Wordcandy weekly book snippet

Excerpt from:
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes , by Chris Crutcher

Why you should buy a copy of your very own:

Chris Crutcher is a family therapist, and his books are always about hardcore teen suffering--usually featuring some sort of hideous abuse. They're also sweet, smart, and (periodically) wildly funny. It's a weird combo, but he makes it work.

In this scene...
Our hero, Eric "Moby" Calhoune, is describing the less-than-svelte figure he cuts in his swimming gear.

"If my belly button were a knothole it would certainly be more congruous with my keg-like body. I have chiseled away at my father's genetic code since I realized I was better equipped to roll to school than walk, but the bare-bones me is still more Raymond Burr than Arnold Schwarzenegger. All of which wouldn't matter, but for the amount of time that my belly button is exposed, which approaches four hours a day. I'm a swimmer. I probably don't have to tell you the Speedo people don't employ William Conrad as a fashion designer, and I therefore do not step onto the starting blocks looking like a Sports Illustrated fashion plate.

Looks alone would be enough to keep most guys with my particular body design as far away from water as the Wicked Witch of the West, but swimming is a thinking man's sport and Ms. Lemry is a thinking man's coach. Besides, it keeps me far from the clutches of Coach Stone, who has been trying to get me to come out for wrestling since I was a frosh because he fancies me unbeatable as a heavyweight, which I very well might be. But the idea of a permanent gash across the bridge of my nose and mat burns on every pointed appendage does not appeal to me no matter how many trophies I might walk away with. I'm not a great swimmer, but I'm good--a lot better that you'd think looking at me--and I like the challenge of the clock, as well as the people involved. I also like the wake I create for the guy in the next lane."

(c)Chris Crutcher, 1993
Posted by: Julianka


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