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Commissioner Joe Barge shifted uncomfortably in his chair as he felt the sleeves of his suit jacket riding up on his forearms. He took a sip of his coffee, and tried to focus on the paperwork in front of him. The boardroom felt warm and close. He could feel the restlessness of colleagues on either side of him. At over six-six, and topping three hundred and fifty pounds, he always took up a good deal of room at the dais during board meetings, but things felt especially claustrophobic at the moment. His suit jacket pulled tight around his triceps, and seams strained across his shoulders and back. He looked into the cold remains at the bottom of his cup, and decided to excuse himself from the table. He was surprised to find the arms of his meeting chair clinging to his hips. As he pried free, and wrestled himself to a standing position, men on either side of him skittered sideways in their seats. |
"Hey, I'm not the Valdez tanker," he scoffed. He grumbled, while shooing at a fly, then he stripped off his jacket, folding it over the chair back. Several sets of eyes watched him fight with the waistband of his pants. There was silence as the super-sized commissioner lumbered out the door.
In the men's room, Barge rolled up the sleeves of his dress shirt and splashed cold water on his face at the sink. He moved to the closest urinal, and widened his stance, letting his pants ride low, as he unzipped the crotch that held the locker room record. Hefting out his snake, he started unloading the morning's coffee and night's beer. He loosened his tie and undid his collar button, then he ran a hand across his chest and downward. It had been nearly a decade since his college days as a football lineman, and lately the pounds were piling on with a renewed zeal.
"Damn, I'm gettin' big," he mumbled as his palm hit the convex curve of his midsection. The protruding ball of fat felt comfortable against his hand, and he played with it lazily. The stubborn swell strained against his dress shirt, as his piss pummeled the porcelain. Minutes ticked by. He wondered about cutting back on the brewskis, as the flow raged on.
Finally, he shook his pole with a satisfied sigh, and reeled in the big one. When he tried to zip up, he was only able to get his fly partially closed. He grumbled impatiently, and moved with difficulty toward the sink to wash up. His clothes seemed to be fighting his forward momentum. He quickly soaped and rinsed his hands, and again splashed cold water on his face. As he bent over the sink, seams popped at the back of his shirt sleeves. He looked down to see his persistent belly burying the front of his belt, and shirt buttons straining nobly against the advance. Disoriented, he waddled toward the exit, and abruptly smacked his forehead against the top of the door frame. He stared blankly at the cross beam for a moment, trying to remember when it had ever been so low, then he ducked his head to clear the height of it, lumbering down the hall to his secretary's desk.
"I'm going to be at home for the rest of the day," he announced, barely pausing to be acknowledged. Pedestrians cleared aside as the huge ex-ballplayer rumbled out of the building, and down the front stairs of the county courthouse. His arm went up to hail a nearby cab which pulled-up dutifully at his command.
"Where to Sir?" the cabbie asked. His vehicle took a broad bounce as the county's biggest politician dropped his weight into the back seat. An enormous hand passed a large bill over the cabbie's shoulder. The commissioner then leaned back, and grunted softly as he undid his pants.
"I'm not feeling well," a deep voice said, "and I need you to get me home as fast as you can."
"...and keep the change"
The cabbie smiled as he stuffed the bill into his shirt pocket, and rapidly pulled away from the downtown area, heading for the tree-lined outskirts of the city. As he drove, he could hear the big man's soft groans, and labored breathing, but he kept his eyes trained on the road. His mind seemed to be playing tricks on him. As the bright, noon sun glanced off the windshield, he checked his rear view mirror, and thought he saw the commissioners shoulders rising higher and broader. He even thought he heard the man's clothes bursting at the seams like in some crazy "Incredible Hulk" episode. He laughed at himself as he pulled into his destination.
"Thanks tons Buddy," the commissioner rumbled. The cab rocked to and fro, as the weighty behemoth wrestled himself out the door with understandable difficulty. A huge head emerged, then massive arms and shoulders, and finally a rump as wide as the doorway itself. The driver's eyes widened, as the giant came into full view, and stood waist-tall to the roof of the vehicle, his clothing in shreds.
The cabbie yelped in astonishment, and he and his vehicle tore off at full speed, leaving Barge to contend with a dizzying headache. Slowly he made his way up the walk, and into the house, the world around him a surreal miniature of it's normal self. Stripping to his briefs, he reached into the fridge for beer, and had to drain several more bottles than usual to get his fill. Frustrated, he retreated to the living room with a six-pack and a cold compress. The six-pack was emptied in short order, and he stretched himself over the sofa for want of a nap. The normally sturdy piece of furniture groaned beneath him as he shifted uncomfortably, and seams burst apart in his underwear as the cotton-spandex surpassed it's limits. Still groggy, and agitated by the heat, he sat up to peel off his shorts. The room appeared to have shrunk even further. When he rose to his feet, the back of his head bumped up against the ceiling. He swore, and shifted uneasily in the tight quarters, rubbing at his temples to try to clear his mind.
Grabbing for an exceptionally large pair of swim trunks, he bid a retreat to his outdoor pool, and forced the patio door full open to get himself out. Stretching in the open air, and breathing in deeply, he stood head and chest taller than the security fence that surrounded his backyard. A nearby bed of petunias received an abrupt pruning as a shocked neighbor temporally lost control of his hedge trimmer. Mindless of his proportions, Barge lowered himself into the cool tranquil water of the pool, submerging at the deep end like some mythical sea serpent returning to it's ancestral home. As his head bobbed to the surface, he felt more himself, than he had all day. Stretching his arms across the pool edge, he floated there lazily, and dozed off to sleep.
By the time he awoke, the intense midday sun had cooled, and he could hear a fisted knock at the pool fence door. His huge voice rumbled merrily.
"Come right in, the water's fine!" As the fence door opened and closed again, two uniformed county police officers made their way into the pool area. Barge raised a great meaty hand invitingly as he recognized the two visitors.
"I've got some extra trunks inside if you two wanna join me." The officers looked on quietly as Barge's immense shoulders and chest swelled into view for a moment. Then, he submerged again, the water level licking at his well-trimmed goatee. Finally, the senior officer spoke up.
"We're actually here on business Sir." Barge raised a perplexed eyebrow, and the officer continued speaking, shifting his weight uncomfortably as he went on.
"Strange as it sounds Sir, we've had reports you've been getting bigger." Barge shot water from his mouth like a whale clearing it's blow hole, and laughed uproariously.
"I've been confirming that one every time I get on a scale!" The officers cringed with embarrassment as Barge's hearty laugh echoed across the length of the huge yard. He struggled to quell his levity, as he realized their need to go on.
"It seems the sound of your snoring has been, well, sort of scaring people," the officer continued, almost apologetically. Barge coasted away from them in the water, and threw his mammoth arms up against the back of the pool. The younger cop coughed nervously at the sight of the commissioner's immense wingspan.
"Well, you boys got me there," Barge conceded, "I can rip wood louder than Paul Bunyan." The conversation seemed to have reached an impasse. Barge chuckled expansively, and explained that he was just about to go inside anyway. A wake swelled as he propelled his leviathan form toward the two county cops. The younger one reached for a nearby beach towel and held it out at the shallow end of the pool. Both men faltered as Barge rose slowly out of the water, with the shoulders of mighty Atlas, and the humongous chest and belly of a grizzly bear. The towel seemed to shrink when he scooped it up in his paw, and draped it over his head to dry his hair as he ascended the pool stairs. Two sets of eyes widened, and jaws went slack, as the officers backpedaled. Two faces tipped skyward as Barge rose taller and taller, until his chest and shoulders towered far over head, and his bulk all but eclipsed the sun.
"You fellas should stick around and relax," he insisted, the towel still obscuring his vision. The two peered up at the human wall of beef, uncertain how to proceed. They shifted uneasily, and stared straight ahead at his navel, then took a furtive glance lower, before straightening to attention. The locker room record hung there unthreatened. A breeze glanced the bare skin of Barge's bulging backside. A huge hand cupped the swell of his weighty scrotum. It was clear his trunks had given way during the nap.
"Hey, we're all men here, right," he quelled, "I mean, you've seen it all in any locker room." The officers coughed abruptly, and trained their eyes forward. The towel over Barge's head, slipped to his shoulders as he continued to dry off. He shifted his mass, and turned his rump to them as the thirsty cotton dried his chest, and then moved lower to his crotch. The mound of bulk shifted, and a leg swung up and stepped on a three-foot-tall, brick, barbecue grill. Another member swung just beneath their chins as he bent over to finish drying his legs.
"Ah Sir, you might want to move inside," the senior cop ventured. Barge turned to the sound of the voice, and looked down to see two troubled faces staring him in the navel. The towel dropped from his hand, as he measured himself against his surroundings.
"Good God," he shouted, "what's happened to me?"
"You ah, seem to have grr-o-w-n Sir," the young cop ventured, the word sticking in his throat as he spoke. The two officers conferred for a moment, and then the younger one retreated to the squad car, taking a last anxious glance over his shoulder before leaving his partner alone. The remaining cop swelled out his chest and continued with a tone of authority.
"It might be best if we could just handle this inside," he reiterated, trying to direct Barge back toward the house. Barge looked down at the diminutive officer, and then over at the patio doorway.
"I just don't see it happening," he jibbed. The cop bristled a bit, and puffed himself up as large as possible, raising his hand over his head, and gesturing at Barge as if he were trying to direct a stubborn motorist out of an intersection.
"Let's give it a try," he insisted sternly. Barge lumbered forward, and planted his considerable poundage alongside the doorway, his chest as tall as the eaves. He took another look down at the cop.
"I don't think so," he repeated. The two seemed at a standstill. What happened next caught both of them by surprise. The cop bounded forward, eager to take the bull by the horns. Suddenly, he felt as if he were shrinking. Barge's stomach broadened, and rose higher, his head and shoulders overtaking the roof. His legs grew longer, thighs and calves barreling out like two huge oaks thickening with age. The hapless officer, unable to rein his forward momentum, all at once found himself face first in the commissioner's crotch, an unregistered lethal weapon bumping him in the nose.
"Oof," grunted a rumbling voice from above. A massive hand slid down around the back of the officer's head and redirected his attention. The ground gave a soft shudder, as Barge repositioned himself.
"Now about this suggestion of going inside..." he began. The cop pulled back to get the commissioner in view. First one step, then another. Then further and further. His eyes gradually worked past the broad, fat, outcropping of belly, to the mammoth pectoral's, the bull neck, the squared jaw, and finally, the wide, rugged, face glowering down at him. He measured the man against the house, and estimated he was looking up at about fifteen feet, and two and a half tons of angry county authority. He smiled apologetically, and reached for the communicator in his duty belt.
"Livingston," he began, addressing his younger partner in the squad car, "you better call for back-up."
Carlo pulled his Lexus around to the back of the high school, and tried to find a spot as close to the entrance of the gymnasium as possible. The parking area was tightly corded off, and populated with numerous large trucks and vans, some brandishing the trademarks of local food suppliers, others recognizable as belonging to the media, or security. A small crowd was gathered near the entrance to the school.
"Hey Mister, is it true there's a giant in there?" Carlo stared into the face of the young boy asking the question, and hadn't the slightest idea how to answer. Carlo was merely a tailor who was making a courtesy call on a good friend, one of his store's biggest customers, an ex-lineman, now politician, admittedly just over six and half feet tall, and potential as heavy as four hundred pounds, but hardly a bona fide giant in the strictest sense.
"I really don't know young man," he finally answered. Carlo had read the newspaper reports that claimed the commissioner had become too large to be sequestered by police in his home. He had heard rumors, and spotty TV and radio announcements, supposedly from eye witnesses, that claimed Joe Barge now stood somewhere between seven and nine feet tall, possibly bigger. He also new county officials stated that Barge had simply left work with a headache, and would be returning to the courthouse sometime soon. The diverging reports swirled amid his thoughts as he shuffled through the onlookers, and up to the school entrance. An armed, fully uniformed state trooper stood just inside the vestibule.
"I'll need to see some identification," the beefy, square-jawed cop asserted while holding out a gloved hand. Carlo quietly presented his driver's license, and waited patiently until the officer handed it back. He couldn't help staring at the huge, muscular arms that strained against the officer's shirt sleeves.
"What's in the bag?"
Carlo offered it to the big man. Inside was a two-pack of men's briefs as heavy as a slab, and so thick, the cop could barely wrap his palm around it. He lifted his mirrored sunglasses, and checked out the size printed in the upper right-hand corner.
"Whoa," he grunted, "didn't know they made 'em that big." Carlo stared down at a pair of well-polished size-fourteen boots, as the cop slipped the hefty pack back into the bag, and returned it. The entrance became opened, and the officer turned himself to allow the young tailor to enter. Carlo tried to recall if he'd ever before seen a man in uniform with shoulders so broad. The beefy trooper grasped the bill of his cap, and tipped his head brusquely, then returned to his post.
Following a path plainly laid out by security, Carlo made his way down the hall, and passed a bustling cafeteria. He could easily make out the smells of lasagnas, and pizzas being prepared in large number by a noisy and raucous staff of several dozen. It seemed a huge lot of bother so far in advance of the fall school season, but was perhaps necessary because of the scores of police surrounding the area round the clock. Further down the hall was an open door to the gymnasium. Carlo walked inside to see a drawn, twenty-five-foot-tall curtain separating two complete basketball courts. On his side of the curtain, three of the cities finest were playing a pick up game of basketball. The cops stopped their game, and turned in his direction as he walked in.
"You Carlo?" asked the short wiry one. He easily jogged the length of the basketball court, with the other two officers following him.
"Yes, Sir," Carlo answered directly. They shook hands. The wiry one introduced himself as Officer Mark Cooper. His partners were Officer Tim Kirby, and Officer Mack Martin. Kirby was young, tall, and slender, and Martin was a bear of a man whose girth had swollen to a size that easily merited Carlo's professional attention. The big bear smiled broadly, and thrust out a thick beefy hand. He was easily the friendliest of the three, and his face lit up with a look of recognition as he shook with Carlo.
"What's in the bag?" asked Cooper. Carlo surrendered it over, and the officer examined the huge two-pack of briefs, then let out a loud whistle.
"Looks like your size Mack," he quipped, tossing the pack to Officer Martin. The big man checked the size, and shifted his jaw as his eyebrows rose.
"Nope," he shook his head, "too big for me." He shoved the fat pack in front of Kirby, and the young man, did a double-take.
"Let's check 'em out," Cooper continued, snatching the package back from Martin. In a second he'd popped the plastic seal. A sheet of packing cardboard dropped to the floor, and a pair of briefs unfurled like a flag in the wind. They were over three feet wide, and hung almost to the floor when Cooper held them up to his waist.
"Now there's a pair of skivvies for ya boys," he grinned. The other two went silent as a towering figured emerged from behind the immense curtain dividing the room. A giant's bare feet thumped across the highly lacquered floor, and boards creaked as a shadow blotted out the light over Cooper's head. Carlo's jaw dropped, and his head tipped back. His eyes looked up at a massive form, standing taller than the basketball backboard. A face over halfway to the ceiling looked back down at him.
"Those for me?" asked a deep, powerful voice. Carlo marveled at his friend's stupendous proportions.
"Yes, Sir," he answered, with all the dignity he could muster, "I brought the biggest I could find." The giant commissioner cleared his throat, and stared down at Cooper. The short, wiry cop turned sheepishly, and raised the skivvies over head, handing them upward. The four smaller men turned their heads, as the giant man stepped into the briefs, and shimmied them up over his beefy behind.
"Not bad," he murmured, squatting a bit to loosen the lay of his jib, "a little snug, but not bad." When the men looked back up, Barge's colossal middle, was protruding nobly over the front of the tight, white shorts. He peered down over his belly, and pointed to Carlo, and Officer Martin.
"You two can come into my office," he boomed, and then turned to lead the way back to his confined area. Officer Martin threw a big arm over Carlo's shoulder as the two of them followed behind Barge.
"You were the guy in charge of the tuxes for my son's wedding," he whispered good-naturedly, "THAT'S where I know you from." Carlo nodded absently, his eyes trained upward at the great, weighty butt cheeks bouncing and clenching in rhythm as Barge moved.
"Hey Joe," Martin bellowed, "this guy did the tuxes for Jimbo's wedding."
"Well, how 'bout that," Barge resounded, turning to look down at the cop, "I bet that boy of yours was one helluva project to fit!
"Sure the hell was," echoed Martin, "had to ship his jacket in from the east coast!" As the two men chortled, Carlo recalled that Martin's son had been a two-time power-lifting champ, well over the four hundred mark. His groomsmen were three of his lifting mates, all nearly as big. And with Mack, and two sons thrown in, the wedding had been literally the biggest thing he'd ever covered. At least, up until now.
"Well, I tell ya," Barge rumbled, as he widened his stance and rested his hands on his hips, "when it comes to fittin' the big boys, Carlo is the best!" Carlo blushed, and looked at the floor. He felt a playful punch in the arm from Officer Martin, and the two of them followed Barge behind the screen. Barge planted himself between a pair of A-frame utility ladders that rose to chest-level in front and behind him.
"I can let you take my measurements now," he said, looking down at Carlo, "or we can wait til after lunch."
"I don't think security will be eating too soon," Carlo spoke up, "the help in the kitchen still has a lot of food to finish." The commissioner chuckled graciously.
"Security has it's food service set up outside," he explained, "the food in the kitchen is for me." Barge tapped his belly for emphasis. Carlo looked up without a word, and deliberately measured his own height against the commissioner's inseam, then he slowly ascended the front ladder. When he was finally eye level with the giant, he pulled out a notepad and a pen from the pocket of his suit jacket, and began his work.
"Height?" he asked apprehensively.
"Fifteen feet, three inches," Officer Martin called up from floor level, "and he weighs five Gs!"
"Five Gs, and a bill as of this morning," Barge countered. He watched Carlo jot down "15.25," and then "5100-pounds." Carlo then dropped the pad to Officer Martin, and flung a rope-like tape measure around Joe's neck.
"Fifty inches," he called out.
"Damn," the cop exclaimed, as he wrote, "that's almost the size of my belt!"
"Just write." Barge grunted.
"Upper arm, fifty-two inches," said Carlo. The cop whistled as he mounted the ladder at Joe's rear. Barge disguised the hint of a grin, and swelled out his chest as the two men struggled to measure it.
"One hundred, forty-four inches." Carlo finally announced. The sleeve length proved equally challenging. It was just under ninety inches long. Carlo descended the ladder slightly, and Joe relaxed his belly allowing it to protrude forward.
"One hundred, forty-six inches," the tailor told Martin.
"I've been eating too good," Barge muttered. Carlo explained that he only needed an estimate on the size of Joe's hips.
"Well, I'm looking at just over a yard's worth back here," Martin barked, whacking Barge on the rump. Joe threw a glance over his shoulder, and then broadened his stance to allow the tailor to get up between his legs.
"Seventy-two inseam," Carlo blurted, then pulled back to clear the outcrop of Joe's gut.
"Are you dressing right or left Sir" he asked, looking up.
"VERY left," the commissioner answered, reaching down to adjust his considerable manhood in the tight briefs. Carlo looked forward, and estimated one more measurement to note elsewhere.
"Think you can handle all that Carlo?" Barge rumbled down with a smile.
"Ah...Sir? Yes, Sir!" the tailor answered, finally looking back up at the giant.
"I think your dimensions got Carlo a little dizzy." Martin laughed, as he clamped a huge arm across the tailor's shoulders and gave him a shake. Carlo rubbed his forehead and hid a sheepish look. Barge laughed knowingly.
"He's a good man," the commissioner proclaimed, "now if you boys will excuse me, I've got about twelve feet of belly to fill here." Joe's firm gut bounced as he slapped it with both hands. Trays of food were being rolled in from the kitchen, and Carlo and Officer Martin promptly took their leave.
The bear of an officer escorted the young tailor to another room just outside the gym. There, Carlo was introduced to one of the men on Joe's medical team. The man shook hands with Carlo, and said that his name was Doctor Franklin. He waited for Officer Martin to leave the room before asking Carlo to have a seat. When the two of them were alone, and seated face to face, the doctor continued.
"I cannot overemphasize that what you have seen, and are about to hear here is of a highly confidential nature," he began, "we have employed your services, because, at a specific deadline in the near future, the commissioner is going to need clothing of a certain proportion in order to return to the courthouse." Carlo nodded, and held up the pad which contained Joe's measurements. Doctor Franklin drew back in his chair with a deep breath, and rubbed his palms against his pant legs.
"He's grown into quite a physical specimen," he sighed, "that much is certain." Carlo remained silent, and allowed the doctor to continue. As he listened, he learned that, although there was no clear explanation for Joe's fantastic growth, his health was in no apparent danger. There seemed little hope of reversing the condition, but doctors were isolating factors that stimulated it, and they felt certain, that they could eventually stabilize them.
"We've successfully inhibited his growth over the past twenty-four hours," the doctor explained, "but his weight is still rising, and his appetite continues to increase at a gargantuan rate, which leads us to believe..."
"...He's going to keep getting bigger?" Carlo finally interrupted. The doctor sighed again, and nodded in the affirmative. He pulled a slip of paper from his pocket, and unfolded it before placing it in Carlo's hand. Then he continued.
"We've extrapolated from the data collected to reach a reasonable estimate of how big the commissioner's clothes may have to be by the date of his public appearance." He pointed to an equation at the bottom of the page. "You can use this to multiply by the measurements you've taken today." Carlo calculated Joe's height against the equation on the paper. It was a cursory estimate at best, but even so, he could hear his heart pounding in his chest as he formed the final number in his brain.
"It is IMPERATIVE that you tell NO ONE about this," the doctor emphasized. Carlo shifted uncomfortably in his chair, but nodded in agreement. The doctor went on to explain:
The county has insisted that the commissioner make an appearance on the date I've noted for you. If our calculations are correct, the state is fully prepared, and capable of stepping in with security; if not, it will mean we've stabilized the commissioner's growth, and he will remain sequestered until further notice. In either case, the public will be informed in an appropriate and orderly fashion. There is no reason to anticipate an imminent danger. The commissioner continues to conduct himself in a very reasonable, and professional manner.
When the doctor was finished speaking, he rose from his chair and reached out a hand to Carlo. The two men shook, and the doctor escorted the tailor to the back entrance of the building. Inside the vestibule, the same trooper was still on duty. One butt check was propped against a stool, as he sat with his arms folded. His long legs blocked Carlo's exit.
"That's one big boy they're keeping in there," the trooper murmured. Carlo's mouth felt dry, and he shifted uncomfortably looking at himself reflected in the troopers mirrored glasses. After a pause, the officer lifted himself off the stool, and rose to his full height, expanding his chest in front of the uneasy tailor. Carlo was now certain he'd never seen a man in uniform with shoulders so broad. He raised his arms as he realized he was being patted down. The troopers hands were large and powerful, but worked with a deliberate precision. He found, in Carlo's pocket, the paper from the doctor. He pulled it out, and unfolded it, and grinned as he read the equation at the bottom.
"Yup," he laughed, "that's one big, big boy!" Carlo felt that he should speak, but couldn't find words. He could only stare at the shirt buttons straining against the officer's barrel chest.
"It's OK Bud," the trooper breathed down on him, "I know more about what's going on in there than Doctor Franklin does." He stuffed the paper back in Carlo's pocket, and tapped the tailor on the chest. Carlo was given the signal to leave, and a pat on the backside as he turned for the door. The powerful trooper settled one big butt check back down onto the stool. He ran a hand down his solid gut, and palmed the bulge that mounded up in the crotch of his breeches when he sat.
"Hey Bud," he called out, so that Carlo turned and looked at him, "if you got another pack of those giant briefs, I might be able to use a couple pair myself." The tailor blushed, and the trooper laughed heartily as Carlo retreated for the parking lot.
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