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Old 09-15-2017, 01:07 AM   #1
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Cobb, Irvin S.: One Third Off (illus). v1. 15 Sep 2017

One Third Off
By Irvin S. Cobb (1876–1944)
Illustrated by Tony Sarg (1880–1942)

This book was first published in 1921. Text and illustrations are in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life + 70” or less, and in the USA.

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In this long essay, the author's experiences and sufferings while he attempts to lose weight are chronicled in hilarious detail. Helpful advice is included at no extra charge.

* * * *
Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb (June 23, 1876 – March 11, 1944) was an American author, humorist, editor, and columnist from Paducah, Kentucky who relocated to New York in 1904 for the remainder of his life, writing for the New York World, The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, and other newspapers and magazines. Cobb wrote more than 300 short stories and 60 books (most of these being collections of his stories and articles). Some of his works were adapted for film. He was one of America’s most popular humorists during the first third of the twentieth century.

An excerpt:
Spoiler:
In the fall of the year, when I brought last winter’s heavy suit out of the clothes-press and found it now to hug o’er snugly for comfort, I cajoled my saner self into accepting a most transparent lie – my figure had not materially altered through the intervening spring and summer; it was only that the garments, being fashioned of a shoddy material, had shrunk. I owned a dress suit which had been form-fitting, ’tis true, but none too close a fit upon me. I had owned it for years; I looked forward to owning and using it for years to come. I laid it aside for a period during an abatement in formal social activities; then bringing it forth from its camphor-ball nest for a special occasion I found I could scarce force my way down into the trousers, and that the waistcoat buttons could not be made to meet the buttonholes, and that the coat, after finally I had struggled into it, bound me as with chains by reason of the pull at armpits and between the shoulders. I could not get my arms down to my sides at all. I could only use them flapper fashion.

I felt like a penguin. I imagine I looked a good bit like one too.

But I did not blame myself, who was the real criminal, or the grocer who was accessory before the fact. I put the fault on the tailor, who was innocent. Each time I had to let my belt buckle out for another notch in order that I might breathe I diagnosed the trouble as a touch of what might be called Harlem flatulency. We lived in a flat then – a nonelevator flat – and I pretended that climbing three flights of steep stairs was what developed my abdominal muscles and at the same time made me short of wind.

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Text was obtained from gutenberg.org, illustrations from the Internet Archive and Hathi Trust. Transcription errors were corrected; punctuation, diacritics, and italics formatted; images manually cleaned and enhanced. Embedded font used for titling.

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So give this a try --- if you ever had similar experiences, you can sympathize; or if not, you can read this as escapist fantasy.
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