Monday, June 20, 2005

Gym'll Fix It.

Guesting at a gym this weekend, equipped and designed a little less stylishly than my own, I later felt compelled to deny imaginary points to a couple of odd individuals who, I suppose like me, were passing by.

Minus points to the man who seemed to know no shame, who when standing on his X9i Elliptical Trainer intermittently raised his arms ceiling wards before unleashing a clumsy repertoire of hand and arm movements which, when combined with the ponderousness of his leg rotations, would not have looked out of place at a sand-dance audition. Not so much walking like an Egyptian just making an ass of himself really. Minus points were doubly assured when these badly choreographed movements finished with an absurd two hands clasped behind the head posture which made him resemble a badly dressed Dirk Diggler - a sweaty blur of pelvic thrusts and parodic eye rolling. But despite this twisted version of fitness equipment use and unconscious popinjaying he easily blended into the background of mirrored walls, hissing machines and gleaming chrome when compared to the sight of 'no point hero number two'.

No-point-hero-number two was an incongruity who seemed to have strayed into the gym area looking for work rather than a work-out. A grey-haired cove in his late fifties dressed in a blue checked shirt, blue trousers and black shoes and who, having sauntered in, sidled up to one of those difficult machines which involve a complex nexus of cables, pullies and timing devices, and stared at it as if trying to discover by observation alone its mechanical workings and purpose. My sweatily distorted eyes assumed blue man to be a janitor or maintenance staff. His presence was in stark contrast to all the lycra, swooshes and ipoddedery happening all around. Age, body shape, clothing choices; the message was clear, the fixer had been summoned. Summoned by dumbbells as John Betjamin might have written if he'd been recalling the methods he might have used to help rebuff those angry classmates wishing to flail his hide for mistakenly believing him to be a German Spy, rather than seeking out all those circuitous routes.

But it was the exercise circuit route our 'janitor' had been summoned to attend. Or so I had thought. It occurred to me briefly that he might have been summoned by misspells as one of the machines had a smudged piece of A4 paper blue tacked on it which explained to an incredulous readership that it was 'Out off service.' But I was thinking too much. And he had stopped thinking altogether as he launched himself with a zealots enthusiasm into a comical caper of pulls and presses, tuggings and curlings. Never mind the black shoes and the belted trousers with the wallet half poking out of the back pocket. Ignore if you can the buttoned up shirt and the ciggies pack sitting square and proud in the shirt pocket. Our aging oddball had popped in for a quick workout - flurry of baccy coughs, nicotined fingers and disbelieving looks from everyone else. And not a spanner in sight. All very strange.

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