[Originally posted January 2011]



I recently made my triumphant return to the gym after taking most of the summer – and the early fall – off to play outside.  Shit, I’d still be playing outside if global warming would just kick in already in a big way.  To do my part, I’m standing on my back deck every morning and unleashing half a dozen aerosol cans into the air.  And I’m celebrating each weekend with a nice tire fire in the backyard.  Screw this freeze.

Until then, I’m going back to the gym for the season.  Which is located right along the Long Island Sound where I’d spent the better part of the summer paddling around on my paddleboard.  I got into paddleboarding partly because of claims that it provided a good workout.  Yeah, great.  ”It works your core!”  Whatever the fuck that means – four months on and I’m just as fat as I was before I bought the stupid board.  Except I’m now in the hole for about a grand, and my fat ass continues to mock me.  Still, it was an excuse to be outside for the season.  And I got a rockin’ tan out of the whole thing.

But that’s history now.  No more boardshorts, no more bare feet.  Now it’s back to the stupid gym.  So I walk into the gym, and in my head, it’s all “I’m back, bitches – miss me?  Were you jerkoffs all jealous of me when I was paddling out on the water and you guys would peer out the window of the gym and see me having all this fun out on the water, and you felt like a tool for being cooped up inside all summer long with these sadistic torture machines?  Yeah, thought so.”  But truth is, no one gave a shit.  Not one person noticed I even walked into the joint.  And I didn’t recognize anyone in the gym that day either.  Which is probably a really good thing.  Because when I’m trying to work off my fat dumpy ass, the last thing I wanna do is run into someone I know and strike up some pointless conversation.  Not that I don’t wanna talk, it’s just that when I’m gasping for breath, fearing that I’m having a stroke, and trying not keel over after 3 minutes on the treadmill, having a conversation is just something I’m not really into right now, OK?  I am that out of shape.

But you know what else I’m not into?  The asshole who’s got something to prove yet is losing control all over the place at the weight machines.  I’ve got my iPod on and I’m dying on one of these stationary bikes, and rudely punching through the music in my earphones is this repeated clanging din. *CLANG!!*  *CLANG!!”  *CLANG!!*  Am I at a gym or a construction site?  This jerkoff is straining to lift the weights, then just letting them go slamming back down.  Which means the more accurate sound you’d hear is: *HNNNNNHHH!* *CLANG!!* *HNNNNNHHH!* *CLANG!!* *HNNNNNHHH!* *CLANG!!* I know this shit is registering on a Richter scale somewhere.  Hey asshole, ease off on the weights before you herniate your grotesquely enlarged prostate.  If you can’t bring the weights back down in a somewhat controlled manner, ease off, bitch.  No one’s impressed you can lift the 200lbs, especially if your noodly arms are raising them about about 3 inches, then dumping them.  Calm the fuck down.

Then there are the three or four shitheads who commandeer the all the TVs in the gym.  (This isn’t some fancy schmancy gym with personalized screens at every workout station.  There are about three or four TVs for the whole joint and that’s it.)  And without fail, I’m always there when these fuckheads have wrangled the remotes,  and they always put golf on TV.  Or CNBC.  What.  The fuck.  Right there, you can picture the exact shithead who watches golf or CNBC at the gym, can’t you.  Some middle-aged hedge fund douchebag who probably uses the gym as an unimaginative excuse to get the fuck out of the house and away from his shrieking harpie wife or his asshole teenage kids who hate him.  And if he isn’t the sort who’s gross and pudgy, he’s the sort with the perfect hair.  Both types can fuck off and die.  Because when I’m at the gym trying to work off my fat ass, maybe I think that maybe something on the TV might either entertain/distract from the agony, or maybe pump me a bit more to get into this workout I’m hating.  Maybe a college football game.  Or Baywatch.  How the fuck are golf or CNBC gonna do either, you assholes.  And thanks for perpetually bogarting the stupid remotes.  You’re just happy to be strolling on the treadmill watching Tiger fuck up at the Burundi Open or something.

And if these pudgy putt-loving, ticker-crazed jerkoffs aren’t enough to ruin an already agonizing workout, I can always rely on this fucking guy whom I call “The Sprinkler” to completely ruin the entire session.  This is the jerkoff who sweats so profusely, he’s literally spraying everyone within ten feet of him, in every direction.  It’s fucking heinous.  He’ll pound thunderously on the treadmill – because he’s just the sort of alpha douche who needs to declare to everyone that he’s making that treadmill his bitch – he’ll huff and puff through his whole regimen, and he’ll be the sweaty human equivalent of the fountains of the Bellagio.  It’s like he’s marking his territory or something.  Every time I see this asshole, I’m pretty sure my day at the gym’s pretty much done.  Before long, he’s gonna drench every piece of equipment around him, and I’m going to be thoroughly nauseated.  Someone oughta make him workout in a burqa.

But to really put a cherry on the shit icing at the gym, all I need to do is walk into the locker room at the end of my workout to collect my things.  Right there in all of his God-given glory is always some old git who refuses to stay clothed.  There’s always some hairy old dude whose yambag is dangling around his knees who’s just standing there, hanging out, doing fuck knows what.  Not a stitch on him.  Not a towel.  Not a t-shirt.  Nothing.  He’s free willying because apparently he’s decided that the locker room at the gym is his own personal garden of Eden.  Fuck you for airing out your mule for everyone to see, you creepy fuck.

I know it’s the new year, and everyone wants to get their lard asses in gear and sign up for some bullshit gym membership.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.