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Cookies and Brownies and Pies, Oh My
by Gerald Shuler 
08/27/13
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"Carla Mae, this is your conscience speaking."

Carla Mae shuddered at the annoying voice in her head. Conscience-Schmoncience, a prize is a prize and she wasn’t about to turn down KLTZ’s Trivia, Trivia, Trivia contest prize. She had won fair and square, thanks to Google. Besides, she had already picked up the gift certificate from the TV station and it was too late to do anything about it now.

She looked at the certificate that seemed to almost pulsate in her hands. The card said “One Month of FREE Pastries From SWEET TEMPTATIONS COOKIE NOOK. Now that was a prize with some worthwhile value. So what if she was trying to start a diet. She had won a prize.

"Carla Mae, think of the consequences. You'll never stop pigging out at the end of the month… you know you have always had a problem in that area."

Rubbish. She knew she could stop anytime she wanted. No problem. In fact, why not go get her first hard won pastry right now? How could one little cookie or innocent little brownie destroy an entire diet? She grabbed the keys to the car and marched defiantly toward the garage door.

"Carla Mae, it’s not the one pastry that hurts you. You need to be more concerned about your lack of will power."

Forget Will, she’d settle for power… sugar rush power. She put the key in the ignition.

"Carla Mae, think, think, think… you can avoid looking like a blimp later if you’ll just resist a little sugar now. Remember, you can’t lose weight on a diet of Bon Bons and Maple Twists."

Stupid conscience. Why rush starting the diet? There was always tomorrow, or next week, or even next month to think about losing weight. After all, she was only a few pounds (more like forty pounds) overweight. She saw herself as Pleasingly Plump, not fat. Give her the cookies, brownies and pies anytime. She could diet later.

"Carla Mae, if you won’t listen to reason at least look in the mirror. Your weight is getting out of control. Stop now before it’s too late."

She adjusted the rear view mirror, fully intending to back out but the reflection she saw stopped her from reaching for the gear shift. The mirror showed a woman that couldn’t possibly be Carla Mae. This woman had bags under her eyes. Even worse, she was getting a double chin. The mirror reflected the image of a woman needing to lose weight for the sake of her health.

Carla Mae looked at the wonderful, tantalizing gift certificate in her hand. The pictured pastries seemed so real they could almost be smelled. Her finger gently touched the picture of the chocolate meringue pie, just to make sure it wasn’t real. Then she looked in the mirror again and instantly wished she hadn’t. Okay… she was convinced. The sound of the ripping gift certificate thundered in Carla Mae’s ears. She took the key out of the ignition, got out of the car and dropped the tiny pieces of the delightful certificate in the trash can. So much for sweet temptation. Her diet was now officially started.

"Carla Mae, you’ve done the right thing. Now, go enjoy a good salad. Without the dressing."

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