Use #15: The Big Guy With No Neck

Despite my better judgement, or maybe because I have this terrible guilt that I can't keep up with my son because I'm dreadfully out of shape, I joined...a gym -- er -- health club and fitness center.

Bear in mind, I'm 44 and my son is 5, and I doubt that anyone short of Lance Armstrong can keep up with a 5-year old, except perhaps a 6-year old.

His energy is boundless, mine clearly has limits. Now, the dastardly plan formed in my energy-starved brain is to exercise to try and increase my limits without killing me in the process. The plan has flaws.

Enter the Nautilus Machine. These things are cleverly disguised as "fitness equipment". I believe that they are evil incarnate, or at the very least articles from the Marquis De Saud museum and theme park in Antwerp.

Anyway, the "trainer" showed me around the "exercise room", clipboard in hand, noting each and every machine I should use, in what order to use them, and at what "settings" I should operate the torture implement. One of the machines looked surprisingly like one of those medieval racks used to brutally extract confessions during the Spanish Inquisition. It was euphemistically called the "lateral leg lift".

I marvelled at the awesome, sinister achievement of this place. So bright, cheerful and clean, yet each machine had symbols on the side, showing a silhouette of the human body, and just which areas of the body would soon experience excruciating pain. Ironically, those areas were marked in RED. Coincidence? They must've simply forgotten to cover up the evidence of the true nature of these devices of dread.

Next, enter the big guy with no neck and the ability to put the little metal pin in the lowest position (the highest setting) and lift the whole stack of lead weights that deliver "resistance" to the exercise -- er -- torture. I observed as he proceeded to lift the equivalent of my first car over his head, 40 to 50 times, seemingly without conscious effort, though leaving a persistent impression in the seat.

I had been told that after each exercise / torture, that I was to reach to the wall for the spray bottle of green stuff and the cleaning cloth hanging with it on the hook. I was to spray and wipe, everywhere that I touched, or a part of my exterior touched, so that the machine would be nice and clean and germ-free for the next victim -- er, member -- to use.

Apparently, the rule did not apply to the big guy with no neck. Or, at least, none of the rule makers who told him had survived to remind him of the rules today. And I was not about to bring up the subject.

However, this guy with no neck left behind quite a trail, a bit like a snail on a rainy morning, but with more odor. And as I reached for the bottle of green stuff and the cleaning cloth, I discovered that the rule makers were truly dead as I had feared, because the bottle was empty and the cleaning cloth was as dry as the guy with no neck was pungent.

Solution: A gym bag complete with the magic wipes, of course. Baby wipes won't bring back the rule makers from the dead, and they probably won't help in my overall fitness regimen, but they'll protect me from germs left behind by the big guy with no neck. They'll probably make nice applicators of pain rub during my recuperation, too.

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