It’s another short story! This one falls solidly in the comedic category. Plus, it’s flash fiction — super short. I’m not exactly sure where the idea came to me, but hopefully you’ll find it as hilarious as I do. Without further ado…



By Laura Schmidt


My coworker Alice is the skinniest person I know. A couple days after New Year’s I finally got up the nerve to ask her how she does it. 

We were sitting at the lunch table, munching on twin spinach-and-arugula salads from the office cafeteria. 

“Alice,” I said, “how do you maintain your physique?” 

“You mean, how do I stay so skinny,” she said, matter-of-fact. 

I took a big gulp of spinach-and-peanut butter smoothie. “Yeah. That’s what I meant.” 

“Well, I run Mondays and Wednesdays. I swim Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Friday I meet with my personal trainer and we do weight training. I kickbox with my boyfriend on Saturdays, and Sunday is my day of rest.” 

“Jeez,” I said, taking another bite of salad. “That sounds tiring.” 

“Yeah. But there’s other things I do.” She dabbed at the corner of her mouth with her napkin. “I eat salad for lunch every day, salmon and quinoa for dinner, avocado oatmeal for breakfast. No gluten and no red meat.”

“That sounds difficult.”

She shrugged. “I guess it is, at first. Oh! and one other thing. I sleep naked.”

I stared at her. “What?

“I sleep naked,” she said again, perfectly straight. “My boyfriend turns the thermostat down to fifty-five and we sleep naked. No blankets, even.”

It was the strangest piece of weight loss advice I’d ever been given. After a few days of running and swimming and quinoa for dinner, I decided to give it a go. My boyfriend opted to sleep on the sofa with three blankets, including the one I’d removed from our bed. I turned the thermostat down to fifty-five, stripped down, and snuggled up to my pillow, shivering like a leaf. 

After two sleepless nights (and five pounds lost, I may say), I decided it was a fact. I also decided to go back to sixty-five degrees and blankets and my boyfriend. Now I make note of all the skinny people on my walking route to work. He sleeps naked, she doesn’t. She sleeps naked, he most certainly doesn’t. The ultra-caffeinated, knuckle-chewing lady clinging to the bus sign so she doesn’t get blown down the street by the wind? 

Oh, she definitely sleeps naked. Skinny people sleep naked. Skinny people are crazy. 

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