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Venera Di Bella Barles

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The Fat Farm, The Mariachis and the Pre-Menopausal Women
By Venera Di Bella Barles
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Four women spend a week at a fat farm.

The Fat Farm, the Mariachis and the Pre-Menopausal Women

Between us, in our lives, we had lost enough weight for twenty well-endowed females. But this time it would be different. It was to be a joint effort. Four pre-menopausal women making yet another attempt to look like a Vargas pin-up girl. We would load my 1964 Dodge Dart station wagon with our 950 pounds of flesh and go to a genuine high-class-fat-farm, where every move would be monitored. We were sure to come back with new lifestyles, a new way to trap the fat, a new way to appease the hunger madam.
My friend, the infamous Mrs. Whitney, the perpetrator of many wild schemes, had grown up with the other two women, six-foot tall, Barbara, the unmarried Virgo virgin, and Patricia, the divorced trauma nurse. They flew in from the Bay area to spend their vacation week in anticipation of this major overhaul. The three planned this group effort and then invited me as their party of four. Since I had the large vehicle it seemed to be a good choice.
The trip down the coast from Orange County, California to a place somewhere between Tijuana and Ensenada, Mexico, was uneventful. Hopes flew high. But I was glad my husband had installed heavy-duty shock absorbers on the station wagon.
When we arrived we were assigned rooms together, but I chose to distance my sleeping quarters as far away as possible from the three smokers. We were to come to dinner at five o’clock and at that time we would be weighed and oriented to procedures.
At four o’clock, a generous bottle of Tequilla appeared, one of several bought at the border town of Tijuana, by our Mrs. Whitney and her friends. They were fully prepared for a week of cocktails. The strict Catholic in me didn’t allow a loosening of reins, to smoke and to over indulge in drink. By the time the gals reached our trainers, they felt little pain. As a matter fact, fat could be sliced off without benefit of anesthesia.
Eyes widened when our hefty entourage arrived. We joined a long line of ladies and a few men of all shapes waiting for their nightly weigh-in. As we stepped off the scale we were handed a substantial cup of parsley tea, a whammy of a diuretic. We were expected to drink this concoction several times each day. Each morning before breakfast and each evening before dinner we were also to weigh-in. With a daily routine of water ballet exercises, saunas, massages, facials and mud baths, something was bound to happen to our generous bodies. The problem with these houses of reformation is I’m not sure they fully understand how hard a job it is to keep weight on. All that work to put it on and now we had to pay big bucks to take it off.
I quickly found out how this resort made money –certainly it was not spent on food. I have never eaten so much grass. We were starving. The first night was pathetic; we each dug into our purses and suitcases for anything that resembled rations. The parsley tea had us up all night losing cocktails, coffee and plenty of water.
Our morning weigh-in was stellar. We had our breakfast of yerba and then our water exercise, met the celebrities, an old-time Senator and a popular comedienne, Ruth Buzzi. But soon, our mal-nourished brains drifted. Barbara, Patricia, Mrs. Whitney and I made minor deviations in the program.
Swimming wasn’t high on my list of exciting things to do with my body, but I was told it would help to shed the unwanted avoirdupois if I exercised in the pool. Since I hadn’t brought a swim suit I wore shorts and a cotton tank top. All went well until I had to get out of the work pond. Heavy with water, my undisciplined scoop neckline top had stretched to below my breasts.
Later, Mrs. Whitney and I decided to find out what the sauna was about. Fully dressed we entered a door of a long quonset style building opened another door and there before us were three nudes sitting on a bench, soaking up the heat and steam. I was embarrassed at the sight, but my beloved friend, Mrs. Whitney, never at a loss for the proper welcome, took my hand and sat us down on a bench opposite them.
“So, how’s it goin’? This is my friend Vinny and I’m Jeanne.”
The nudes didn’t answer.
My clothes were wet with the heat and I felt like I was on stage at the Greek Theater in medical stirrups.
But Mrs. Whitney was determined to be social.
“You’re lookin’ swell. Lost much?”
The nudes didn’t answer.
“Well, Vinny let’s go get our parsley tea.” The gracious Mrs. Whitney got up and shook the nudes hands. “See you on the scales!”
By four o’clock the girls were ready for their booze reward. We walked back to our room and talked about how we were to survive this week. We couldn’t deny that we were experiencing some hilarious moments. So far, the day included much tea, much glee and quarts of pee. Little that resembled food.
“I say we weigh in, eat their rabbit food and then go into town.” Virgo, the virgin announced. “I could stand to listen to some Mariachis.”
We all agreed a night on the town was in order. We had worked much too hard this day. A change of scenery would certainly boost our attitudes.
The next morning we had our fiber, parsley and scale routine. The head mistress was distressed with us. We had gained weight. She put us on a more stringent diet and routine. Each day the scales climbed a bit further.
“I don’t understand this at all! Day three and not only are you all not losing, but you are gaining. This is highly unusual. We are going to provide one of our trainers to monitor the four of you all day tomorrow.”
Granted special care was in order; after all we were dedicated to this mission. The next day we had mud baths, facials and massages after our daily vigorous workout. Our grass supply was lessened.
Around three o’clock, I decided I would like to have an oil treatment for my head. Quite a feat, since my hair was extra long reaching below my buttocks. I was told to leave the plastic wrappings on my oiled skull until morning. My friends were frantic.
“How in the hell can we go to town with her hair like that?” The trauma nurse yells.
“Do you have a hat or bandana, Vinny?” Jeanne asks.
“I have this Afro wig--I could stuff my hair underneath. Use these bobby pins.”
It was a sweltering miserable night. The heat rose under the plastic bag and wig. The temperature of the oil was right for sautéing. As Mariachi’s sang their love songs into my lubricated ear, pins and oil slid down my neck into my collar. Ah the crazy Americana! Pobrecita! The wig would not stay down. The urge to scratch had reached the insanity level.
It had been a full evening, and it was not over. On the way back to the world famous resort the Mexican sky was pitch black.
“Stop the car, Vinny,” our nurse screeched. “I need to go!”
I pulled the lavender station wagon over to the shoulder. Patricia stumbled out, but was so smashed all she could do was lean against the front right fender and laugh. Mrs. Whitney got out from the back seat to help her friend pull down her pants, now they were both laughing, while Barbara, the virgin, stood to the back of the car, on watch, standing non-chalant, smoking as if she were waiting for a bus. The messed up Catholic behind the wheel wondered how this would look on St. Peter’s books.
The next morning, we weighed, ate, drank and received our usual lecture.
“I’m sure you would not be bringing any food into your rooms—am I right?”
“Oh, my no!” The honorable Mrs. Whitney said. “What a thing to say and think!”
“I just don’t understand why this is happening! We are known for our success. You do see all the celebrities that come here? You agree that something is dreadfully wrong.”
We looked at each other and shook our heads in dismay. They obviously needed to reconnect with their advisors. Some flaw in their programming had to be revamped. Surely the dietitians had overlooked the complicated makeup of pre-menopausal working women or the suburban habits of cloistered females.
Each day our clothing became skimpier to allow a better read on the scale. We were down to Gandhi-like Muumuus and no underwear. The last day arrived and we were quickly shuffled through the final routine. Barbara, apologetic, tried to offer the head madonnas a reason for their failure with us. Something about our metabolic and glandular systems being out of whack.
We silently piled into the listing car and headed for the border. Not much was said about the week.
But then.
The virgin, spoke first. “Do you think they found out?”
Mrs. Whitney asked, “Found out what?”
“How could they find out?” The trauma nurse answered. “We left every night after dark and didn’t turn our head-lights on until we hit the highway. Besides Barb, you sure didn’t miss one bite of those steak and lobster dinners and don’t forget the marriage proposal from the four foot Mariachi.”
The virgin and I felt guilty. “What I mean is I don’t think it was very nice of us to fool and upset them that way.”
I nodded my head in agreement as I drove.
Mrs. Whitney bellowed. “Upset them? This was an expensive week! Don’t you understand they were trying to kill us!

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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 11/28/2007
This reminds me of the YaYas: bold, sassy women who don't let a few pounds stand in the way of happiness! More, please.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Vivian DeSoto 9/6/2007
Excellent story, very well written. I snuck a read in at work, and they could hear me down the hall laughing my @$$ off!! One of my favorite stories.... Thanks for the great entertainment. I love the four gals - hope they turn up in a few more adventures!
Reviewed by Mary Fallon Fleming 8/21/2007
Funny, very well-written, good descriptions, good character development. Enjoyed.

Reviewed by Shannon Phoenix 4/9/2007
Amazing writing!!!! wow!
Reviewed by shawn underwood 2/19/2007
Hey, I know this place. I see you have not mentioned it to protect the names of "the innocent". My mom used to go there and she packed candy bars and alcohol in her suitcase. Good thing they don't have bag check at the door. I personally subscribe to Miraval in Arizona for "reduction program".

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