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Greek-American Stories: Diets to Donuts

“I don’t think the diet Dr. Arostakis gave me is working.” Yiannis told those around the table in Dixon’s that Sunday. George, looking across at him, said, “no diet is going to work for you, Yiannis. You don’t do the right thing.” Grimacing, Yiannis asked his usually negative friend, “and, what’s the right thing according to you, oh, great wizard?”

“Well, for instance, you don’t do the right exercise that guarantees losing weight.” Suddenly interested, Yiannis asked, “what exercise will guarantee weight loss? We’re all listening.” All attention was fastened on what George could advise the famous diet defector. “Simple! Whenever dessert is being served you just turn your head from left to right at least ten times.” Yiannis looked puzzled. “I don’t get it!” Smiling, George said, “Exactly! You won’t get it…the dessert…because turning your head ten times indicates your refusal for dessert. In time the pounds will melt away. I guarantee it!” Yiannis realized what George meant only when he saw the others around the table laughing. “How much do you weigh, Yiannis?” asked Dimos, seriously. Hesitant, Yiannis looked up at the cafeteria ceiling and around the side walls. “Don’t you know?” asked John. “I’m trying to recall the correct figure,” he said, sorry he ever brought up the subject in the first place. Then, he told them, “In the neighborhood of 148 lbs. But, that was when I left the doctor’s office last week. I’ve been watching what I was eating since then. So, I should have been a lot less now.” “But, you’re complaining that the diet Dr. Arostakis gave you isn’t working,” said a confused Kipreos, pushing the full donut dish farther away from Yiannis’ grasp.  Fidgeting, Yiannis shrugged. “Maybe, my weighing machine ay home isn’t working correctly. I don’t know.” Looking around, Dimos noticed a scale against the far wall of the cafeteria. “Tell you what, Yiannis. Let’s go over to that scale and you’ll know how much you really weigh.” Not anxious to step on the scale Yiannis shrugged again. “I told you! In the neighborhood of 148 lbs.” Sensing his reluctance was a means of stalling, John said, “we’re all ready to leave here anyway. It’ll only take a minute of your time. Then, you’ll know your true weight and, take it from there.” Still hesitant, Yiannis tried to delay the mission. But, everyone rose from the table and headed towards the scale. Yiannis was last to reach the scale where they had all gathered. Finally, he arrived, holding a bag in his hand. Looking at the tall scale he noticed it needed a coin. He searched his pockets and started to turn away. “Looks like I don’t have a coin, guys. Maybe, next time.” Dimos, quickly, produced a coin and said, “on me!” All eyes watched as the numbers rolled around and around as they awaited the final results. Finally, the numbers ceased rolling. Afraid to look, Yiannis told them, maybe, this machine isn’t accurate either. I told you I’m in the neighborhood of…” To his surprise, the scale registered less than 148 lbs. “Well, look at that!” said Dimos, slapping Yiannis on the back. “You’re 143 lbs.” Suddenly, Yiannis remembered the bag he held. Hoping it might lessen the number even more, he handed John the bag. “Hold this a minute, please.”

“What’s this?” asked John, shaking the heavy bag. “Donuts!” Yiannis informed John nonchalantly. “You guys left all of the donuts back there. I packed them. Why let them go to waste?” George, his mouth hanging open, threw back his head and laughed. “What’s so funny?” asked Yiannis. Throwing up his hands, George said, “there goes the neighborhood!”

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