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The Diet

John Gregory Hancock

He'd had it with his growing middle
and decided to create a goal:
a worldly diet soon begun
to make this twofold person one

In hometown turf of Idaho
he stepped on scale at very start
in pounds, infernal dial, what read
did cause his heart to sink in dread

To London then, aboard a ship
tried running laps around the deck
huffing, puffing, wheezing, snort
too much in stone when pulled in port

Aghast, flew he to Leningrad
and swam the river dark upstream
when shaking, quivering, out he stood
in kilograms, he shrieked, "no good!"

Quick to a local surgeon then
through halting Russian dialect
requested something now be done
Get rid my weight, for this no fun!

Replied the Russian doctor, sad
and ogled him as if quite mad,
Oh, nothing can be done at all
the situation is quite ironclad.

The reason for your weight, you see,
is something we call "gravity"!

Copyright 2002 by John Gregory Hancock
First published at the Asimov's Forum, 2002.