keep your expectations low and i will rise to the occasion.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

when old nerdy guys attack!

while my good buddy is writing about the new health care bill (i disagree with his views but i love him regardless...), im going to tell you a cautionary tale. one filled with action, suspense and to be frank, pity.

today began like any other mid-march morning at 6am. it was dark out, the birds were doing their often imitated whistle/shivering chatter as those early northbound movers began second guessing their potential premature trek north. and of course my younger brother, aka my newest roommate bursting into my room with "get up! time for the gym!"

my brother gets real pumped about legs day so there we go! fulfilling our morning ritual of pre-8am gym regimen. it offers a great opportunity to hang out and catch up a bit on the last 24 hours. we have completely different schedules so without this... i may never see the little guy!

so there were are... wrapping up our abdominal workout so we could get to the much anticipated legs part of our program. we are discussing the ramifications of the new health care plan and at the same time doing the rotary machine which focuses on the obliques. i mean come on!? who doesnt want to get rid of their love handles! so there we were, love handle destroying away and minding our own business. then as if there was a whack-a-mole popping out of the floor, a male, 50 something, tall, medium build, thinning but scraggly (best word to describe it... even though its not a word) hair, a low hanging blue tank top with over eager chest bridging the gap between the collar and his neck and short red runner shorts pops up and says "hey! how many sets you guys have left!?"

being that we just got on the machine... and my brother was in between rep 4 and 5... my brother responded abruptly, matching the guy's tone "we got 2 each."

the look of disgust was very apparent. but at the end of the day... its an oblique machine. most people dont even bother with them and just do some crunches and go for a run. this guy though... loves his obliques. i mean... his face was like a kid running downstairs to the christmas tree and instead of presents, seeing a miner, complete with hard hat and shovel, eating a doughnut with one leg up on a pile of freshly delivered coal. "merry christmas kid. you guys got a bathroom 'round here?" not pleased.

but not our problem... or so we thought. we continue to do our sets... we are not racing to finish but we are continuously doing the workout. no lolly-gagging for us. after 3 sets, my brother is about to start the last one. the conversation regarding health care continues on. and then, then captain stick-up-his-ass appeared out of nowhere and boy oh boy was he pissed. he then spoke and it was so shocking to hear him raise his voice that i froze in shock. a couple things you have to take into account...

1. no one talks at the gym. everyone has headsets or is just "in the zone."
2. its 7:15am. who has the energy to raise their voice?! its bad enough we are all killing ourselves at the gym.
3. who gets mad about two guys using an oblique machine!?!? i cant stress how never used this machine is... and all of sudden there is a 40 car pile up...

i will provide with as close to an accurate quote as possible so you grasp the magnitude of the brief but thought provoking conversation.

"you two are so rude!!! i ask you how many sets you have left!! and then you are here talking!?!? you dont even give a shit!! you are so fucking rude!! i cant even fucking believe it!!"

the scene was made. he made it. i was shocked. we had not stopped doing our sets to just chat... in fact, we were moving pretty quick to get downstairs so my brother could get to the legs workouts. my shock was complimented by my brother who was stone face and calm, simply responded to the guy "ok!" in a slightly condescending tone and then continued with his set as if the man had just asked him for the time.

it was classic. im pretty sure i saw his aorta pop of his chest and if it werent for the canopy of chest hair, may have punched my brother right in the face. he stormed off and settled for another set of angry, poor-formed biceps curls.

so we finish with the machine and walk away... chuckling a bit. half because what the hell!? and the other half because i knew it would only piss him off. as we walk towards another machine, to complete our abs workout, he makes his way toward the machine, lumbering like a bear stalking a tree to mark it as his own, and sits down.

he does one set. one. he was on it for 25 seconds. then got up and continued to do all the other machines in the immediate area.

my brother and i discussed the ridiculousness of the situation for the remainder of the morning and actually laughed out loud several times. this gentleman will be a source of enjoyment each time we venture to the gym and want to use the abs machine. i fully expect another outburst and this time i will be ready with quick retort that may end in a full out brawl but totally worth it.

so moral of the story: beware! there are what i like to call "gym warriors" who have similar characteristics to roid ragers but instead of steroids, its the metamucil mixed with excessive amounts of protein that causes their ferocity. they tend to be over-enthused, make loud and uncomfortable noises when doing basic workouts and usually older adults who have a significant amount of unearned entitlement when it comes to anything in the gym because they took three personal training sessions. whether its a treadmill, an ab machine, a floor mat or a water fountain, these post-mid-life-crisis-enjoying folks will go for the jugular. be prepared. best course of action is to say something quick and funny and then go about your business like they dont exist. it will drive them crazy and give you a large amount of personal satisfaction.

so just be safe out there... and if you see someone that fits the profile of colonel asshole that accosted my brother and i described above, just make sure you get to the ab machine first. and then tell me about how pissed he got. you will easily make my day.

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