Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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This Isn't My Underwear!

January 16, 2013
 

I recently posted a high school picture of myself and several followers commented that I didn’t look chubby at all. The picture was taken shortly after I’d managed to drop the weight.

    

I remember my parents taking me to have my thyroid checked when I was twelve because my baby fat wasn’t burning off. A slow learner, I’d finally come to the realization that life wasn’t fair; no one in my family was overweight. My older brother could eat a chocolate cake and burn it off by farting, whereas I could eat a carrot and my body would respond, “Let’s store this for the winter!” I remember seeing a chart in the doctor’s office that claimed I weighed as much as a fully grown man. It turned out that my thyroid was normal and I was disappointed when told no pill would make me thin. Still, it took a few more years for me to reach the point where I refused to be overweight anymore.

    

A high school incident involving my nemesis Chris Ferris convinced me that the time had come to do something about my weight. Fate had mischievously assigned Chris Ferris to the P.E locker beside mine. Chris had been tormenting me since the second grade when he thwarted my attempt to purchase a box of Kotex I’d been sent to fetch from a nearby drugstore for my mother.

    

In the locker room after freshman PE. class he’d grab my breasts and yell for all to hear that my tits were bigger than his girlfriend’s. And make no mistake about it, his girlfriend, a junior on the cheerleading squad, had big tits. One day after gym class when I’d completed an hour of grueling humiliation on the basketball court, it was time to head to the showers. I rinsed off quickly, as usual feeling vulnerable without my clothes and glasses. The other guys looked like blurry eels. I grabbed my towel and headed back to the lockers, fumbling with the combination to my lock. When it popped open, I quickly jumped into my underwear.

    

Chris Ferris had left the showers just after me. He was in no hurry to conceal his athletic body and was slowly strolling towards the lockers. When Chris saw me, his eyes widened with outrage. Somehow, having gotten into his locker by mistake, I was standing there wearing his underwear. He must not have snapped his locker shut properly. And why should he? I mean—who would steal from Chris Ferris, a bully a full head taller than anyone else in the class? When I twisted the dial on the combination it only seemed to unlock, having never been locked to begin with.

    

Like I said, I DIDN’T HAVE MY GLASSES ON! Chris used this as another reason to make my life a living hell. Over the course of the next few weeks he extorted close to twenty bucks from me to cover the cost of underpants I couldn’t have removed more quickly had they been on fire. This humiliation and the ridicule that followed convinced me it was time to lose weight and stop being ashamed of my body.

    

Next time: How I did it.

 

     To date, this was my most embarrassing moment. What was yours? 




Comments

31 Comments
You are still not chubby ;)
By: izdiher on January 16, 2013
Actually, I think that was part of of Ferrid reaping what he sowed. Good grief, I think I would have died on the spot. As far as my most embarrassing...well, although it happened many years ago, I still don't think I'm ready to tell it. Maybe one day...
By: Shelly on January 16, 2013
Should be *Ferris
By: Shelly on January 16, 2013
I'm glad my high school didn't have mandatory PE. That would have been a nightmare. Now I'm looking forward to your weight loss secrets. Maybe that could be the start of an infomercial, or at least a diet plan endorsement like one of those celebrities.
By: PT Dilloway on January 16, 2013
My most embarassing moment was in a locker room also...but it's still too soon to relate that moment! All I can say is it had to do with bras...girls can be pretty mean.
By: Kathe W. on January 16, 2013
I think my most embarrassing moment happened in the 3rd grade. I was a long-time thumb-sucker. I had tried everything, but still at night or in moments when I wasn't paying attention that thumb would sneak into my mouth. One day my mom was babysitting a boy a year older than I was (of course I had a crush on him) & while we were watching television there went that thumb. I was mortified. Boy that seems like a LONG time ago!
By: The Bug on January 16, 2013
Well, if you could fit into his underpants, doesn't that mean, ipso facto, that you were in just as good shape as he was? As for me, I was never fat. Just "stocky." And my most embarrassing moment? Hah, I'm too embarrassed to tell!
By: Tom Sightings on January 16, 2013
I've not done this one, but I can understand about not having your glasses on. You were just an accident waiting to happen weren't you? Not really, but that's what I was thinking. It's the second time this guy has messed with you. I'm sure there is more too. Every kid has some bully to deal with. I really want to know how you lost weight. I'm guessing it wasn't healthy. Kids never seem to get that right. Have a terrific day. :)
By: Comedy Plus on January 16, 2013
I agree with Tom Sightings--at least those underpants stayed up! I was in about the 2nd grade & we were dancing in a circle in school, holding hands, when mine fell down. Major humiliation!!
By: fishducky on January 16, 2013
I once found a fat kid in gym wearing my underwear!
By: Cranky Old Man on January 16, 2013
Yea that is pretty bad, my can't compare. There are so many gym related things that are so embarrassing though aren't there? Wonder why exactly that is. I remember in gym I had a cough or hiccup or something, got some water from the fountain. I looked up straight in the face of another girl and spit the water out on her. OMG... It was terrible! I didn't catch any greif from that though.
By: Hey Monkey Butt on January 16, 2013
When I was about 7 I accidentally wore my pj bottoms to school under my skirt. Now, they were the short frilly kind called baby dolls, and no one knew but me, but I was mortified! Funny how kids' minds will work ... In later years I made a crack about a teacher I actually liked but I was trying to be smart ... turned around to see her behind me - that one made me mortified AND sad, and it taught me a good lesson. I so understand the blindness of having glasses off ... so hazy, so disorienting, makes one so vulnerable.
By: jenny_o on January 16, 2013
How cruel kids can be.. and still are. I'm interested to learn how you lost the weight. That wasn't in the days of internet advice nor was every second show offering fitness tips. You had to feel motivated.
By: Hilary on January 16, 2013
I was bullied and beaten up in elementary school. I didn't experience those types of incidents in English high school. My challenges involved language. I was born into a bilingual household and educated in the English education system in the province of Quebec. I lived in an area dominated by the French and blue collar workers. As kids can be cruel, I was singled out because I was not fully French (Half Irish and half French). Over time I had made many French friends. That said, there was always someone (or more) wanting to challenge me. These experiences although painful at times taught me how to fight. That plus my growth spurt and improved athleticism helped me stand my ground. These experiences also followed me in hockey right up to Junior B. Keep in mind, I never was the instigator, but I did manage to come out of most battles earning a little more respect.
By: Daniel LaFrance on January 16, 2013
I didn't have a really embarrassing moment in high school. Mine came in college when I was sick and so tired I fell asleep during a poetry recital. I learned later that I snored and offended the reader. I always felt bad about that.
By: Michael Offutt on January 16, 2013
Chris Ferris sounds like he was a pucking futz. Am I evil if I say I hope he weighs 500 pounds and went totally bald. (not that bald doesn't look great on some guys). I have had a few really embarrassing moments but I prefer to pretend they never happened so no writing them down. I did have an advantage though. I was one of the few kids with one parent and that parent was strange. People treated me with kid gloves thinking I had enough to deal with.
By: Cheryl P. on January 16, 2013
That would motivate anyone! Most embarrassing? Finding out i was the subject of high school rumors started by someone who wanted to be nasty. Once the person tells those stories, no evidence to the contrary will suffice, even when someone else she admires makes her apologize and publicly renounce the stuff.
By: mimi on January 16, 2013
My most embarrassing moment? I fear mine is yet to come!
By: Bryan Jones on January 16, 2013
Your line about your brother and the chocolate and you and the carrot just cracked me. I'm still chuckling. My most embarrassing locker room moment was my freshman year and my first time to try out for organized football. I was new to town and my old hometown didn't have a youth football league, we just played in a park without pads. Well, here I was with a stack of pads and had not the first idea of where they went or how they went on. I pretty much figured out the shoulder pads, though I put them on backwards. You can imagine how much "respect" I got from the football jockos.
By: Tom Cochrun on January 16, 2013
I suppose it was that time my bra strap broke in music class. You know how it is, when you first start wearing a bra...oh. I guess you don't. My first clue that something was amiss was when everybody kept turning around to giggle or point at me. One of the twin peaks was exposed. Under my blouse, of course. But still on display if you're a pervy little fifth grader.
By: Val on January 16, 2013
The words chubby and fatare no longer considered to be politically correct. The proper term is gravitationally challenged
By: Joe on January 16, 2013
Seventh grade. A top comes untied. A boob is exposed. Even my "best friend" smirked. I don't know if that's the most embarrassing. There have been so many. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on January 16, 2013
The fact that he is described not just as a bully but as YOUR NEMESIS makes me want to cheer for you even more! Great story--looking forward to tomorrows conclusion. My most embarrassing moment is so painful that I have sworn to never utter (or type) it again. Sorry.
By: Nancy on January 16, 2013
Youâre brave! That was awful. Sorry. My most embarrassing moment will never again see the light of day or the ink of a pen. I will say it involved alcohol, a first date, a boat, a whale and vomiting. You piece it together. Ha! Mindy @ Mindyhalleck.blogspot.com
By: Mindy on January 17, 2013
Fortunately (?) I'm blessed with such a poor memory I don't remember any seriously embarrasing moments, but I know that they are back there somewhere (and hopefully not ahead)
By: joeinvegas on January 17, 2013
Kids can be so dang cruel. Sorry. I was teased daily for being so short. It's tough being too anything. I've had too many embarrassing moments and none that I wish to reveal. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on January 17, 2013
I'm sure I've had plenty of embarrassing things happen to me in my life, but I honestly can't think of one instance right this minute. I'll have to get back to you on that. But your's was a doozie! Yikes! S
By: scott park on January 17, 2013
Many, many embarrassing moments for me...all little stuff not worth mentioning. LOL at your description of you and your brother's metabolisms - my second son says the very same thing. His older brother can eat a truckload of spaghetti and lose weight, he'll gain three pounds just thinking of spaghetti.
By: Pixel Peeper on January 17, 2013
A story that made me think of many friends, Stephen. It's amazing to look back.
By: Michael Manning on January 17, 2013
It's funny, because I noticed that picture and thought the same thing as your other readers! But, man, I can't stand that Chris Ferris. What a mean guy. But, why, oh why, did it have to be HIS locker you accidentally pilfered from? Poor Stephen. I've had too many embarrassing moments to mention here, sadly.
By: Kianwi on January 17, 2013
Ouch kids can be so cruel. Sad really that humiliation caused you to lose weight.
By: LL Cool Joe on January 18, 2013

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