Couch Potato

Originally published April 24, 2018.
Contains: accelerated weight gain, personality transformation.

It’s been almost a year since my latest story that I originally labeled as “[quick]”. In that time, I’ve had a hard time keeping my ideas brief enough to qualify for the “[quick]” label. It could be the evolution of my writing style, as I’ve had quite few ideas that I thought for sure would end up “quickies” and yet ended up in excess of 5,000, 6,000 words. And in general, my stories do seem to be trending longer these days. But either way, my original intent with the “[quick]” stories was to allow me to explore an idea that wasn’t substantial enough to carry a lengthier story, but that I wanted to explore anyway. And this story fit that bill perfectly.

I always credit my inspiration for my stories, no matter how loosely related they may be, and the inspiration for this idea was the mini-morphs that FutoBara does on his FutoBeans account. Most of his transformations are based on drinks or outfits, but I imagined one based on a prop, namely a couch that turns you into a couch potato. And it was the perfect idea to explore as a “[quick]” story.

Synopsis: Al needs a couch for his apartment, and he can’t afford to buy a new one. At a discount furniture store, he finds one marked “not eligible for sale”, which the inexperienced employee thinks means he can give it away for free. So Al takes the couch home, and takes a seat, only to find food popping up unexpectedly that he didn’t remember bringing to the couch with him. And the more preposterously big the service sizes of the mysterious food get, the bigger Al gets, to the point that he convinces himself his skinny days were just a figment of his imagination.

Al wasn’t proud to be shopping at a discount furniture store, and he especially wasn’t proud to be shopping in the “pre-loved” section. But he needed a couch for his new apartment, and it was the only section he had the budget for. Unfortunately, all he could find in the “pre-loved” section was wood and metal furniture, nothing with cushions or padding. He supposed it was only reasonable that a “pre-loved” couch might not be suitable for resale, although with his budget being as small as it was, he was still willing to buy one.

“Can I help you find anything today?” the young employee asked nervously.

“Maybe. I’m looking for a couch, and a new one isn’t in the budget. Do you get used ones in very often.”

“Well, I’ve only been here a few weeks, so I’m not sure. I don’t think I’ve seen any since I got here. In fact, I think they might be against policy.” Al’s head drooped down, until he heard the employee say, “You know what, I think I remember a shipment recently that might have had a used couch. Let me check.”

Al waited with bated breath until the employee came out of the back, holding a laminated piece of paper. “Well, we have a couch, but it’s marked with a red tag. And according to this, that means, ‘Not eligible for sale.’” While the employee continued reading the document and mumbling to himself, Al’s head dipped down in disappointment, and he started considering his other options. Maybe picking furniture up off the street wasn’t such a bad idea after all. “I guess that means I can only give it to you for free.”

“I’ll take it,” Al replied immediately. “Whatever it looks like, whatever condition its in, I’ll take it.”

“Alright. Um, I’m the only one working right now, so I might need your help taking it out to your vehicle. A-assuming you wanted to take it home yourself.”

“I borrowed my buddy’s pick-up truck for exactly that reason,” Al said with a smile.

One trip home and a call to his buddy Trevor for assistance later, Al had gotten the couch in his apartment and put it in his living room, among the other minimal decorations he had. The couch he’d gotten for free turned out to be a brown one with several spots worn smooth, indicating it was definitely “pre-loved”, but overall, it looked like it was in good condition. If he walked into someone’s place and saw a couch like that, he wouldn’t think twice about sitting in it. What could possibly have made it “not eligible for sale”?

Either way, Al decided to enjoy his new purchase immediately. Eying the center cushion, he walked over and spun around before letting his rear end fall on the couch and his back sink into the padding behind him. To his surprise, the couch was extremely comfortable, the plush cushions letting him sink in quickly at first, before his descent slowed. And the surface material was so smooth he barely noticed it.

Happy with his “purchase”, Al turned sideways to lie down for a while, though he found it hard to want to move from the spot where he’d been sitting. But two surprises kept him from lying down: the feeling of the remote underneath his back, and some kind of rustling at his feet.

Back on his butt, Al picked up the remote and thought, Well, glad we wasted no time putting that in its proper place. But the rustling remained unexplained, until he looked to the left and saw a small bag of chips. He hadn’t remembered putting a bag of chips on the couch. Maybe Trevor had brought it for himself and forgotten to eat it? And how had he not noticed it before? It was strange, but since the bag was unopened, Al figured there couldn’t be any ham in enjoying it himself. After turning on the TV for something to zone out to, he ripped open the chips and dug in.

It didn’t take long until all the chips in the bag were gone. Al cursed chip companies for being purveyors of bagged air, and wanted some more. But his spot on the couch was so comfortable that he didn’t want to get up. He wanted more chips, but not enough to push himself off from what felt like a heavy cloud.

But when Al looked toward the kitchen, he was surprised to see not just another bag of chips on the arm of the couch, but a party-size bag. How he hadn’t noticed that before was unexplainable. Sure, he hadn’t laid his head down since sitting on the couch, so it’s possible the bag could have been there without him feeling it. But he didn’t think he owned any party-size bags of anything. And he definitely would have noticed Trevor bringing one in.

But like the small bag of chips, it was sealed tight and seemed perfectly safe to eat. And Al couldn’t deny how serendipitous it was that he’d found the bag of chips when he did. He gave the party-size bag a bit of a suspicious glance, but shrugged and took the bag to rip it open. As the TV droned on, he munched on the chips, wolfing then down in handfuls as his eye stayed glued to the TV.

The bag lasted for about the duration of a half-hour episode, before Al found himself struggling to pick up the crumbs at the bottom. With only the tiny pieces left, he picked up the bag by the bottom and poured what remained into his mouth, chowing down on the salty, greasy pieces until they were all gone. He then licked his fingers clean, enjoying the last bit of grease and salt he’d get out of the bag, before wiping them dry on his shirt.

It was then that Al was met by another surprise: as his hand pushed against his shirt, he felt a flabby abdomen pushing back, not the toned, muscular midsection that he was used to. As he pushed a bit more, he confirmed the presence of a layer of soft fat over his abdominals, for he had to push in quite a ways before his fingers were halted by the firm muscle underneath. This wasn’t just a food baby from all the chips he’d eaten: he’d gotten fat.

Looking down, Al saw that his once defined physique now fit the definition of a dad bod. Though his tank top still covered his belly, it was clear that the shirt was now being pushed out as it fell beyond his chest in a way he wasn’t used to. Sure, he hadn’t been hitting the gym since graduation, never having taken the time to find a new one after he no longer had access to his college’s gym. And he could probably have stood to eat a little cleaner. But how he’d managed to put on such a thick layer of pudge around his midsection and not notice until it was that pronounced, he wasn’t sure.

But Al knew there was no sense in worrying about it. Once he got back on the bandwagon, he’d lose the gut in no time. Worrying about it wasn’t going to get him anywhere, so instead, he sat back to enjoy his new couch, settling into his cozy spot with a contented smile and his arms stretched over the back.

But when Al reached toward the end of the couch, he felt his hand touch a warm paper bag. Looking over, he saw a brown bag covered with grease stains and stapled shut, the signature style of any of the takeout spots Al and his buddies counted on to cater for their college parties. Although that staple usually held a receipt describing the contents. Reaching over to take the bag in hand, Al found that it held no such list. What it did hold was a bacon cheeseburger, a meatball sub, and an order of chicken finger and fries.

By then, Al had given up on trying to figure out where all the food was coming from. While he still felt it was very strange that food kept popping up out of nowhere, he knew acting confused wouldn’t get him any closer to an explanation. Instead, he shrugged his shoulders, pulled out the cheeseburger, and dug in.

All the food was as good as Al expected from the kind of delivery places that delivered in bags like that. Not exactly stellar, but certainly satisfying, and greasy as all hell. All of the meat seemed drenched in grease as he worked his way through the dishes. Only the bread and fries provided any relief from the onslaught of grease. But Al’s tastes hadn’t had much of a chance to mature beyond those of his college days, and deep down, he enjoyed all of the items in the bag, down to the last crumb he licked off his greasy fingers.

Once his hands were as clean as his mouth could get them, Al once again reached down to wipe them off on his shirt. And once again, his hands were met by the sensation of soft, warm flab underneath his tank top. What he didn’t expect was that his hand would touch his belly so soon.

Looking down, Al saw that he’d grown well out of dad bod territory, having a big enough circumference around his belly to contain that territory and plenty of its outskirts. His belly now stuck out far enough to cover part of his legs as he sat, while his legs themselves had taken on a wider stature, more akin to telephone poles. His arms seemed to have put on a decent layer of flab as well, while his chest was now pudgy enough to push out with its own protuberance.

Tossing the empty bag aside, Al brought both of his hands to bear on his stomach, feeling the beach-ball-sized mass underneath his tank top, which still covered the entire thing. He had vague recollections of that tank top fitting him when he was muscular, but he wondered, how could it fit a muscular version of Al and the current Al? It would have to have been super baggy on his muscular frame, and he knew he wouldn’t wear baggy clothes if he were muscular. Maybe he’d made being muscular up. After all, he’d just graduated college. When could he have had the time to build up that much muscle, and then let it all turn into enough of a belly to push his thighs apart? No, it made more sense that the muscular frame was just a pipe dream.

Not that Al had any idea why he dreamed of being muscular. Clearly he loved to eat; he wouldn’t have been able to grow a belly that big if he didn’t. Why would he give up all the delicious foods he enjoyed to have that body? Foods like extra cheese pizza and penne alfredo?

Those were what Al’s hands landed on when he let them drop after he finished caressing his ball of a belly. On his left, his hand landed on a large pizza box, and on his right, a disposable metal tray filled with enough penne in cheesy sauce to feed a family of four. Or just Al. Opening the pizza box, he found an extra cheese pizza that was still warm enough to make long strings of cheese when he took a slice. Once they finally broke, he shoved the slice in his mouth.

Al alternated shoving the pasta into his mouth with the serving spoon that came with it and wolfing down a slice of pizza. No matter how much of the cheesy goodness his crammed in his stomach, he never seemed to feel full. Certainly he was aware of the sensation of a growing mound of cheese and bread and pasta in his gut, but it never reached a size that satisfied him or proved painful. With his eyes and attention glued to the TV, he kept shoveling down more and more food, paying no mind to just how much he ate. All he cared about was whether he had any left to eat.

Once Al had no pizza or pasta left, he tossed the serving spoon back in the disposable tin tray and closed the pizza box, letting out a burp before rubbing his belly. He felt moderately surprised when his hands landed on his belly yet again earlier than he expected. He was big enough that he had trouble reaching the front. The bottom of his belly was encroaching upon his knees, while the sides spilled off of his tree trunk thighs to rest on the part of the couch he hadn’t sunk into yet.

Rubbing his belly top to bottom, Al discovered that the tank top he wore left a little exposed underneath. Though he could pull it down to where it just reached the bottom of his belly, it would spring right up and expose an inch or two. Any more movement on his part, and it would expose even more. Not that Al particularly cared when he was home alone, which was why he didn’t worry so much about whether his undershirts fit. But even lifting the remote up to turn down the volume now that he wasn’t chewing caused his shirt to rise a bit higher, threatening to expose his belly button.

Thankfully, as evidenced by all the empty bags and other food containers around him, Al wasn’t a fan of moving. He enjoyed stocking up on food and plopping himself on the couch for hours on end, eating as he pleased while the TV gave him some distraction from just how much he was wolfing down. And he had the gut to prove it, spilling out over the couch and himself into whatever space it could find. And with his constant feasting and lounging around, he had a feeling it would be looking for even more space soon. Giving it a few hearty pats on top, which reverberated from the firm top of his belly to the flabby bottom, he was okay with that.

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