Wednesday, January 29

Gym Dandy

I began a new health insurance plan this year. Not Obama-care but Lyndon-Johnson-Care, if you know what I mean.

The plan includes membership in a gym, and after viewing the choices I selected one about 5 blocks from my apartment and took a taxi over to have a look around.

There were rows of gleaming stationery bicycles and treadmills on the first floor, but I decided to take the escalator up to the second floor to see the stair climbing machines. These too looked shiny and new and I was beginning to wonder if anyone ever used any of the equipment at all. I was just about to take the elevator down to the pool on the lower level when something in the corner caught my eye.

The apparatus looked less like something you'd see in a gym than something you'd see in the Spanish Inquisition.

I began backing away from it slowly when I heard a sepulchral voice behind me say, "Do you have any questions?"

"I renounce Satan and his minions..." I began, as I turned to see a good-natured young man in shorts, running shoes, and and a t-shirt gazing at me with a confused look.

He popped a cough drop in his mouth and said, a bit less sepulchral, "Laryngitis."

"Well, I'm just looking around to see if this gym is right for me."

"What exactly are you looking for in a Wellness Enrichment Facility?" he corrected.

"I guess I'm looking for someone who calls it a gym," I muttered.  I nodded toward a bulletin board "I notice there are some group activities. What's that all about?"

This seemed to make him uncomfortable, because he looked around furtively, to make sure no one was listening.

"Those are mostly for..." he lowered his voice as if he were about to speak an obscenity, "...the elderly."

"Ah," I said. "The elderly. We wouldn't want to get involved in that."

He looked like he was trying to decide if I was being ironic, and, if so, was I was actually one of The Elderly, or merely a Fellow Traveler.

"I love The Elderly," he said, testing me.

"Me too," I agreed. "They're so alert."

He took this a a good sign. "Yes. And clean."

"Clean as hell."

"Speaking of Hell, what were you saying about Satan and his onions?"

"Minions," I bemocked, "not onions. And I'd rather not talk about it, if it is all the same to you."

"Really?" Again the sepulchral voice echoed in the darkened chamber. He nodded toward the mystery apparatus in the corner. "Perhaps a few moments on The Cradle of Anguish will loosen your tongue..."

1 comment:

Douglas McEwan said...

"Gym"? Hmmm, the word, aside from sounding exactly like your name (Said "Dug"), I'm unfamiliar with this strange word. It rings a faint, faint bell from high school, but high school having been a century ago, it's meaning is lost in the mists of time. I only know the word provokes an immediate emotion of dislike and forboding, something to be avoided. Does "Gym" mean "Algebra"? I haven't used Algebra since high school either. (Funny piece, though.)