There’s no place for flab in rock ’n’ roll

Image courtesy of Pikist by way of a Creative Commons license.

Let the good times roll: Skinny teenagers capered across the stage at Fort Walton Landing as I stood astride my bike, trying to ignite matches by rubbing them between my flab rolls.

It was Saturday night’s Battle of the Bands. I loved the music but I hated the fact that these kids didn’t need sawhorses to hold up their love handles.

Meanwhile, a mother of a friend of a band member tried to help me see the bright side.

“Embrace your flab,” Sally said as she simultaneously demonstrated various crunches and other flab-reducing maneuvers. The contradiction did not escape me.

Another thought that didn’t escape me was my memory of the movie “The Blob,” in which a giant, loogie-type mass of protoplasm devours every single living thing it encounters, including trim, smart-alecky teen-agers. That’d learn ’em. I’m reminded of that movie every time I try on a pair of pants with a 33-inch waistline.

“Be proud of your flab,” Sally declared, striking a New Deal pose with her appraised fist, a firm set to her jaw, and immense spasms of hysterical laughter quivering just beneath the surface of her expression.

OK, Sally. Go ahead and almost laugh. When you see me on David Letterman, shooting fireballs out of the cracks of my flab rolls, you’re gonna say, “To think: I knew him when he almost burned down the judge’s tent at Battle of the Bands.”

Meanwhile, Tracey and her beau, 99 Rock’s Jason, who you almost saw wearing a bikini in this very column, came up with the most logical solution to the entire problem: “Let’s go eat!”

And I really wanted to. Really. The only thing standing between me and a fried oyster sandwich was the absence of Andrew Jackson – that and the fact that the only element missing from my fashion statement was a hockey mask and I’d be tossed out of any restaurant that didn’t have the suffix “cide” in its name.

So me and my flubber rolls pedaled away, but not before holding a visitation with The Mustangs, who serenaded the dark outside The Last Saloon. Those guys were no flat-bellies either, but you could hear the wisdom in their music, and after a moment I didn’t feel so bad.

Headlines that didn’t work: Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over.

Redneck computer terms: “Network,” as in activity meant to provide bait for your trot line.

This week’s wire weirdness: GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Throat cancer patient Abraham Mosley couldn’t scream when his pajamas caught fire as he tried to light a cigar.

The silent seconds until the smoke alarm sounded may have cost Mosley his life. Family and friends rescued him from the fire, but the 64-year-old died later … at a hospital.

Mosley, confined to a hospital bed in his kitchen, ignited strips of paper on a stove burner in an attempt to light the cigar because the cancer had degraded his manual coordination. But the paper lit first the gauze bandages around his neck, then his pajamas.

Words that should be words: This week’s offering is: “Petrophobic,” as in, one who is embarrassed to undress in front of a household pet.

This column was originally published in the June 4, 1997 Northwest Florida Daily News and is used with permission.

About the author:

Del Stone Jr. is a professional fiction writer. He is known primarily for his work in the contemporary dark fiction field, but has also published science fiction and contemporary fantasy. Stone’s stories, poetry and scripts have appeared in publications such as Amazing Stories, Eldritch Tales, and Bantam-Spectra’s Full Spectrum. His short fiction has been published in The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII; Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine; the Pocket Books anthology More Phobias; the Barnes & Noble anthologies 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, and 100 Astounding Little Alien Stories; the HWA anthology Psychos; and other short fiction venues, like Blood Muse, Live Without a Net, Zombiesque and Sex Macabre. Stone’s comic book debut was in the Clive Barker series of books, Hellraiser, published by Marvel/Epic and reprinted in The Best of Hellraiser anthology. He has also published stories in Penthouse Comix, and worked with artist Dave Dorman on many projects, including the illustrated novella “Roadkill,” a short story for the Andrew Vachss anthology Underground from Dark Horse, an ashcan titled “December” for Hero Illustrated, and several of Dorman’s Wasted Lands novellas and comics, such as Rail from Image and “The Uninvited.” Stone’s novel, Dead Heat, won the 1996 International Horror Guild’s award for best first novel and was a runner-up for the Bram Stoker Award. Stone has also been a finalist for the IHG award for short fiction, the British Fantasy Award for best novella, and a semifinalist for the Nebula and Writers of the Future awards. His stories have appeared in anthologies that have won the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. Two of his works were optioned for film, the novella “Black Tide” and short story “Crisis Line.”

Stone recently retired after a 41-year career in journalism. He won numerous awards for his work, and in 1986 was named Florida’s best columnist in his circulation division by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. In 2001 he received an honorable mention from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his essay “When Freedom of Speech Ends” and in 2003 he was voted Best of the Best in the category of columnists by Emerald Coast Magazine. He participated in book signings and awareness campaigns, and was a guest on local television and radio programs.

As an addendum, Stone is single, kills tomatoes and morning glories with ruthless efficiency, once tied the stem of a cocktail cherry in a knot with his tongue, and carries a permanent scar on his chest after having been shot with a paintball gun. He’s in his 60s as of this writing but doesn’t look a day over 94.

Contact Del at [email protected]. He is also on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, TikTok, Ello and Instagram. Visit his website at .