Posts filed under 'Ripostes & Rejoinders'

Ripostes & Rejoinders – Concerned Reader

A concerned reader wrote to wonderasiwander.com recently, asking if I could clarify what – exactly – transpired during Tales From the Gym - The Case of the Sinister Steam-Bath… Alas, dear reader, I wish I could tell you. I wish I could have seen through the fog! I’m haunted by the crunch-rustle-rustle crunch-rustle-rustle of a thousand plastic grocery bags moving in enigmatic concert.

I can postulate though.

Now that I’m becoming familiar with my gym, I can report that plastic is used in all sorts of surprising and inventive ways. It is often, for example, wrapped around the head in order to protect hair from the capricious effects of steam, showers, sweat, etc. It appears in the form of oversized trousers, shirts, or cinching waist-bands which are worn into the sauna – the better to elicit massive water loss, I believe. People bring “welcome mats” or bath mats into the sauna – the kind you’d expect to see in front of a door or a shower – and use them as seat cushions. They protect from the previous occupants sweat – and prevent the current user from contributing their own to the bench. And oh the delightful noise they make when the suction cups are detached at the end of a session! My favorite though is when the gym-denizens lie down on a large sheet of plastic and roll themselves up like little burritos – only a head and a set of toes left protruding on either end like weird garnish. Sometimes they lie prone, and panting. But sometimes they do sit-ups and/or leg lifts while swaddled in plastic. You can imagine, I’m sure, what that must sound like… a giant, slightly transparent, heaving burrito trying to genuflect its way to freedom… So, while I have yet to see anyone enter the sauna wearing a thousand inflated grocery sacks like so many water-wings, and start somersaulting down one of the benches (which is what I suspect the protagonist in The Case of the Sinister Steam-Bath was up to), I am sure it is only a matter of time. And believe me, when I see it, you will be the first to know!

Add comment January 12th, 2007

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