James, not Gym
After several months of absolute, shameless, inactivity, I’ve started to go to the gym in my office building again. Don’t be too impressed–my “workouts” are laugh-out-loud free falls into embarrassment. Somewhere in Chicago, a logy second grader is turning in much more demanding training regimens.
The times I’ve gone to the gym before work, 7:30-ish, a heavily-muscled guy has been there, too. I don’t understand gym etiquette, but I’m pretty sure that he’s in direct violation of whatever laws exist. When I report to the locker room, his stuff is everywhere–pants hanging from curtain rods, dress shirts and socks spread akimbo across open lockers and the floor…he even has a steam iron plugged in next to the sink for the duration of his workout. What’s worse, he places all of his personal items in the “good shower” area, which prevents anyone else from using it. To explain, there are two showers in the locker room. One is more spacious and has a bench for easy changing. The other? Well, it’s a shower with a curtain. That’s the one I usually get stuck with.
I walked into the locker room this morning as he was preparing to work out. Again, his s*** was EVERYWHERE. Opening the door to the locker room felt like I was breaking and entering into someone’s home. I avoided eye contact, loaded my stuff into my locker (because that’s what I understand to be proper etiquette), and walked next door to the gym.
The other problem with my early morning exercise nemesis is that he STINKS. Not random gym stink, mind you, we’re talking overt, choke-a-horse, sweet-baby-Jesus-what-have-you-done, STINKS.
I noticed it the second he walked into the gym. I was chugging away on the exercise bike, listening to Nick Cave’s new album on my iPod (on another note, how is it that everything Cave’s done in the past five years has been that good?). I tried to stay focused. I tried to dismiss the reek of my own Lex Luthor. After some time on the elliptical trainer, he walked past me to get to the free weights. Right then, I was hit by one of those “scent fists” you see pummeling Bugs Bunny in the old Warner Brothers cartoons. He smelled like throw-up and cumin. I cut my time in the gym short. I had to, purely out of self-preservation.
I went to the “bad shower” and got cleaned up for work. After applying some form of hair product, I washed my hands in the sink, carefully maneuvering my way around the iron’s electrical cord. I’d be more annoyed by his arrogance in taking over the locker room if I didn’t know that he has to pay for his sins by smelling like a foot.
I’m going to be working out over lunch from now on…