There’s more than one way to tighten those trout bellies

There’s more than one way
to tighten those trout bellies

By Debra (LoGuercio) DeAngelo

©Copyright 2009, Debra DeAngelo, all rights reserved

At first, I thought this was an SNL commercial. Like the one for Bassomatic. Or Colon Blow. Or Snuggies.

Oh wait, Snuggies were real. Thousands of chowderheads paid $19.95 for a bathrobe you wear backwards. Or a blanket with armholes. You decide.

But it turns out that this latest wacky pitch isn’t a joke at all. Well, I don’t think it is. But if it isn’t, I know what a lot of women will be getting for Christmas this year.

It’s called the Shake Weight, specifically designed for toning up those flabby, flappy strips of jiggly flesh hanging from your triceps, which I’ve dubbed “trout bellies.” Don’t get it? Hold a trout up before it hits the frying pan, and shake it. Its cold dead belly will wiggle. Just like your upper arms when you wave goodbye in a tank top. Yeah, ewww. We hate those! How do we get rid of them? It’s frustrated women for decades. And now, at long last, we have the Shake Weight to give those trout bellies six-pack abs!

The Shake Weight looks like a dumbbell, but the grip over the bar in the middle slides up and down as you shake it rapidly in short jerky movements. If you’re having trouble visualizing how the Shake Weight works, hold up your forearm at a right angle. Make a fist and turn it pinky finger down. Now pump your fist vigorously. You’ll recognize this motion immediately. And so, I’m sure, did the designer of the Shake Weight. And you KNOW it was a guy. Only a male would be interested in strengthening a woman’s stamina and grip so she can pump her fist for at least six minutes without stopping.

Don’t believe that insidious motives were at play? Just visit the website,, and play the thoroughly entertaining video. Right off the bat, it notes that the Shake Weight was designed specifically for women. For good reason: Men don’t need a contraption to learn this motion on their own. By the time they hit middle school, boys have innately mastered that six-minute exercise that tones their triceps. And they will master it every chance they get, well into adulthood. Which is why men don’t get trout bellies.

The video further notes that the Shake Weight works its magic via “dynamic inertia,” possibly the most fabulous oxymoron of all time. All this dynamic inertia results in “240 muscle contractions per minute.” In only six minutes! As Wayne and Garth used to say, “Sha-wing!”

And right about now, men everywhere are grabbing their MasterCards and rushing to the Shake Weight website. Only $19.95? I’ll take two! Oh joy, oh joy, just wait until I give her one of these!

And they’ll wrap those babies up and put them under the Christmas tree, and will be positively giddy with anticipation as they watch their women tear off the pretty paper, pull out the Shake Weight and say… “Oh. What’s this.” And their men will split a grin like Smilin’ Bob himself, pump a fist voraciously in the air, and say, “It’s so you can do this for six minutes straight without stopping!”


“Honey, isn’t that fabulous? Six minutes straight!”


“Without stopping!”

The next sound he hears will be the thud of the Shake Weight smacking against his skull. And he still won’t get it! Not to worry, he’ll smooth it all out: “But Honey, it’s great exercise! It gets rid of that jiggly thing under your arm when you wave!”

And the last sound he hears, after the bedroom door slamming -- and locking -- will be the sound glaciers make as they freeze. And he’ll plop down on the couch and rub that bump on top of his head, and wonder what happened. He’ll think, “Gee, I thought this would be a fun thing. What the heck’s the matter with her.”

I’ll explain it in a format most men understand – sports. Here’s the instant replay, Big Guy: It’s Christmas morning. You’re all alone, cuddly and romantic. You give your lady a gift, and she’s thinking… a sexy, silky nightie? Some luscious bubble bath and candles? A box of fine Swiss chocolate and maybe a lovely Cabernet Franc to go with it?

She opens your gift and peeks inside and… what’s this? Some cheap, lame, stupid contraption designed to improve those skills at which, unbeknownst to her until just that moment, you find her lacking?

Or maybe you’re just calling her fat.

That jolt of realization that just smacked you in your gray matter? That’s what epiphany feels like.

Stupid, stupid boy. It’s a good thing you’ve kept your triceps toned all these years. It’s going to be a lonely Christmas.

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