Rating's Boom

Date Written: 
04/10/2017

"E-excuse me..." Valerie covered her mouth, shocked at the loud belch she had just let loose. The effects of her near constant snacking on stage had a visual and audible effect. She had to pause the show for a bit to adjust her top to cover her bulging stomach, the camera gliding about the set hoping not to catch her wide frame in full. Most of the audience was silent - they had expected this from her by now.

It wasn't always this way, of course. When she was hired, Valerie Valentina was just robust enough: plump in a way that the Cooking Network could congratulate themselves on body diversity, but zaftig in a manner that still attracted a very wide audience. She was bubbly, friendly and just a bit coy. Everyone loved her.

Except me, of course.

I had accepted a job here a decade ago in hopes of getting my foot in the door. I was a tireless gopher, an unappreciated assistant and finally, a put-upon stage manager. I had assumed that I would finally get my time as a host once a new time slot opened up.

"We need someone a bit more...perky." They said. "We already have a snippy, sarcastic persona."

So I keyed some cars and got over it...for a while. Working with Valerie has only made me hate her more though. I can't stand her curly black hair, her perfect skin, those full lips, that 90-minute hourglass figure, her constantly friendly and earnestly optimistic personality....ugh!

She had to go, and I'd be the woman to take her down.

It was as easy as pie. And brownies, as well as several sorts of cakes. I'm an accomplished chef as well you know - and not-so-little miss Valentina didn't get so provocatively bulgy by snacking on celery sticks.

Cannolis on her desk. Macarons in the dressing room. A cookie bouquet for each and every occasion. I kept track of rest of the crew's tastes and even their allergies to make sure Valerie had most of it for herself. Thanks to my scheming, the pretty cooking show host had swollen to a ridiculous size in just a few months; soft, olive colored girth oozed into view, even in her carefully chosen outfit. Watching her move around the set was a real delight for me, even if it was truly cringe worthy display for anyone who had been a fan of the bloated tick. Her saucy little walk was a burdened waddle now, massive hips and bulging love handles causing mishaps among her increasingly cramped set. Even this meander was straining her a little, her round face dotted with just a bit of visible perspiration.

She was an embarrassment to the network at this point - no amount of high counter-tops or careful camera work could hide her explosive form. Cutting away at just the right time to avoid getting a close up of a tear on her pencil skirt or of one of her ponderous limbs jiggling with the slightest movement was testing the patience of the camera crew. The network executives are gnashing their teeth trying to deal with this fleshy eyesore - but I've decided that Valerie will go out with a real bang, if you catch my drift.

I just spiked her pre-show water with something a little special. The host had a habit of munching on whatever she was cooking during the show anyway, so I imagine people will assume that her constant gluttony had finally caught up with her.

Another burp, this one alarmingly loud. Valerie was bright red now, as that belch had shattered what remained of her dignity on top of a few eardrums. She worriedly placed her hands on her soft belly, massaging it a bit. Her sagging, flabby paunch responded with a nauseating gurgle. There was a sharp cry of dismay as she began to swell all at once, the seams and buttons on her clothing bursting open and popping off as the soft, doughy woman began to rapidly bloat outwards like a sweaty parade float.

"H-Help! Help me please!' She whimpered, but a brassy fart drowned out her cries for help as the audience bellowed in laughter. Another rumble came from her drum tight gut, ushering in another bout of growth - leaving her naked, bloating like a tick and expelling gas from both ends on stage. Still she grew! I had to stifle a maniacal laugh as everyone else began to move away from the living bomb that was devastating the set with her explosive girth. I watched with glee as her formerly lovely face distorted alongside her sad joke of a body, cheeks growing so puffy her eyes were narrowed into a squint.

I pull out my phone to get a few pictures as she looks at me in what I figure is disbelief of my cruel amusement. It'd be nice to savor, but even I know when the getting is good - another loud rumble comes from the blimpy mess and I take cover.

The *Technical Difficulties* graphic popped up on screens around the country, but a loud, wet pop could still be heard fairly clearly.

Author's Note: 

The payoff of a long villainous scheme against a pleasantly plump cooking show host.

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