Archive for March, 2007

Tales From the Gym – The Society of Random Picnickers Strikes Again

It was the strangest thing. As I sat in the sauna, gazing through the glass door into the foyer beyond, my eyes happened to alight on a girl who was taking a drink from the water fountain. My thoughts were elsewhere, until… until she stood up, turned around, and looked RIGHT at me, with an orange wedge in her mouth.

I know she didn’t put it there while she was coming up from the water fountain. She must be wandering around with an entire orange wedge in her mouth, not chewing, waiting to flash people her eerie, orange, toothless smile.

Add comment March 31st, 2007

Tales From the Gym – Police Raid!

Today the gym police came screaming into the sauna.

“There’s no food allowed in here!”
“And you can’t be naked either!”
“If you aren’t wearing a bathing suit, and if you’re snacking, you must leave now!”

I wonder if that last sentence has ever been uttered before in the history of the English language?

Interestingly, this all took place in the steam sauna, and we were in the midst of “the opaque season” – those moments when thick vapor pervades and you can’t even see your own foot, much less the naked snackers. The perpetrators could have simply stopped chewing and held very still… no one would have been able to find them. What are the gym police going to do – pat their hands along the benches until they find incriminating evidence? And yet, in spite of being perfectly invisible, several recidivists stood up and filed out of the sauna.

I’ve heard of people being released from jail on their own recognizance. They don’t have to pay bail because they’re neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. But being “caught” on one’s own recognizance?

Maybe all the naked snacking was actually a cry for help…

Add comment March 30th, 2007

Tales From the Gym – Sartorial Subterfuge Takes a Violent Turn

I spotted the wig again today – the brunette waist length wig with broad vertical stripes of maroon. It was hanging on a hook outside of a shower stall, again. No one was in the shower, and there were no hairless people in sight. The truly peculiar thing, though, is that the wig was there when I arrived at the gym, and still there when I left two hours later. Now, either the owner of the wig got sucked into the drainpipe in the shower… or the dimensional portal has opened up again and my gym has become some kind of battle ground where scalps are collected and hung up amongst the towels in the shower room.

Wikipedia tells me that the Visigoths were avid ninth-century scalpers; perhaps the Visigoths are here to chase the Vikings from a few weeks ago out of the sauna? How else, besides a TARDIS, would the Visigoths and the Vikings have an opportunity to battle each other?

It sort of makes me think of fantasy baseball leagues, where players can pit the 1984 incarnation of one team against the 2001 version of another team – thus capturing both at their highest moments of glory in the way that only the time-defiant can do.

Maybe whoever parked the TARDIS in my sauna is playing fantasy “Early Medieval Epic Battles.” “You know what would be soooo cool? If we could get the Visigoths from when they were sacking the Roman Empire in the fifth-century, and make them fight the ninth-century Vikings… and… and… since Scandanavia and Rome are too far apart, we’ll have them fight in Los Angeles, 2007!”

Add comment March 30th, 2007

Tales From the Gym – The Society of Random Picnickers II

The showers in my gym all have doors – save one. It’s at the end of a row, and since it’s set deeply into the wall, offers semi-privacy. As I was entering the shower next door, I caught a brief glimpse of an arm – just an arm – as it swept through an arc. At the end of the arm was a hand… holding a half-eaten pickle.

Add comment March 30th, 2007

Observable Phenomenon – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Taxidermists Convention

I drove up to Santa Barbara the other day, which is about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles. As I merged from the 405 onto the 101, I admired the unbroken sea of cars, the ten lanes of 85+ mile per hour traffic, the incensed LA drivers veering from the left-most to the right-most lanes with nary a glance in the rear view mirror. And then something really strange happened. A pick-up truck drove past me, with the stuffed head of a really large deer in the bed.

There was something wrong with this animal. I could only see the forehead, eyes and nose of the deer but they alone took up over half of the bed of the pick-up truck. By extrapolation I have to assume that the deer, had it been intact and standing up, would have been larger than the whole truck. That’s a big deer. I wonder if someone captured a deer, installed it in their back yard, and fed it Miracle-Gro for years and years… just so they could have the largest mounted deer head in the world?

A couple of miles later another pickup truck passed me – this one had a goat in the bed of the truck. Again, I could only see the head (which, thankfully, was normal goat-sized), and I briefly hoped that maybe it was a living goat just… napping… in the bed of a pickup in the middle of the 101. But it gazed up at the sunny California sky with glassy unblinking eyes, as the white hairs on its immobile head fluttered in the breeze.

Now, I visit Montana on a regular basis – a fact which I point out as it gives me some emotional perspective when it comes to taxidermy. In Montana, it is not unusual for people to decorate with dead animal carcii. I can walk into a room with decapitated heads hanging from the walls, beady eyes glittering in the setting sun, and barely wince. There’s a convenience store not too far from where I go to visit that has multiple species of indigenous wildcats killed, stuffed, and hanging on the walls. It’s like any diorama you’d see in a natural history museum; between my experiences in urban museums and rural homes, paying for gas and an ice scraper while dead predators lurk above me seems pretty normal But I guess my desensitization to decorating with the dead only works when they’re hanging on walls. Anywhere else, I feel like I need to make a citizen’s arrest.

Add comment March 23rd, 2007

Tales From the Gym – Zoolander Models Escape, Bring Derelicte With Them!

Spotted in the lounge: two women wearing pant-suits made out of black plastic trash bags. Clever drawstring design cinched the blouse at neck and wrist, while trousers were similarly tailored at the waist and ankle. Hints of yellow suggested the presence of handle ties discreetly tucked away. Models were cleverly accessorized with plastic flip-flops and shower caps. A smoky eye and matte lip softened the otherwise urban styling.

Once spotted and recognized, the models quickly abandoned the lounge for the steam sauna and never came back out again. Witnesses suspect they evaporated away entirely. The question on everyone’s mind this morning: did staff recognize the haute couture they left behind? Or was Derelicte thrown out with the trash? Not surprisingly, panic reigns in the design studios.

Add comment March 22nd, 2007

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