The last set of bathroom scales we had exploded one day into a million glass fragments, spread like anti-personnel mines across the tile floor of the bathroom. Before your knowing smirk turns to self-congratulatory laughter, let me tell you right now: hold that thought. You are wrong. The scale disaster had nothing to do with anyone’s weight or with weighing things at all. It had everything to do with the scale’s being bumped, accidentally, against the raised tile floor of the shower, a knock against the corner which caused a quite shocking shattering of glass and, as I said, shards scattered everywhere.

We haven’t had scales since then, not for six months or so, and so have lived in blissful ignorance of a nasty biometric truth. Mind you, scales, when I was young, were accurate, reliable, friendly things, telling you how good you looked, at least in the eye of the lowly beholder on the bathroom floor, looking up appreciatively at you with its one big cyclops eye to say – 60 kilos, my good friend.

They don’t make them like that any more. Nowadays scales lie; they scowl at you; they mutter libelous untruths with a stubborn, stuff-you expression on their smug little electronic dials. I should know. We bought a scale this morning, as part of our ongoing campaign to feel good and look better, and the damned thing had the effrontery to lie to me, right away – proposing a starting number for our weight-loss campaign – 5 kays off, each of us, by the time we hit the ground in Toronto in October – that was clearly, obviously, flawed and downright dishonest.

On the other hand, here is the good news. I have been weighed in the scales and found not wanting.

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