Chubby checker


“Hey, Wanky!” said the email, “Let’s check your chub!”

I said to myself, after checking the sender’s address and noting that it was from a respectable, upstanding person, “That can’t mean what I think it means.”

So I started over:

“Hey, Wanky! Let’s check your chub! I bought two tickets to the Body Spectrum fat scanner, one for you and one for me. It’s in Santa Monica–we could pedal over after the Friday coffee ride. What do you say?”

I said, “What in the world are you talking about?”

She said, “It’s this thing where they tell you your fat content, bone density, menstrual proportionality, and cranio-fibular viscosity.”

I said, “I already know my fat content: too much.”

She said, “But it will be FUN!”

I said, “Do they dunk you in a vat of kryptonite? Or is it the deal where they strip you naked and pluck your fat off the underlying tissue with those torture pincers?”

She said, “Neither. They just lay you on a table and scan you.”

I said, “With what? A bar code reader?”

She said, “No, silly, with x-rays.”

I said, “I don’t want to get irradiated like a piece of food being prepared for a bomb shelter just to be told I’m chubby.”

She said, “It’s free.”

I said, “Okay.”

As we pedaled over to Bulletproof Coffee, where I had a large cup of coffee made with a stick of butter, I said to her, “Look, I know my fat content. It’s between 13 and 15 percent, give or take a point. Guaranteed.”

She said, “How do you know?”

I said, “There are about 10,000 online fat calculators. Do ten of them, take the average, and that’s your fat. And no cancer-causing x-rays.”

She said, “But what about your bone density?”

I said, “My bones can’t be dense. I ride a bicycle and my resistance training consists of trying to resist having seconds. My bones are like peanut brittle, guaranteed.”

She said, “You’ll feel better knowing.”

I said, “I never feel better knowing. I always feel better imagining.”

We got to Body Spectrum and they very nicely made me take all the metal out of my pockets. I asked if I could leave in my fillings and the plate in my head. They said yes.

The nice lady scanned my body. Then a different nice lady sat down with me to review the results.

She said, “You are not fat.”

I said, “Did someone say I was?”

She said, “But you have some fat around your viscera.”

I said, “You mean I’m chubby inside?”

She said, “Yes, but not unhealthily so.”

I thought about Wednesday when we went to the coffee shop and the nice counter girl asked if were a cyclist. I was wearing floppy shorts and a t-shirt and all my friends were wearing stretch underwear. “No,” I said. “I’m just a person.”

“I didn’t think you were a cyclist. You look ill … ”

“I do?” I asked.

” … suited. I meant to say ill-suited to be a cyclist.”

I gave her no tip for service, but a $5 tip for being so unintentionally cruel.

Back with the chubby checker, things were better. “Your numbers look good,” she said. “16.3% body fat is fine. You might want to do some resistance training, something to build bone density.”

I started to tell her about all the second helpings I was resisting, and all the booze I’d resisted in Germany, but didn’t. I quit while I was ahead.


100% butter made with pure butter.



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22 thoughts on “Chubby checker”

    1. Remember when you flatted and I helped explain how to change a flat? That’s where the new coffee shop is. Manslaughter loves it for rather obvious reasons.

        1. You can tell your grandkids, “That’s where I first got advised how to change a flat by Francis Gary Powers.”

  1. Hello fsethd-san and All,

    My Ironman weight scales put me at 5 to 6% depending on if my feet are wet from the shower …. and I thought …. shit hot! I am in the low fat department.

    Then I get tested at my gym with some weird device that you hold with both hands and push a button …. 26% Fat ….. nope I said must be wrong … spit on my hands for a good connection and tried again …. 24% ??

    The gal doing the test said ……. I was OK and did not need to lose more weight but that if I signed up (and paid) for more exercise …… it would be good for me and would improve my kinesthetic sense and improve my balance …. so I signed up for some more exercise off the bike to improve my exercise on the bike.

    When my wife tells me I look like I am returning home from a prison camp …. and friends ask if I am feeling well … I know I am near my ideal weight regardless of what the stupid machines tell me …. and when they schedule a family intervention to force feed me ….. I am race ready … and can do the Twist.



    +1 mph Faster

  2. Nothing says Butter like Butter! I love butter! Salted. Ingredients Cream and Salt. Nom nom nom. Buttered italian bread, buttered pancakes, butter in my oatmeal, rice and butter, butter and peirogis, butter and home fries, butter, butter, butter.

  3. Hello fsethd-san and All,

    You got me thinking about radiation again …..

    About 3 weeks ago my dentist did a Trump and said, “You’re Fired!”.

    I reported a minute early for my semi annual tooth scraping and the receptionist asked if I was Neal … yep.

    She said, you are the guy that doesn’t get x-rays right? Yep.

    Doctor says if you do not get x-rays he cannot continue to have you for a patient if you do not have them. I said …. tell the doctor that I will not have them if I do not have a tooth ache or some other reason.

    She leaves ….. comes back ….. Doctor says our digital x-rays are like a day in the sunshine. Yeah I said but a day in the sunshine takes all day and your digital x-rays take a fraction of a second and damage my already beat up DNA.

    I had been going to that dental office for about 40 years but the original dentist had a new kid taking over the practice.

    I left the office and went home. I am looking for a new dentist.

    After 45 years flying at high altitudes and being an unwilling participant in the Chinese Nuke test …. plus drinking radioactive isotopes for med tests I figured I was only one micro Sievert from destruction.

    The Chinese Nuke test was interesting …. …… after flying through the fallout while working for Northwest Airlines ….. I thought it would be interesting to see how much radiation we were getting. I took some Q tips and cleaned off some 1 inch squares of oil residue just aft of the fan section of the engines …. took the Q tips in a paper bag to a professor at Univ. of Minnesota who had agreed to test them.

    He had an old scintillation counter that looked like a small lead icebox with rows of lights one above the other for a readout. The lights were in set up with first row (one light for each digit) units, second row tens, and so on.

    The professor reached in the bag with his hand and place one of the oily Q tips in the counter …. closed the lead door … and turned it on.

    It looked like the counter exploded as the lights all lit up. Hmmmm must be an error ….. so he removed the Q tip and found the standard item for calibration and turned on the counter …. worked fine.

    Next the professor carefully washed his hands ….. then took some very long (3 foot barbecue tongs) and fished around in my paper bag for a different Q tip. It also lit up the counter and he said ….. those samples are damn hot and you should notify Northwest Airlines to decontaminate the aircraft and check to see if anyone working around the engines has any radiation symptoms.

    I called the Northwest employee labor director (I had a lawsuit sponsored by the Dept. of Labor against Northwest at the time) and described what happened. The smart ass on the phone said that the planes were fine and to mind my own business.

    I said that if they did not decontaminate the affected aircraft I was calling the newspaper. He said I was putting my employment in jeopardy …. so being young and dumb I said … “I can always find a new job.”

    Next day the aircraft were being washed and the contamination went into the Mississippi River so those downstream that drank the water got something extra.

    The professor kept the Q tips and his grad student plotted the decay rates for 4 of the isotopes and extrapolated the curves back a couple of weeks (then plotted on a 10 foot x 20 foot wall) and the curves met within 2 hours of the China test …. pretty cool.

    He loaned me a hand held Geiger counter that I used on my flights to monitor ambient radiation and pilots wrist watches that glowed in the dark for the next several months.

    American Dental Assn. recommends: “Posterior bitewing exam at 24-36 month intervals for adults.”

    It is noted in some reports that dentists often take more X-rays than recommended … perhaps for profit reasons.



    +1 mph Faster

  4. First, you could have used my name. I have no problem being known as the woman who asked you “Let’s check your chub!”

    Second, I’m not a big butter user, but it has it’s time and place. I never thought the time would be the coffee ride nor the place IN my coffee. I have to say that stuff was good, but only in small amounts.

    Third, the whole DXA body scan. The reason I like them is 1) they are way more accurate than anything else. The electronic methods (scales and those things you hold) are TERRIBLY inaccurate. You can get relative information (e.g. is your percentage fat going up or down) IF you use them VERY often (daily) and get a feel for what the information is telling you. If you’ve ever looked at the chart used with the pincers, you’ll know how inaccurate those are. The dunking tanks and air displacement are better, but still a guess based on displacement that can be affected by things like air bubbles. DXA scans are by far the most accurate. 2) For us old folk, knowing your bone density is worth it’s weight in gold, if you want to stay away from the hip fracture issues of old age. 3) The scale is a terrible measure of how much fat you’re carrying around. All it tells you is your weight, not how much fat you have nor how much water you’re retaining (which for me can be up to 5 lbs.)

    And thanks for letting me bribe you into having the Coffee Ride go north. 🙂

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