Author’s note:The gender of either one or both of the characters
in this piece can be altered by making the following changes:
Stephen with Stephanie
gender references (Dad-Mom, son-daughter, boy-girl, etc)
other cutting may be necessary
My dog, Barf,has….well….he
has a weight problem and unless something changes in his eating habits….Well, I just don’t see him magically getting
Dad:My son, Stephen, has…well….he has a weight problem and unless something changes in his eating habits…Well,
I just don’t see him magically getting smaller.
Boy:You see Barf…
Dad:...Stephen is basically…
Boy: …a great dog….
Dad:...boy, but he just can’t seem…
Boy: …to be able to deal with…
Dad:…the death of his mother…
Boy: …the loss of his favorite toy…
Both:…and so he eats.
Boy:Hey Dad, what’s up?
Dad:What’s with all the noise Tiger? It’s like
in the morning.
Boy: Yeah, I know but Barf was hungry.
Dad:Really, where is he?
Boy: (Looking around)Oh, don’t know he was just here.Must of
ran off when youcame down the stairs.
Dad:That pie for him?
Boy:This pie? Ummmm…yes…I mean no… it’s
Dad:That’s one big piece for such a young boy.
Boy:Yeah, just hungry….kind of….I think.
Dad:What’d you say we if we just put the pie away
Boy:What about Barf?He’s hungry.He might starve.
Dad: Have you seen Barf lately?I’m thinking he’s
going to make it.
Boy:Yeah, I’m kind of worried about his eating and all, you know what I
Dad:I think I do Tiger.
Boy:Just not the same since he lost his ball.He
really loved it, you know?
Boy:Can I sleep with you tonight?
Dad:Sure, I think I can make room.
Boy:I guess I can save the pie for breakfast.
Dad:We’ll just have to wait as see about that.Come on, let’s get to bed.
Boy:Barf has been digging in the trash a lot lately.He used to never do it, but it seems like he just can’t help himself.He is always right in my face every time I eat evenif I just fed him.And the moment I open the fridge for a snack he’s
lacing himself in and out between my legs.It is starting to really get
annoying.I wouldhit him or something
but his eyes look so sad when I raise my voice….I just can’t.
Dad:Stephen’s been getting into the fridge a lot lately.He used to never do it, but it seems like he
just can’t help himself. He’s always right in my face every time
Igrab a snack, even if he just ate.And
when I go to the kitchen, I find myself tripping over him.It’s starting
to bother me but I’m afraid to say anything.I justdon’t think he can handle anything else right now.
Boy:Dad?!Dad?!Come here quick! Look at Barf. (Laughing)
trying to get up on the bed but he’s too fat.
Dad:He sure is.What do you think we ought to
do to help him?
Boy:I could go give him a push.
Dad:I mean about his eating.
Boy: Oh, I never really thought about it.He is just
so sad about his toy and
all.Maybe he just needs some time to get over it.Then maybe he’ll
stop eating on his own.
Dad:You think that’s what we need to do, just give him a little time?
Dad:How much time you think before we step in, before we help the old
Boy:Maybe a month or so?Yeah, that sounds about
Dad:That’s a pretty long time.If he keeps
up his present pace he won’t be
able to walk by then; his belly will hang lower than his legs can reach.
Boy:I think he needs the time Dad.
Dad:Okay, but I may not be able to wait that long, you understand?
Boy:Barf, you have dad worried. (Pause)
I have to be honest, I’m a little concerned too. You know life has to go
on. You just can’t keep eating, it’s not going to make things better
and well... look at you. (Getting sad) I know you miss your toy… I know it
was your whole life and you loved it more than anything in the whole wide world (Sadder)
and it’s not fair...but... (Pause) Hey, what do you say we go to the
kitchen and see what we can rustle up?
Dad:I’m really worried.I
know he misses his mother; I miss my wife but life has to go on.Eating isn’t
going to heal his pain.He’s getting so obese, I am afraid he not going
to regain control.(Act as if hearing
noise)That’s got to be him in the kitchen.
Dad:What’s a matter Tiger?
Boy:They called me fattso.
Dad:Who called you that?
Boy:Some of the kids at school.They called me fattso and said I need a bra.
Dad:(Angry) Who were they?What were their names?
Boy:No Dad, it will only make things worse.
Dad:Well, did you say anything back?What you do? (Pause) Well?....
Boy:I screamed, MY MOM IS DEAD!!(Crying again)
him) Oh, buddy I’m sorry, I so sorry.
Why Dad, why did God steal her?
Dad:I don’t know son.I
really don’t know.
Boy:You are a total fattso, you know that?Bad dog!You need to quit eating and I don’t care if
you’re sad or not.You’re disgusting and you have no one to blame
but yourself!Eating all that stuff ain’t going to bring back your stupid
toy!Grow up!And I don’t
want to hear your whining.
Dad:Fattso, as mad as it made me to hear them call him that, I’ve
thought the same type of things.I don’t know if I should give him tough
love and just tell him he has no one to blame but himself.That he can shove
his mouth full until the cows come home and it still isn’t going to bring his mom back.To just Grow up and quit crying!
that there in you pocket Tiger?
Dad:That’s an aweful big and bulky nothin’. (pause)What’s in there?
(Raising his voice)I said nothing!
Dad:(Raising voice)Don’t lie to me Stephen!Let me see!
Boy:Mind your own business!
it)What did you say to me?!
Boy:Just leave me alone (turns to leave)
Dad:(Grabs him and tries to take
object from his pocket.A real struggle ensues, screaming, kicking, until the
Dad finally gets it free.He stands stunned as he holds a bottle of pills in
his hand)My God….where’d you get these?