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My doughy rump

My husband and I have been married so long we have our own food signal system. A quick wave of the biscuit cutter means we're headed for hot, buttered, biscuit heaven. An ice cream scoop on the counter sets a course for rocky road. A little bell rung at four o'clock is a cue to grab a glass and muster for happy hour.

We spent all autumn signaling. Then one morning, I got a big signal we'd better stop-I sat down to put on my shoes, and blew out the seat of my pants.

Duly warned, I put on my roomy sweats and went into the kitchen-just in time to see my better half popping day-old biscuits into the microwave.

"Should I zap one for you?" he said.

"Only if zap means you'll make it disappear forever."

"Huh? What happened to biscuit heaven?"

"It's gone to Hell. We've been waving, scooping, and ringing since September. Now I've got six pounds of doughy rump to work off."

"Just like last year," he said wiping crumbs off his upper lip.

I flung open the fridge door. "Yeah, well, my rump reduction starts this morning."

"Thatta girl. Count me in. I've got four extra pounds to lose myself."

"Okay, but be prepared for the same grueling routine as last year." I searched in the veggie drawer for a raw carrot. "Expect a daily dose of lung busting exercise and a stripped-down diet of tuna salad sandwiches-that's plain-

"I know, I know, plain tuna between two giant lettuce leaves."

"Perfect. Sounds like you're ready for 'Rump Off 2020.' I handed him a carrot.

That was six weeks ago. The good news is, we've both lost weight; I am just not sure how much of it is backside. The bad news is, I have only lost three pounds and my hubby has only lost two. Two or three pounds is not a rump-off. I guess it is just our tough luck growing a doughy rump is a lot easier than getting rid of one.

But we are not giving up. Our two-person signal corps even swapped out our old waving, scooping and ringing signals for some new ones. Now, a quick wave of the car key means we're headed to the track. A can opener on the counter sets a course for tuna salad sandwiches. A little bell rung at four o'clock is a cue to grab the dumbbells and muster for weight lifting-except on weekends-when that four o'clock bell still means it's happy hour.

-Marie Lemond

Marie Lemond is an essayist living in Washington State. She is a plucky nature lover with a funny bone for daily life. Her work has also appeared in Country Magazine.

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