My single New Year’s resolution this year (still not fulfilled) is to buy a new bathroom scale, and, perhaps, one day, use it. I flirted with the notion of bypassing the entire New Year’s resolution charade altogether, but I have been haunted by the drumbeat of news articles and advertisements reminding me that this is the year I can slim down, tone up, and reduce my chronological age to that of Scarlett Johansson.
Our bathroom scale had performed ably as a must-have decor item and occasional dust-catcher. But then one day my husband took the thing to work in order to weigh packages. Frankly, I was happy to have that silent nag out of the way.
However, with my clothes shrinking on their hangers, I thought a new scale might jolt my conscience, even if only rarely. My intrepid search for a replacement—orchestrated from the cozy confines of a computer chair—led me to Old Will Knott Scales, in Enid, Oklahoma. Their motto: “Lowest Dang Prices Anywhere.”
This charming rallying cry was all I needed to investigate further. Could it be that Old Will Knott’s scales might also lead to my getting back down to the lowest dang weight I’ve had since I was 17? Besides, I also figured that a company based in Enid, Oklahoma was a place where customer service calls were not forwarded halfway across the world and answered by a guy in Dehli speaking clipped English. And I was right. In capital letters, their web site boasted, CONTACT A HUMAN BEING. They didn’t have to do that. They had me at “dang.”
I called on January 2, but could not get through immediately. The lines were burning up with other amply upholstered folks ready to walk the short plank to a digital verdict of their actual heft. I finally reached a woman named Quinche, though she sounded a lot more like a Sally Sue to me. First, I needed to know whether she walked the walk or just talked the talk. After wishing her a hearty happy New Year, I got down to brass tacks. “Do you weigh yourself regularly?” I asked Quinche.
To her credit, she ‘fessed the truth. “I’m not a big type of person, but I decided I’m going to purchase me a scale when I get my tax refund,” she said. “Seein’ the actual numbers is, uh, a totally different feeling,” Quinche observed.
While I figured that business would skyrocket after January 1, Quinche said that since the holiday season began scales had been flying off the shelves (fortunately, no injuries were reported). Shockingly, there are people who think a bathroom scale makes the perfect Christmas gift. One can only imagine the emotional response of the recipient: “A bathroom scale, for me? Oh, you shouldn’t have.”
I was equally incredulous that people bought talking scales. “They ‘speak’ your weight (but only if ya’ want them to),” the company promises. I had my choice of scales that would say hello and then announce my weight in English, French, Spanish and even German. My weight sounds grating enough in English. I’d be out of my mind to want to hear it in German. But talking scales aid the visually impaired, Quinche explained, and are helpful for those who are too afraid to look down and see the frightful numbers. This sounded like a good idea to me. There have been times when, seeing my weight in all its reality-based horror, I have become dizzy and visually impaired myself.
Nevertheless, I decided against the scale featuring electrodes that send an electrical signal through your body to help calculate body fat and water composition. They claim it’s safe, but I get “charged up” enough when I step on a scale. I’m not about to risk overloading the system.
After perusing all manner of weighing mechanisms including diamond precision scales, which sounded fun , and mechanical fishing scales, which didn’t sound fun at all, I was most intrigued by the “My Weigh, Fun Weigh” scale, which not only “tells y’all your weight, it’ll joke about it too.” Old Will Knott has programmed it with several witty ripostes, including “Is someone standing on here with you?,” “It’s a good thing I talk, since you probably can’t see me,” “I think you just broke me,” and others. Fortunately, it also has a “shut up” button if you are afraid such hilarity might send you into cardiac arrest.
As much as I love levity, I can’t imagine buying a joking scale, or any talking scale, for that matter. If I want my weigh-in announced, I’ll go back to Weight Watchers where at least an audience applauds for my losses and cluck-clucks sympathy for my gains. No, I must have a scale with an old fashioned sense of discretion, a scale that understands that what is measured in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. Now if only I’ll have the fortitude to test it out. . .
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