Day of Reckoning

Nate should weigh about 400 pounds. He eats very badly – lots of brown fried foods, loads of carbs and gobs of snacks. He’s overweight for sure but not grossly so. Still, I worry.

After taking him to the doctor in June (he had a bad back), I was supposed to bring him in for a blood workup, but kept forgetting. Kinda. Nate doesn’t like blood tests, who does, but he reacts like a child, whimpering, scared, “I don’t’ want to get my blood taken,” and I sympathize. It had to be done and, finally, I got him to the hospital last week, blood test, followed by a McDonald’s breakfast of a sausage and egg McGriddle, no cheese, and two hash browns.


When the letter came with the results, I had the feeling that this was the time we’d learn our lesson in bad nutrition, and so we have. Nate’s cholesterol is off the chart. He is 23 and I felt I could, and should, talk with him about it.

“Nate, you need to change your diet, eat less, and exercise.”

“Shut up. If I eat too much I’m going to blow up.”” He grabbed the letter and tossed it in the garbage, a quick solution to the problem. While destruction of evidence wouldn’t solve the problem, a sudden burst of activity might. I heard Nate clomping away at our stepper in the Big TV Room, working out. Soon he came back to me, stroking his stomach.

“Dad, I lost my weight,” he crowed triumphantly.

“Not just yet Nate.” He growled and walked away.

Joey and I gave him a hard time the rest of the day, teasing him, maybe too much, and he was getting pissed off.

“Stop asking me about my health insurance!” not getting the topic quite right.

Karen is trying to get him to pull back, eat smaller portions, think sensibly, but it’s difficult. I think we should stop buying so much food. If it’s not there, he can’t eat it.

He’s still on his two bags of microwave popcorn per night. I suggested, delicately I thought, that Nate could have his popcorn, but maybe just one bag.

“Fuck you Dad” he said.

The struggle continues.


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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