I belong to a gym. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I do. My gym is part of a big, national chain. I think there must be some sort of law that was passed, undoubtedly by congress, that states that the more popular a gym is, the louder the music has to be. In fact, if you were to notice only the music and people on cell phones you’d think you were out at a club. I’ll be damned if I can find someone to give my a beer though. That’s why I fill my water bottle with beer before I go. There are several different people that go to a gym. I think that the smallest number belong to the group of normal people who go to the gym a few times a week just to stay in decent shape. That’s the group I’m in. The next group are the what I call “The Bicep Bunch.” (Just imagine the theme song, “The Bicep Bunch, the Bicep Bunch, that’s the way we became the Bicep Bunch!”) The Bicep Bunch has a uniform too. It consists of work boots, denim jeans and a black muscle shirt. They literally walk around the gym in groups of several guys in this identical outfit. I call them the Bicep Bunch because they’re only interested in working out their upper body in hopes of impressing women. Not that impressing women is a bad goal. In fact I’ve dedicated my life to it. Then, there are the women at the gym. Some of them scare me. When women start doing things like wearing weight belts and bench pressing, doing pull-ups, and curls, I get a little scared about getting too close. I want no part of a pre-menstrual woman who has more muscle mass than me. That is not a safe combination. Then there are the “Three-weekers.” I call them this because they probably won’t use their membership for more than three weeks before they realize that exercise is hard work and they give up, never to be seen at the gym again. You can always spot one of the three-weekers because they are so clueless about exercise that they actually accept the complimentary session with the personal trainer so they can learn how to use the equipment. A group of gym members I hate are the locker room nudists. These are the people who are obviously way too comfortable with their bodies. For God’s sake, put on a towel when you walk from the shower back to your locker! And do not, under any circumstances, talk to ME while you are naked. We’re not that intimate! As is any other place in society these days, the gym is also full of cell phone people. I have no freakin’ idea how they can even hear anyone on their cell phones over the din of the music. The only exercise these people are getting is exercising their mouths. I’m sure they can’t do real exercise because they’re so winded from talking. It’s always a temptation to drop a big weight on these dopes.
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor. thephilfactor.com
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