Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1001 incorrect uses for a blow dryer.

I've been spending more time at the gym lately. It''s not because I'm training for the Iron Man or because I want an even better body than I currently have—that's impossible.

Nope, I've been hanging out at the "Y" more because my ten-year-old daughter has taken an interest in improving her health. And really, what parent wouldn't rather follow his child's lead than order her to turn off the TV, put on her pink nylon shorts and head to the gym with her grumpy, old dad.

Whatever motives people have for working out, I fully support them, because no one likes a nation whose citizens are more marbled with lard than Kobe Beef. I just wish I didn't have to watch some folks while they exercise. Maybe it's because I'm usually highly anaerobic and sweat-drenched when I'm looking at these people, or maybe I just see myself in the mirror next to them and wonder when I turned into a gray-haired old man with a throbbing forehead vein, but here are the types of people who annoy me the most at our local YMCA:

The Self-Admirers: This group is ninety percent male and lifts massive amounts of barbells, dumbbells and sports drinks. They dress in tight shirts from Old Navy, borrowed from their little brothers, which form fit their torsos while exposing massive arm loaves. I like to make faces at them in the mirror because they never look at anyone but themselves.

The Incorrect Machine Users: These gym patrons usually don't dress for working out, either. An average member of this group is an older woman with a flowered blouse, stretchy polyester pants and powder blue flats. Many machines, such as the seated chest press, include a foot lever for putting the handles in proper position for the arm workout. She ignores this and pushes the foot lever up and down approximately seven times before stopping and just sitting there for a while. Nothing quite like a toned right calf muscle.

The New Agers: These people like to flop a mat down right between the lat pull and curl machines, thereby making my left knuckle touch their downward doggie ass every time my arm achieves full extension. I would appreciate if they would practice their art somewhere others will welcome them, like the Whole Foods bulk food section.

The Malodorous Mafia: I won't go into too many specifics because you might be eating, and I realize they probably can't help it. I'll just say that there's this one guy whose body chemistry is so objectionable that if I see him, I'll turn around, get dressed, go home and play Wii croquet.

The Real Housewives of West Seattle: These are two person teams, usually youngish moms. They chit chat as they jog on their tandem treadmills, usually about whose PEPS group raises more money for breast pump awareness or whose kid is more advanced in his preschool calculus class.

After observing some or all of these personalities, my daughter and I are ready to return home where things are familiar and relaxed. It's been a good workout, so I'll just get my stuff out of the locker and we'll hit the road. What could I possibly see at this point that's any weirder than the past forty-five minutes?*

*I saw a guy in the locker room blow drying his bottom on October 18, 2010.

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