Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Stomach Muscles of Rippling Steel

I bought out the remaining months of a student's annual gym pass last week. Student has slipped a disc, her finances are straitened, my finances are adequate, and my fitness level of recent months is best described, in fitness person parlance, as "squidgy". Because this gym pass transaction has taken place behind the gym's back I have to remember that my name is Katrina.

"Have a good workout, Katrina," says Gym Man as he scans my pass and hands me my locker key.

"Ha ha ha!" I say. What sounds like the carefree laughter of a gympig born for benchpressing is in fact a precise arpeggio calibrated to accord with my new name. I try to laugh the way someone called Katrina would laugh, without technically affirming that Katrina I am.

(I've been interested in this form of dishonesty for years, the one where you're deceiving someone's socks off, but you don't say anything untrue. Dad and I had this agreement about ice-creams: "If your mother asks you, 'Did you have an ice-cream?', you should answer her truthfully, but if she doesn't ask, no need to mention the subject. And certainly don't tell her that you had two ice-creams. Unless, of course, she asks." That my mother was wise to all this complicates the levels of deception to a point beyond the scope of my analysis.)

Last night as I was leaving the gym, Gym Man asked me if I'd had a good workout. I don't know if I like the word "workout". Why "out"? Why not "up" or "in" or "beside"? But I didn't say that. I said - because I'm, like, totally down with Gym-Man-ese - "Okay, thanks. Mostly did cardio, and some weights." And he said, "Getting ready for tomorrow?" (Tomorrow, i.e., today, being Smelbourne Cup day.)

"Ha ha ha!" I said, but I'm still not sure what he was talking about. Was he suggesting that I am a horse, fitting in some last minute fetlock-stretches before the big race? Or that I'd need fully-functioning biceps in order to hold onto my fascinator in the wind?

Now I see as through a glass, darkly.

In other news, what about that US election, eh? Eh? 'Course, I don't have unalloyed faith in any of the candidates, but if that Obama wins, I'll dedicate a session on the treadmill to the good voters of Amerikay.


Martin Kingsley said...

That Obama, his IT and information management policy is excellent, I'll say that for him. Actually, I say many things for him, often as a part of sentences like, "he would be the only candidate who appears to have not hired right-wing psychotic wingnuts as 'consultants' on important issues". Bless him.

Alternatively, should he somehow fail to win, then I'll settle in and enjoy the riot footage, which I haven't seen broadcast enough in recent years. The French do enjoy a good riot whenever anything even vaguely political occurs, but it's not a patch on the ones we used to get. It's been far too long since Los Angeles was burned to the blackened ground while its inhabitants beat each other to death with cinder blocks.

nailpolishblues said...

There's nothing wrong with a man seeing you as a good filly. Oh wait.

Ampersand Duck said...

I love this post on so many levels it's hard to know what to say that isn't slightly hysterical. Suffice to say I have the same parental situation as you and it is now being played out on a grandparental level, so there are times my son comes home from an afternoon with his grandfather and I can see his internal struggle not to let on that he's eaten half a dairy's worth of icecreams and milkshakes. And it's not that I care, because I've been there, but it's all to hide the knowledge from Nanny. No wonder my mum has a smile like the Mona Lisa.

TimT said...

I'd certainly like to come back as a good Philly. (If you can reincarnate as a cream cheese, that is (and I certainly don't see why not)).

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

MK, it is my earnest hope that you are spared the pleasures of riot footage - by perspicacity and wisdom in the great collective Americanian voter. (Speaking of elections, "psephology", i.e., the study of elections, derives from the Greek word for pebble, psephos, on account of how the Athenians used to vote with little stones. I'm seeing a potential link here between democracy and mob violence.)

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Ampersand Duck, that's the very same smile my mum has; as far as grandkiddles are concerned, though, she's one of the prime suspects in the doling out of contraband.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Re fillies ... frankly, I would LOVE to look like a horse - they're so much handsomer than we semi-bald primatoids (though I am sorta attached to my hands and I wouldn't want to sleep standing up). Still, imagine having one of those tails! Frisk, frisk.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

T, I diagnose phillyphilia.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

I somehow just stumbled here. Don't you realise this gym katrina-ing is identity theft. If it was happening "on the net" - it would be on tv and legislation would be introduced.

If you were a catholic you would know that a sin of omission can be as bad as a sin of comission.

And I'm thinking - what if that gym dude knew the real katrina well or even had an affair with her and he's just testing you to see how far you will go?

When at first we seek to decieve oh what a tangled web we weave.

My suggestion is to up the ante a bit to see how good you are - start chatting to him about your "personal goals" - gym ppl love that.