Thursday, July 23, 2009



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via Humor Columns by Syndicated Writer Jason Love by (Jason) on 7/22/09

Syndicated humor column about gyms and health spas by Jason LoveI joined 24-Hour Fitness because the salespeople don't slide notes across the table and say things like, "How 'bout this? Can you live with this number?" My answer to that question is always the same: "If you can't say the cost out loud, it's too much."

Some people avoid the gym for fear of others staring, but that's unrealistic because it means those others would first have to stop staring at themselves. Seriously, you don't want to come between the regulars and their reflections.

When a man falls in love with his own body, it's called an Adonis Complex after the Greek god of protein shakes. These guys develop their upper bodies until, like the Tyrannosaurus rex, they cannot reach their face.

"Hey, Bob. Can you get this itch on my chin? It's drivin' me nuts."

In the weight room they strain so hard, you can actually see their beards grow. I leave when they start making porn sounds -- all that grunting and groaning while the spotter carries on. "Come on, baby; do it. Show me what you've got."

When I bench-press, a machinist named Booker hovers nearby like an incubus, volunteering pointers. "I hope you know you're cheating your pecs with that exercise."

Booker demonstrates more painful ways to lift the weights, which brings us to Gym Rule #1: If you want to know the correct way to perform an exercise, the answer is, "Whatever hurts most." When you yelp involuntarily, you've got it!

I listened to Booker until that day I found him smoking Marlboros in the parking lot. After all the squats we'd been through! Booker averted his eyes the way Elizabeth Taylor might if you caught her giving marriage advice. So it goes.

You wonder why we don't take all this pushing and pulling energy and do something useful -- build a monorail or something. The treadmill extremists could power the whole city, clip-clopping along until management finally steps in.

"Sorry, Kitty; you've become entirely too thin. We're going to have to cut you off."

When did we become obsessed with xylophone ribs anyway? Our current Miss Universe has a size-22 waist, which makes her, technically speaking, a stick figure. Her boyfriend, also a model, reports four percent body fat. Can you see them rubbing around in bed? Talk about your fire hazards.

And why does Miss Universe always come from Earth? It's like the rest of the planets aren't even trying. Unless you count Tyra Banks.

Then you have the Spandex pants with the writing on the rear end. Ladies, what are you thinking? Don't you know how big men are on reading? One girl wore on her butt the Nike swoosh symbol, which in this case does not mean "just do it."

I prefer to jog al fresco. As comedian Daryl Rummens said, "I was going to join the gym but decided to use the ground for free." Maybe we should just build gyms on top of really steep hills. That way, by the time you reach the door, you're done!

I feel for people who frequent the gym but never see results -- men who can still pinch an inch on their forehead, women who could wear five-piece bathing suits. You wish they'd just say, "Screw it. I am in shape, and my shape is round."

I like to hang out in the steam room with the large, furry creatures who grunt but don't say much. It's like Gorillas in the Mist in there. Some brag about their steam-room stamina, which I believe calls for a sweat-off. Judges can stand outside while contestants stagger out and swoon in their little numbered vests. Last one out wins a pack of Marlboros.

For all the teasing, though, I've come to admire the simplicity of gymfolk. One guy wears a shirt that says, "I'm not smart, but I can lift heavy things." That's like one step away from enlightenment.

So I've decided to leave behind philosophy and current events in favor of my own upper body development. I will match wits with neckless men and use my sleeve as a nose rag. I will lounge naked in the locker room and dry my pubes with the bolted-down hair dryer. And if anyone comes near, I'll have them scratch this godforsaken itch on my chin.


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