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Squeeze Play

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jun. 26, 2020 - 4:51 PM

Squeeze Play

The Newnan Times-Herald

You can only kid yourself for so long. Sooner or later, you have to gather your courage and face the ugly truth.

That time has come.

With exceptions for emergency runs to snag groceries, medical supplies and fast food, I’ve been living like a hermit in the COVID cave.

I’m over it. I’ll play it safe and keep my (social) distance, but I’m ready to get out and wallow in the world again. The word “wallow” is used deliberately here. After three months in Corona exile, I look like a Hampshire hog.

I wasn’t aware of the problem until I dug out my summer clothes. I knew my clothes hadn’t shrunk more than the national economy since March, so I was forced to admit I’d gained a few pounds. And I was forced to consider my options.

I don’t have the time or energy to lose twenty pounds before I face the world again. That means buying some new duds. I won’t need a lot. I’ve already got a suit that’s roomy enough for church services, weddings and funerals. I need something carefree and comfy.

I decided to shop for what I call “slim casual” wear, which sounds way better than “desperate fat-hiding outfit.”

Fashion experts say dark colors are more flattering and slimming, but I want my wardrobe to reflect the joy and hope of my post-lockdown personality.

I thought a plaid ninja suit with a fancy cape would be cool. Then I realized I might come off looking like the Phantom of the Opera meets Old Age Mutant Ninja Turtle.

I considered squeezing myself into outfits six or seven sizes too small. But when you squeeze in one part, another part pops out. Plus, I’d have to get a respirator to keep breathing.

I followed a trail of empty M&Ms bags hoping to find my treadmill. Maybe next week. Then, it hit me. I needed Spanx.

If Spanx made Oprah look slimmer, they would surely work for me. I wasn’t interested in their control top pantyhose because that would mean scraping off my “Real Men Don’t Wear Pantyhose” bumper sticker.

But a visit to the website revealed a Spanx product called Shapewear. Pictures showed slimming garments that addressed my problem area — the space between my knees and neck.

I browsed the online catalog and was poised to punch the “Buy Now!” button when I realized Shapewear garments are one-piece products. That was a deal killer. Especially during football season.

I can’t imagine missing the Big Play because I was struggling to slip in and out of my onesie during a restroom break.

But tough times and tight clothes breed desperate decisions. I decided I can live with a one-piece wrap — but it has to be something that suits my style.

Conecuh Sausage, based in Greenville, Alabama, tastes so good it’s written up in gourmet magazines. All the Conecuh crowd does is stuff meat into tight casings. I figured if they can put a casing on a hog, they can wrap me up, too.

I’m still trying to reach Conecuh’s department of casing innovation. If that doesn’t work, there’s an outfit in Florida that puts shrink wrap on boats to protect them during shipping.

I filed for an online price estimate. Under “Boat Size” I wrote the word Ark. Then I took a nap. Working out can be exhausting.

Alex McRae is a writer and ghostwriter and author of There Ain’t No Gentle Cycle on the Washing Machine of Love. He can be reached at: