Life's End
by Daniel Davis

It finally happened, I thought to myself. The bastards finally did it. Just then Elisabeth, my wife, walked in.

"Why are you all curled up on the floor with your thumb in your mouth?" she asked.

"Umph," I replied, using my free hand to point to the newspaper articles beside me.

"'Cream shrinks women's thighs, study says,'" she read aloud. A moan of anguish escaped around my thumb. She read the rest silently, accompanied only by a slight sniveling from my spot on the floor. I was trying to bear up.

"The cream was made from an asthma remedy," she said, looking puzzled." Why would anyone make a cream out of asthma medicine and rub it on women's thighs?"

"Moo hares?" I replied.

"Oh, for heaven's sake, take your thumb out of your mouth. I can't understand a word you're saying."

"Who cares?" I repeated, holding my thumb out a little so it would dry faster." The horrible thing is that they did it. You know how I love fat thighs."

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, I won't use it," she said. I have to love this woman.

"Of course it makes me feel better," I said." But it's still going to be awful. Most women are nuts where their thighs are concerned. They won't stop until there's no fat left."

"Don't be ridiculous," Elisabeth replied." Besides, it says the cream only reduces thigh fat. It doesn't affect other body parts."

"But I love fat thighs," I moaned. And now every woman but you will look like Popeye, at least south of her butt. It's hideous."

"You're making too much of this," she said." It's probably only water loss, anyway. After a few days of normal liquids, their thighs will be right back up there."

"Maybe and maybe not," I said darkly." But that's not all. Read this."

"'New hope for reducing fat,'" she read." 'Researchers have found one natural brain protein that triggers craving for fatty food and a second that blocks the desire, raising hopes for new drugs that could curb weight gain without suppressing appetite.' Will you stop sniveling?" She read the rest to herself.

"This is really weird," she said." This is like Brave New World. Pretty soon they'll have these drugs to make everyone thin."

"Aieee," I replied.

"Between drugs and plastic surgery, everyone will look like Barbie and Ken," she mused.

"With Popeye legs," I added.

"There won't be any fat people in the general population, except maybe a very few." She was really getting into the whole idea." Most fat admirers will have to go to specialty houses in Nevada if they want to make love to a fat woman. It'll probably cost a fortune."

"Now we'll really be branded as perverts," I said. "And fat women will lose even the little respect they have now, because no one will have to be fat anymore. We fat admirers will be seen as evil sickos, conspiring to make women fat just to gratify our twisted lust."

"You're being a little overdramatic. Besides, not everyone will be able to afford the drugs."

"Great. So fat will be a poor wo-man's curse. I can see fat women selling themselves to fat admirers to raise money for drugs to make them thin. You think people do desperate things to get cocaine? Wait until these fat reduction drugs hit the market."

"You sure do paint a bleak picture."

"We should send the bastards to Red China," I fumed." Those so-called obesity researchers, I mean."

"China doesn't need obesity researchers," Elisabeth said with maddening logic.

"Neither do we. Neither does anybody. All this will do is make the drug companies rich beyond their wildest dreams."

"Don't give up hope. The drugs will probably have some awful side effects, like reducing your IQ and growing hair on your ears."

"You think that would stop people from using them?" I said." We'll just have millions of Barbie types with Popeye legs and scabs all over their ears because they can't figure out how a razor works."

Elisabeth sighed and gave it up. As she stepped over me to turn on the TV, I returned my thumb to my mouth. ß