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Chapter 4

     The Story The Authors
"I must have squashed him!" wailed Geraldine. "I'm so fat! Waaaaaaaaaaaah!"
"Oh no!" squealed Gregor. "Ze evil nomes have taken away all her selve ezdeem! Zhe thinks zhe is vat and vorthless!"
"Because I am! Waaaaaaaaah!"
"Don't be silly!" answered Adam. "All you need is a little surgery, suck the fat out and you're good as new!"
"New what? A new blubber ball? Waaaaaaaah!"
"He means zat all you need is zum zlimming. Zen you vill be nice small healthy Geraldine again."
"Yeah right. Where can you find a surgeon in this cave? Or a diet food maker? Or an aerobicist? Or ANYTHING to make me lose weight? Waaaaaaaaah?"
Suddenly a small, very skinny gnome came up. "My name is Sigrid Quyto. I'm a sufoodmist!" she squealed. "I help people lose weight. May I help you?"
"No!" cried Adam. "Don't trust those little buggers!"
"But they're my friends." whined Geraldine.
Adam grabbed Geraldine by her shoulders. "I know it's hard for you to see right now, Geraldine, but these little gnomes are not your friends! It is they who made you what you are now!"
"No! They were kind to me and fed me! It's my own worthlessness that made me into this! Waaaaaaah!"
Adam could see that there was no reasoning with Geraldine at this point. The gnomes had too strong a grip on her self-esteem. He enlisted Muff Potter's help and they each grabbed one of Geraldine's grossly bloated arms and dragged her out of the kitchen.
As soon as they left the room the music started. Before the door was even shut several begal gnomes appeared from nowhere and a large roly-poly gnome began to sing the 'Bagel Gnome Song'

"I'm a begal gnome and I'm okay.
I work all night,
and eat all day.
I wear an apron,
and a begal chef's hat.
Blueberries, poppy seeds, and chocolate chips,
May there always be a bagel between my lips."

Like a harpy's music, this song drew Geraldine back into the room. She was in a trance. Limking arms with the great begal chef, they began to jig.

Geraldine danced and danced and danced with the bagel gnomes. She danced and sang and danced and sang and danced and sang for hours and hours and hours.... OK I'll stop repeating myself. It's just that she danced a whole lot.

"Bagels, bagels are the best,
May we eat them and never rest,
With lots of lox and lots of zest,
Bagels, bagels are the best.

Bagels, bagels are so fine,
Oh I wish that they were all mine!
They're the thing on which to dine,
Bagels, bagels are so fine.

Bagels, bagels are so great,
They're the best thing I ever ate!
A bagel would be such a nice mate,
Bagels, bagels are so great!"

With a start, Geraldine realized that she had danced so hard and so long that she was nice and slim again. She waved thank-you to the bagel gnomes and went off to find her friends.
Geraldine looked and looked but she couldn't find them. They had all gone off without her!

The crackle of splintering wood brought her back to reality. Adam and Muff (under the supervision of Gregor) were desperately trying to jam her still expanding girth through the kitchen door. It was hopeless. The doorway was built for Bagel Gnomes not the morbidly obese. She let loose the banshess wail to beat all banshee wails. It was hopeless. The seams on her clothes were starting to give way and everywhere on her huge globules of flesh were startin gto ooze through the openings. The self loathing that the rapid weight gain was engendering only accelerated the process.
Sacre bleu !said Gregor, "Zis eez lahk tryink to stuff a garbahge bag of ze Jell-o into ze toastair! Oh Mon Dieu!
"It ain't gonna work," said Adam, wiping sweat from his eyes. "She's just too fat!"
"I seenk I know how we make her ze skee-nee girl again," mused Gregor. "Oui, I seenk zees weel work."
"Do we pop her?" asked Potter, dully but helpfully searching his pockets for a pin.
"Non! Merde et poissons, zeze Americains, zey are always so stupeed, why? Because zey watch too much of zee te-le-vee-jhee-own! Ptooey!"
"How, Gregor, how, then?" gasped Adam and Potter in unison (in much the same manner as the entirely hypothetical occasion of Mutt and Jeff receiving a sound scolding at the hands of none other than Hagar the Horrible's wife...)
"Eet is always laike ze Americains, only when zey are in trouble do zey come to ze Frenchman... Okay, ze jeune femme, she is made gras by ze geelt, comprendez-vous? And what ees ze cure for geelt which my country makes more better zan anywhere else in le monde?"
"Cheese?" gasped Potter...
"Wine?" said Adam. Gregor's eyes just twinkled. "Pate? Cultural egotism? Post-Marxist philosophers who like to be tied up and spanked on their bare bottoms?" Gregor smiled inscrutably and chewed the waxed ends of his moustaches. "I dunno: decadent poets? Creative uses for organ meat...?"
"Cows!" chimed in Potter idiotically. "French fries! French toast!"
Gregor silenced them by raising one of his tiny hands. "My friends. You meess ze point. You do not see ze bois for zee trees. The answair ees seemple: PLEASURE. Ze French make pleasure (he pronounced it play-jhair) more better zan anyone else. And pleasure ees ze only cure for ze geelt."

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