not looking at me at all. You are reading that old paper. I ses Ethel I do not have to look at you to know how you look and you are just nice.

She ses well I think I am getting a little hippy. What do you think? I ses no Ethel you do not look hippy to me. I ses you are just nice. She ses well I wish I was as thin as that Katherine Hepburn we saw in the picture tonight. I ses yes she is thin all right and Ethel ses I suppose you wish I was as thin as she is.

I ses look Ethel you wished it yourself. I ses all I ses is Katherine Hepburn is thin all right. I ses she has a nice pair of bunting sticks too.

Ethel ses O I know what you mean by that remark Joe Turp. You mean legs. I ses Ethel I do not mean arms, and she ses well that is all fellows like you notice anyway. If you ask me I think she is too thin all over and so are her legs. I suppose you wish I had legs like Katherine Hepburn?

I ses Ethel I do not wish you had legs like anybody except yourself. I ses your legs are all right, and she ses well anyway I think I will go on a diet day after tomorrow only that is Wednesday and I want to go to the Dagoes for dinner and eat zitti. Yes I will start my diet Thursday Joe.

I ses what again? She ses what do you mean again? I ses well Ethel since we have been married I guess you have been on a diet a hundred times and she ses all right what of it? I do not see what kick you have coming if somebody goes on a diet. It saves you money in what I do not eat.

I ses Ethel the last time you was on a diet you was eating lamb chops and pineapples for your dinners and that did not save me money because they cost more than corn beef and cabbage and she says well I lost two pounds a day. I ses yes and you picked up three pounds a night with the chocolate you ate in the movies so you came out loser on the pounds.

Ethel ses O I suppose you begrudge me a few chocolates besides the lamb chops and pineapples? I ses Ethel baby you know I never begrudge you anything. I ses I was just saying that the chocolate stood off the lamb chops and pineapples. I ses you can eat a dollars worth of chocolates every night for all I care and she ses thats just it Joe you never try to help me lose pounds. You encourage me to eat things.

I ses I did not encourage you tonight to have that ice cream soda after all those chocolates you ate in the movies and Ethel ses why you talk like I ate a ton of chocolates when all I ate was a few little bitsy pieces. Anyway I knew I was going on a diet right away.

I ses maybe if you took some exercise instead of dieting you would knock off a few pounds and Ethel ses O you do think I am getting fat then? I ses I did not say I think anything of the kind. I ses I was only making a suggestion to help you out and she ses well please tell me where I am getting fat Joe?

I ses look Ethel I tell you I do not think you are getting fat anywhere. I ses I think you are just nice and she ses is it on my hips? I ses is what on your hips? She ses the fat? I ses Ethel how many times do you want me to tell you there is no fat on you anywheres? I ses you are just nice and she ses no you would not have made that remark about me taking exercise if you did not think I am getting fat.

I ses Ethel I am not going to argue with you any more about it. I ses I tell you you are not getting fat but are just nice but if you want to diet go ahead. I ses anything you do is all right with me but if you got a bicycle and rode it around the park a little every day it would do you more good than anything else.

My wife Ethel started to cry and ses I knew it was my hips or you would not tell me to take that kind of exercise and I ses look Ethel I would not care if you was as hippy as an elephant I would love you I ses but I still say you are not hippy you are just nice and she ses well all right Joe if you still love me I do not care myself but I will go on a diet just the same and ride a bicycle too and you must not let me eat any more chocolates if you have to choke me.

I ses good night Ethel and went to bed and two hours later she woke me up and ses look Joe you know a bicycle and a diet will not make my legs like Katherine Hepburns because nothing helps legs and I ses Ethel sweetheart your legs are just nice good night.