Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dear Insanity Workout

I've been working out four to five days a week since last September.  Just the same as how I now have to guzzle Sriracha sauce to feel anything approaching love delicious spiciness, my body became resistant to the exercises I was doing.  I maintained weight for the past couple of months, but hadn't lost any.  Changes in diet, trying different exercises, and just lengthening my workouts had no effect.  I've been reluctant in the past to try fad workouts or diets, but Insanity sounded interesting.  By interesting, it mainly looked like if I tried this and it didn't work, I would never be pretty.  So, I borrowed the DVD's from a friend, and decided to give it a try.

The first day of the Insanity workout, you simply take what they call the "fit test".  Best as I can figure, that stands for "future internal torsion".  For thirty minutes, Sean T., the catchphrase spewing fear monger that lecterns the workout, forced me to twist, jump, and stretch into positions that would bring in big money in a circus themed brothel.  After every frenzied burst of activity, he commanded that I write down the number of repetitions I was able to complete, then he and his chiseled minions on the screen would mock my results, and question my belief system.

The second day started worse.  Still sore from the fit test, we went straight into the fastest paced workout I've had since playing baseball thirteen years ago.  I kept trying to "dig deeper" as Sean yelled at me, pushing myself as hard as I could.  I kept telling myself that I would soon look as good as the people in the workout video.  This buoyed me, and I trudged on, at least until the first one went down.  Twenty minutes into the video, a woman who had at least a thirty two pack of abs suddenly fell during globe jumps.  She lay there, and the other continued their workouts, perhaps absorbing her energy as she lay prone.  No one acknowledged that she lay there.  In falling, she had become nothing to them.  The workout was dampened to say the least.

Tentatively, I went into the third day with little hope when I saw the disc was called "Power cardio and resistance".  I was very sore, and vividly aware that I possessed hamstrings, and could not foresee a future where "power cardio" made these things any better.  To my surprise, the stretches we started with soothed my ailing body, and I plowed ahead through the workout.  Things were going so well that I started to get cocky.  I felt like I could do anything the dvd threw at me, no matter how sore or lightheaded I got.  I could do a burpee, no big deal.  Give me something else, Sean T.  Mountain climbers?  I'm like a cot-damn billygoat.  Hurdle jump?  Like an Olympian.  I don't need a water break, Sean.  That's for you sissies.  I drink awesome to quench my thirst.

Sometime around thirty minutes into this delirium, my feet left the floor to do a hurdle jump, and instead of landing on the plywood floor, I found myself riding atop a foul smelling beast I would later identify as a Terror-dactyl.  Somehow, my proper technique and digging deeper had opened a portal to the Netherrealm, where demons screech into existence and only the strong can survive.  I knew all of this instinctively, because the knowledge was given to me through my hustle.  I spent the next forty years in this realm, constantly fighting demons and gaining clues to the whereabouts of Ctl'athlub, the demon who guards the portal back to Earth.  When I finally defeated him after thirty two straight days of battle, I was granted the mystical oboe.  By blowing a very specific tune, which sounded strangely similar to Axel F, I opened the portal and was able to return home.  The wife I had taken in that world cried as I stood on the precipice, but she said my world was too strange for her.  She kissed me goodbye, and I crossed the threshold back to this world.

I awoke on the floor of my workout room, with the DVD still playing, showing that only three minutes had passed in our time. If he knew of my years of battle and the love I had for my Netherworld bride, Sean T. did not let on.  He simply implored me to push harder, and give him thirty more seconds.  I could not focus on the workout any longer, because I was too busy mourning all that I had been through.

Also, someone had wet my pants.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dear Retro Tank Top Wearers

I have no idea what possessed clothing companies to start making retro tank tops.  I've seen them in all sorts of stores, and I can't see the reasoning behind the trend.  There has to be a fairly limited thought process that a man goes through when he looks to buy a shirt like this:

1) Will it show off my awesome tribal band/cross/heart/infinity symbol tattoo on my arm?

2) Will it show off my muscles?  I mean, it's going to make me look like The Rock, right?

3) These stripes are going to make my pecs just pop, right bro?

4)  Will my chains go with this shirt?  Wait, of course they will.

5) No one is going to notice my shoulder hair.  I know it.

6)  Is this going to be tight, or is it gonna be TIGHT?!?

I had a free night this weekend, and with some friends in town for a wedding, we decided to go out to a dock bar.  The awesome Kleptoradio was playing a show, and it seemed like a good way to spend a horribly hot and humid night.  We settled in with drinks, and, while the band did not disappoint, the crowd became the true show.  It can probably be chalked up to yet another way that Jersey Shore has made a lasting pit stain on America, but almost every man or manboy in the crowd was wearing terrible striped 70's/80's retro tanks.  Whether they had ever tried to do a pushup, or if they had never seen the sun before, sleeves had been banished by these people with a prejudice usually reserved for Northerners or proper English.  Within minutes, this guy was strutting in front of two girls who either got by the bouncer with great fake ID's, or more likely, low cut tops.
I didn't blur his face.  The loud colors of the shirt are causing a heat type shimmer effect.  This guy had his chest pushed out further than a sorority girl trying to get out of a speeding ticket.  He found several totally organic, not forced at all instances where he could flex his muscles while drinking that beer, too.

I tried to get some pictures of some of the other fashionistas as well, but, like the mighty Sasquatch, they were naturally blurry creatures that could not be captured on film.

Seriously, I don't care how hot it is out.  When did society become too good forr sleeves?  Are we going to move forward from these and move up to 90's retro tanks?  Neon, garish colors, or better yet, is hypercolor coming back?  That way when you are getting sexually frustrated trying to flirt with a woman your shirt can change all the colors of the douchebag rainbow.  I swear, the guy with the backwards cap on the left had shaved his armpits.  I don't even have a retort for that, because it makes me swallow my tongue when I try.  My body tries to kill me when I try to make it process that kind of vanity.

The guy on the right, well, he's a different story.  I walked into the men's room, and he was at a urinal. As I was minding my own business, I hear him giggle, then blurt out, to his friend at the sink "Hey man, look at this.  I got Steve Wilkos here at the urinal.  Better watch out or he'll throw me out of this bathroom."  He then began laughing like a special needs marmot, and tried to high five me with the hand that he had been holding his penis with seconds previously.  He proved two things: one, HE DOES NOT FOLLOW THE RULES, and two, idiot guys who wear tank tops have to travel in packs to the bathroom like teenage girls.

To his credit, he very quickly realized that he had crossed a line, and he and his friend ran very quickly from that restroom. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dear People that Abuse the Rascal Scooter

This is not a letter about people with disabilities that need Rascal scooters or other conveyances to get around.  I am not the kind of person to have beef with someone for something they cannot control.  This is about people that are lazy, and have gotten so overweight that they use scooters as a robot slave to carry their terrible bulk around.  Yes, I am aware that some fat people that ride rascal scooters are overweight for the same reason they need the scooter, because they cannot move around or exercise.  There is a difference, as you will see.

An emerging trend seems to be the horrible experiences I have when I go to stores.  For the most part, an exception to this is when I go to the supermarket.  As a (mostly) reformed fatty, I still love food, and like going shopping for it.  Looking at it tends to be healthier than eating it, at least.

On my last day off, I had to go to the store to pick up some thing to make pickles.  I will only go to one store, because I know where to find everything in it, therefore, I don't have to spend too much time walking around.  Armed with this plan, I got in, went straight to the aisles I needed, and got what I wanted, all in record time.  Perhaps I was feeling cocky, but I decided I could take the extra time to go to the back end of the store and treat myself to a quart of Turkey Hill iced tea.  To get to that cooler, I had to pass by the snack food/ soda aisle.  This would not be a problem on a normal day, but today was no normal day.  Both Pepsi and Coke products were on a very good sale, and the store had set up a large display in the back aisle.  The display was so large, in fact, that it effectively formed a choke point where only one cart could get by at a time, thus making this a very well thought out strategy for the store to create chaos and anarchy.  Add to this a sale on Oreos just one aisle down, and the conditions were right for the sugar storm of the century.

I waited my turn to get through the choke point, and ran over to get my tea. In the thirty seconds it took me to do this, a woman roughly the size of a Kodiak bear rode her Rascal scooter and parked it directly in the choke point, and started poking boxes of soda with the handy grabber she stored in the basket of the scooter.  Nothing particularly says "My cankles will never support my weight" like a person on a scooter with a grabber in the basket.  Before you think me crass, gentle readers, and think that perhaps this lady was one of those that was overweight because they were confined to the scooter, and not vice versa, let me tell you what I saw in her basket.  There were four kinds of cookies that I could immediately see, as well as an Entemann's coffee cake, three boxes of pasta, and the coup de grace, a box of brown sugar.  If diabetes were an actual person, even it would not eat all of this.  I had time to look at all of this, because there were about six people waiting for her to move so the aisle would clear.  Instead, she tried to knock a 12 pack of soda into the basket, even though it would crush the carbohydrate circus she had going on in there.  She instead knocked it to the floor, then looked around and demanded, "Is someone going to get that for me?"  The next thing I remember was being in my car and driving home, so I was either molested and blacked out, or my body shut down to avoid a meltdown.

Later that evening, I was making dinner and realized I had neglected to pick up a key ingredient for the meal.  This meant that I had to go back to the lion's den.  I rushed into the store, kept my head down, and rushed through to get what I needed.  I avoided the area of the chokepoint, and was at the checkout counter in under three minutes.  In line ahead of me was a man in on the the store's generic scooters.  He was older, and had a walker folded up in front of him.  When I walked up, he was struggled to get out of the seat and stand so that he swipe his credit card.  He cheerfully refused help from the clerk, and took his bags himself to put in the basket.  Seeing that he not causing a scene, I didn't immediately think anything of it.  I payed for my things, and walked to the parking lot to find that gentleman slowly trying to get his walker out to start loading his car.  I put my things away, and walked over to him, offering to help.  He looked at me, twice his size, looked at the milk and bags he had, and told me, "Son, I could put these things away and still have enough in me to whoop you good, but you seem like a good guy, so I don't want to have to show you that.  I don't need help with this junk, but I would appreciate it if you'd take the scooter back.  That's a long walk back to the car."

Thus, it ended up that I was riding the scooter back to the store, because why not?   I got dirty looks from every person leaving the store, because I had no business riding in that scooter, just like the Sultan of Sucrose from earlier.  She was riding because it was easier than walking, or because she just didn't care anymore.  I was doing a good deed, but I got back what I gave.  I also spent 50 minutes on the elliptical that day, which was probably 49 more minutes of exercise than that woman had attempted to do that week. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dear Beachgoers

There is one convenient road that takes almost everyone in Maryland to the ocean, and that convenient road is also conveniently located less than two miles from my house.  From October through April, this does not lead to many problems for me.  From May through September, however, it's like all of you have designed a special version of The Warriors for me.  Unlike the titular gang from that movie, I am not trying to get to Coney Island.  I am just try to go to the store and buy some damned barbeque sauce, but the consequences are the same.  People try to kill me, and I have to fight them.

Apparently, just so you can go to beach and have a fun weekend of swimming in garbage and urine, my town must become a thoroughfare for your minivans and station wagons filled with boogie boards and banshee children.  Traffic lights on the main road clock in at over 5 minutes long, meaning if I am simply trying to pass across the 50 feet of pavement that we call Route 50 to get to Walmart or wherever else I might need to go, I automatically have to add ten minutes to my trip.  If, heaven forbid, I actually need to drive on Route 50 for any stretch, I must be prepared to join the newly formed parking lot.  I don't enjoy shopping in the first place, and adding any amount of time to that endeavor is not cool, people. 

Here's a secret that people might not have told you: the beach is awful, and it is hot.  I am talking Claire Forlani back in the 1990's, before she got all weird- that type of hot.  It is full of sand, and that sand gets everywhere.  Sand tastes awful, yet it always finds its way into your mouth, and sand feels awful when it gets in your car seat and keeps entering your clothes for the next month.  The beach is also full of stores that appear to sell various and sundry items, but when you enter them, they only sell bongs.  This is the coastal version of a Rick Roll, and I think we've all grown weary of Mr. Astley and his shenanigans.  Worst of all, the beach is full of assholes like you, which is why I avoid the beach.  You think you aren't an asshole?  You came right through my town to do something you think is fun, yet you didn't invite me.  Yeah, you sound like a real sweetheart.

If you continue this coarse of action, I will invoke "an eye for an eye".  I will travel to your town, and I will clog up your roadways.  I will take up reservations at your favorite restaurants, and I will take up all of the pumps at your gas stations so you are late to work.  If this is not enough, then I will sit shirtless on your lawn, surrounded by screaming children and a woman who can't quite remember when she was ever in love with me or what it even felt like.  Then we'll see how you like it.