November 13, 2031. 3PM.
“No more Pizza, French fries, Cola. No more cheese! Do you understand Pompom?”
My mother’s words echoed in my ears.
The house was quiet. Everyone had retired for their noon-time siesta. I sat on the sofa, fiddling with the buttons on my PlayStation 7.I had lost every single game I played that afternoon. I had never lost a game on my PS7 before. Well, almost never.
But I could just not focus that day. My mind kept wandering to what the doctor had said the previous day.
I did not completely understand what she meant. But I knew it had something to do with my being umm, you know…fat. And I suffered from something that nine year olds generally did not, high blood pressure.
“Did she say no cheese?”
I jumped up startled. My double chin jiggled with me. Where did the voice come from?
“Hi! It’s me, Jerry.”
I stared open mouthed as a mouse marched up to me, on two legs! Chocolate brown, with large eyes, ears like fruit buns, and a complete cartoon like vibe. Like those cartoons of the olden days. My mother still watched them sometimes on T.V. People hardly watched T.V at home. We had our personal smartphones.”
“Hey Jerry. I’m Pompom.” I said dryly.
“I know! Can I call you Pom?” He shook my hand. “So tell me, why no cheese? I loooove cheese.” Jerry licked his lips.
“Because apparently, it makes you fat. And being fat is bad.”
“I think it is what you do along-with eating the cheese that is making you fat!” Jerry suggested.
To cut a long story short, Jerry decided I did not know much about life if I had not watched his show, ‘Tom and Jerry.’ So he made me watch a short episode on T.V.
I fell off the sofa laughing at the antics of the duo. They seemed to get away with all sorts of mischief! Hammering, catapulting and mowing down the opponent, without speaking a word! Defying gravity and common sense as well. I loved it!
I never knew cartoons could make you laugh. The animated characters I ogled at on screen all day were always fighting. Either destroying the world or saving it. With the latest gizmo.
I decided I wanted to watch another episode. But no!
Jerry seized the remote. “No binge watching with us! Balance is the key.”
Jerry crawled into the television monitor, and pulled me in as well!
Suddenly, he started running at top speed, his legs whirring like wheels. I raced along, realizing Tom, the grey cat with a devilish grin, was chasing us with a gun.
The cat and the mouse went in circles, while I grew dizzy trying to follow them. I have faint recollection of Jerry stealthily inserting Tom’s tail in the barrel of his own gun.
I saw Tom falling down with a frozen grin, his fur singed and his bombarded tail in hand. The curtain fell, the music stopped, and there was a round of applause as the credits rolled on the screen in front of us.
A moment later I saw Tom and Jerry hug as they started mending all the damage to their house. They layered bricks to fill the cartoon shaped holes in the walls. They swept the pieces of crockery shattered on the floor. I tried helping them mop the floor that had a pool of oil on it!
But I turned breathless in a moment.
“You need to exercise, my friend!” Jerry laid a hand on my shoulder.
“As in, go gymming?”
“Naah, as in having fun. Real fun with actual friends. Not virtually over some imaginary game.”
I looked around. It did look like fun. Both, the fighting and the mending. So I scampered along, helping as much as I could. Making memories, not just building scores in a game.
And then, they sat to eat cheese. Jerry offered me some. I hesitated.
“Enjoy what you eat.” Jerry smelled the cheese delightedly. “Balance is the key, remember?”
November 14, 2031. 9AM
I helped my mother clean up the breakfast table, grateful for the delicious home-cooked food. My PS7 lay idle, as I scuttled outdoors to play with my friends.
I now knew, being fat was not wrong. Being a couch potato was.
My mother hugged me in relief. I smiled at her, secretly praying she would not notice the cartoon shaped holes on the television screen anytime soon!
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