After years of disappointing results trying many deblubbering programs, I decided to use the most modern tool available, the talking scale. The popular model I bought can be programmed to provide a working relationship between both parties by having the weighee install his personal preferences.

First, I chose an authoritative American male voice for the instrument and was amazed to hear one that closely resembled that of Master Sergeant McGlumphy, my top kick in the Air Force. I needed firm guidance and, believe me, you couldn’t get firmer than Sgt McGlumphy.

Okay, I wasn’t looking for sympathy, I was looking for results. I certainly didn’t want a sultry voiced female guide telling me, “It’s okay Pudgy, don’t cry. You can do better next time.” whenever I added a few pounds.

Failures and excuses were unaccceptable with McGlumphy. I was given due notice at my first weigh-in. “I’ve downloaded your age and physical measurments, Newman,” he barked. “Two hundred and twenty pounds are unacceptable unless you are able to somehow gain six inches in height.”

Reacting instinctively, I dropped and gave him 20. Well, I attempted 20 pushups, but managed only four and a half. As I lay panting on the bathroom floor, he shouted, “Report back in one week!”

I should have switched over to Miss Sultry right then, but I thought I needed a firmer hand. What I got was more like a fist. The following week McGlumphy announced, “Two hundred eighteen pounds” and I waited for an encouraging compliment, but instead I heard. “Newman, stand at attention. I can tell you’re leaning on the sink! That’s better. Two hundred twenty three pounds. Not good. Drop and give me 20 and this time I mean 20!”

And so it went. The tattle tale scale sensors could detect all my acrobatic attempts to get lower numbers and reported everything to McGlumphy who started to get sarcastic. “One at a time, please” he’d shout when I stepped on the scale.

Two can play at this game I thought and switched the pounds setting to kilograms, decreasing my numbers by more than half, but he saw through this right away. So then I changed the language from English to Croatian. I’m completely unfluent in Croation, but McGlumphy’s angry tone came through. I went to Google for translations, but most of his histrionics were denied me as “too profane”. I did learn that “predebela” means “too fat” in Croatia. But then one day I heard him growl “Haagen-Daz mint chocolate chip”. How did McGlumphy know about that? Has my new smart freezer been talking to my new smart scale?

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