It was summertime.
"Good gravy! You're eating again, Pumpkin?"
Dad and Pumpkin were standing outside. Dad was working in his garden, and Pumpkin was walking around eating a pack of chips.
"That's your third snack this afternoon!" Dad continued in alarm. "Ease up, Pumpkin! It's not healthy to stuff your face whenever you have nothing else to do!"
The whole thing became quite a problem. Then one day...
"Dad, my eating is not the problem!" said Pumpkin after swallowing a bite of his orange. "When you harsh on my eating, it's so clear that you're going through the same problem and don't want me to follow!"
Dad stopped to think for a moment. "Actually...you're right, Pumpkin."
"Why not just go on a diet, Dad? Set yourself a goal, then go for it! What's the magic number, Dad? How much weight do you want to lose?"
Dad walked away. "At this point about 86 pounds," he groaned.
Twenty-four hours later...
"How goes the dieting, Dad?"
"It's a little bit early to ask, isn't it? I've only been dieting for 24 hours! You can't lose weight all at once, you know! That's not healthy!" He frowned. "You have to move along, step-by...step..."
Pumpkin immediately caught on. "Well? How much have you gained?"
Dad smacked his forehead. "Three pounds."
He grumbled as he stormed off toward his room.
"Dad, going on a diet doesn't mean you have to be so grim!" said Pumpkin's teenage sister, Ellen.
"Yeah, Dad!" seconded Pumpkin. "Stop taking it all so seriously! Make a joke out of it!"
"A joke! For example, you could be like, 'I'm so fat, I put my belt on with a boomerang!'"
Dad clenched his fists.
"'I've got a million of them, folks!'" Pumpkin lamented, more to himself than Dad. "'I'm here all week!'"
Dad stomped off in the other direction. I need a doughnut...
Two days later...
"Dad, you're wearing a sweat shirt?! It's a zillion degrees outside!"
Dad had just walked in the door to see Pumpkin in the foyer. "I'm trying to lose weight! So I walked around the block a few times to work up a real sweat! It was boiling, but it was worth it!" He reached into the cabinet. "I could just feel the pounds dripping off!"
Without interest, Pumpkin walked away. "Said the man who is now cooling off with a root beer float."
"Hey, I've got to rehydrate somehow!" Dad replied defensively.