321 Days Until Dragon*Con 2012…
685 Days Until Dragon*Con 2013…
Last night, while leaving a local gumbo hole, I had a flat tire. Again! And in the same tire! Luckily, it had enough air to get to the closest gas station to put air in it (which was a hassle because I didn’t have any change and the guy behind the counter wouldn’t let me buy something on a card and get change. I had to use the ATM with its $3 pay-to-play charge. I swear it’s enough to make a guy wanna Occupy something.). This morning it still had enough air to drive to the tire shoppe and get it repaired… for the second time this week.
This is an abnormal frequency of flat tires.
It made me late to the JFZ, of course. No way around that one. The tire shoppe isn’t open at 4am, or even 5am, so I didn’t end up heading to the gym until 9:30am. That is just too late to be going to the JFZ. It’s just unnatural to be fitnessing at such an hour. I swear I passed a car full of old ladies (or as I like to call them, “a box of q-tips”) on their way to lunch.
My workout at the JFZ was good, though. Uneventful, until I went downstairs.
For some reason, the JFZ at 5am is more crowded, but there is never anyone on the Trilogy of Terror. Both times I’ve been late this week, the gym has been empty except for some numbskull sweating it up on the ToT.
“Well, I’m sure there are other workemout machines in the JFZ. Why not use one of those?”
Because, idiot, I have tried that before and it didn’t work.
Oh, the JFZ is full to the Brim with a ton of weird esoteric torture devices, no doubt. Most of them bearing no small resemblance to some unknown H.R. Giger painting. All of them a bundle of potential energy, hunched over and waiting to spring on an unsuspecting nerdly chap such as myself and turn him inside out.
And I, for one, will not allow myself to be turned inside out by some purple fitnessing device.
There’s not much that is more awkward than me, waiting for the machine I want to be freed up. Most people, when confronted by this situation, probably would just go fitness on a different machine, or at least just move on to Step 2 (the “lat pull down”) of the ToT, returning to Step 1 (push-up simulation) later.
My OCD will not allow that. I have never been diagnosed by a professional, but if a psychoanalyst saw me pacing the floor behind the ToT, he’d load me up with lithium on the spot, no questions asked. He might even use a blow gun, which may be the best ranged weapon of all time.
Since this is the case, I usually just wander around aimlessly among the downstairs JFZ patrons, with my eyes constantly drifting back to Step 1 to see if it is free. I’m soaking wet (I do the ToT post-Whirly Bird), my hair is wild, I have a long beard, and I’m the size of two JFZ employees put together.
Needless to say, I get a lot of sidelong glances, both from the wildebeests and the lions and all the other beasts of the JFZ savanna.
I know this is poor etiquette, eyeballing whoever is on the machine I want and all, but I can’t help it. My choices are as follows:
1. Leave. Flee. Escape. I’ve done this before in this situation. Rather than look like a total creeper, sometimes I have felt it was best to just call it a day and go to coffee.
2. Say fuck it and be a total creeper. This is what I did today. Described above, this is what you do when you feel like nothing should get in the way of a good workout, and you are completely unwilling to move on to your 3rd choice.
3. Wait it out like a normal person, either by using another machine or having a seat somewhere without glaring at whoever is on your machine. I am incapable of successful completion of this choice.
So realistically, I only have 2 choices.
Once I had waited my turn for “simulated push-up machine” there were two young gals having a workemout on some leg machine off to my right and behind me. They were having a good time, making conversation and generally tittering about the sort of things that young gals who go to the JFZ together would titter about (what happened on Grey’s Anatomy last night, what sort of sports bra would be a fine bait to reel in a lion, etc.).
Then, a roving jackass approached them…
I doubt that there are jackasses on the African savanna, but they definitely thrive in the JFZ environment.
The jackass, and how he relates to the rest of the JFZ habitat, is an interesting creature. He never really uses any of the Rube Goldberg fitnessing devices, preferring to roam about without any clear direction or, if he does use one of the devices, it is for resting and having a proper sit.
On first appearance, the jackass may seem like a complicated character to understand, but really, they are very simple and, in their own way, a bit tragic.
See, the jackass is, how shall I say this as delicately as possible… ummm… one lonely motherfucker.
His purposes at the gym are just as clear as anyone else’s, but they are not fitnessing or making sweat gravy. No, the jackass views the gym as a wholesome environment in which to commune with his fellow fauna.
In other words, the gym is his social club. His watering hole. His other-word-for-place-to-meet-people.
And, I hate to say it, but unfortunately the jackass is almost always old. Now that I think about it, perhaps that is why he’s here after all. The jackass has come to the JFZ savanna to die! His brain is addled by senility and now he thinks that it’s 1977 and he’s in Plato’s Retreat. He’s come here to die because it is familiar to him (like the zumbies in Romero’s timeless classic “Dawn of the Dead”).
Anyway, this particular jackass approaches the young girls…
“Looks like you girls are doing good!” He’s speaking of their workout technique, I assume. The jackass will habitually use some line that is related to fitnessing to initiate contact because, obviously, that’s the connection that we all share, just by being there. It’s no different than an elephant saying, “Sure is hot today” in Africa.
I don’t remember what they said to that, if anything. I’m sure they were polite enough to answer in some way.
“Say, that’s a nice necklace!” he said. Later, on my way out, I snuck a peek to see a cross dangling from a necklace on one of the birds.
I guess she said “Thanks” or something. I don’t recall her ever talking back.
“Where you girls go to church? I’m a pastor over at such-n-such blah blah blah…”
I lost interest then, plus it was time to move on to step 2 of the ToT (simulating getting some heavy shit off the top shelf in the hall closet).
I doubt anyone from my town is even aware of this website. And if they are, I doubt they attend the JFZ on a regular basis. But, if by some crazy burp in the fabric of the space-time continuum, you are reading this, jackass… you are a jackass. No one wants to bothered while they’re fitnessing.
Now this jackass in particular was not interested in cross-species mating with these birds. At least I don’t think he was. But he was trying to get them to leave their place of religious tomfoolery and come join his place of religious tomfoolery, which is pretty bad. Recruiting at the JFZ, of a religious nature or not, is just plain poor etiquette, jackass.
I’m not anti-religion (I’m Catholic, which is almost the same thing), but if this jackass would have started attempting this shit with me, I would have immediately told him that I was a Member of the Church of the Goat with a Thousand Young. The Reaper Behind the Stars. “Phnglui mglw nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah nagl fhtagn!!!!”
I don’t know how to pronounce that. I have my doubts that even Lovecraft himself could do it successfully, but I don’t think I would have needed to even get that far before Mr. Jackass would have fled to the locker room to rethink his personal philosophies on gym etiquette. This would be a good thing for everyone everywhere.
On a good note, showing up late to the JFZ allowed me to see and chat with a friend of mine from work. I told him about the flat tire and we both had a good bitch session about the scrap metal place next door to our workplace. He also gave me some good fitness tips, as he has gone from being not-fit to being in great shape.
He told me that I should do the ToT first, and then move on up to the Whirly Bird. He said he heard that from someone who knew more than he did about fitnessing. I plan to look up its validity on the internet and try it, at least once (this goes against my OCD, but not really, since my brain considers the upstairs cardio area a completely different activity than the JFZ savanna).
After he told me this, I moved on to the rowboat machine. I cranked up more weight than I have ever done on it and rowed to beat the band! My friend, seeing that I was working out, refrained from interrupting my workout (proper gym etiquette. and this is a friend of mine, not some random wandering donkey).
When I was obviously done, he moseyed on over to have another brief chat. Little did he know, but all that fitnessing and rowing had made me feel like I was about to yack.
We stood there chatting, but all the while I felt like I was going to either pass out or regurgitate my breakfast of twigs and greek yogurt. I hope he never finds out how close he was to getting bathed in nerdsick.
I wasted no time in walking to the car, turning on the A/C full blast, and I, literally, stuck my head on the vent until I felt better. Then I went home.
Today I am going to eat buffalo wings. I have a coupon for free ones, and as I’ve said before, there is no effing way I am going to not turn that in. It expires tomorrow, so today is the day. Maybe I’ve earned it, maybe not, but it’s going to happen like a mofo up in hurrrrrr.
I have wasted all my words on my trip to the JFZ today, so for today’s entry into the daily “27 Days of Halloween” media marathon… ummmm…. watch this:
Do your homework, watch it, and we’ll discuss tomorrow. Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
Also, can you fucking believe that someone has the nerve to remake “the Thing”???? Again???? There is a special place in Hell for all these remakers out there.