Monday, May 25, 2009

At the Gym, Volume 2

This is the second in a series profiling the types of people you find at the gym.

Today's subject is the nerdy approaching-middle-aged man who dresses funny. The most striking thing about him is his appearance. He is balding on top, but has a sparse moustache sitting on his upper lip like a dying caterpillar. On his head he wears large, thick glasses that seem to have time-traveled from the 70s, and a towel-texture headband. On his body, his shirt is just a bit too big for his wiry frame, and it's tucked into his shorts, which themselves are just a bit too short. This shirt, it's usually soaked in sweat, and on it, it says something like "1994 Glencoe Tractor Pull Champion".

In short, he embodies hipster style, without any of the irony.

There is nothing particularly objectionable about funny-dressing nerd man's behaviour, and in fact he's probably a very nice guy. He arrives to work out a few times a week, politely asking if you're done with the machine, and wiping down his machine when he is. But in a way he's the opposite of the guy with watermelon biceps who never works out, because although he works up a sweat (oh what a sweat) every time he's there, he maintains the figure of a stick insect.

One day, you stop seeing him. You'd like to think he reached his weight loss goal or found a nice lady to occupy his time, but the darker synapses of your brain wonder if maybe he just gave up. On everything.

`

Note: I will be this guy in approximately 5 years.

10 comments:

katrocket said...

The Glencoe Tractor Pull is the Grand Prix of Middlesex, so he's not a total loser.

tornwordo said...

I remember that guy. Don't see him anymore since I work out in the basement dungeon now.

Eric said...

I love these posts. I'm also endlessly fascinated by the strange characters who inhabit my gym. I'm sure they, likewise, are interested in that little midgety guy who's always there. Fair's fair I guess.

Jack said...

I can't decide if it's worse without irony or when it's some kid whose every stitch of clothing is meant to be emo ironic. They need beatdowns, Phronk.

Robert Campbell said...

Phronk. During the top bloggers meeting yesterday we talked about you, your blog, and your very 'unconventional approach' to paid posts. Ted Healey from Dead Robot laughed aloud and said you were his inspiration. You're my inspiration too, I just wish you lived here in Toronto so we could include you in the local blog squad...

Phronk said...

That is so nice, Rob. Thanks for telling me...it's awesome to hear, especially since you and DR inspire me right back.

Maybe I'll end up in TO someday. "Blog squad" is really fun to say. Blog squad. Blog squad.

Steve said...

I KNEW there was a reason I don't go to a gym :-) . When are you gonna wrie about the skinny as a rail girls @ the gym with the spandex & Ipod who you feel guilty even looking at?

Phronk said...

I only feel guilty when they look 17, and if I wrote about them, I might get arrested. :)

Steve said...

Phronk, yup, that's the ones! I am LOL. P.S. I am sorta that 2nd guy @ your gym but I try to wear reasonably recent work out clothes and to avoid all embarrassment, work out @ home on treadmill & exercise bike. Hey, have you ever run into anyone like "Jimmy" who talks in the 3rd person from that Seinfeld episode @ your gym? "Phronk's getting excited looking @ the hot girls in the spandex".

Hey Lady! said...

Oh the people at the gym... I go to the gym 6 days a week and it's interesting the different people who go depending on the time of day you go. Beware the people who go at 11:30pm (I guess that sometimes includes me...). And the 17 year old girls wearing the tiny shorts? My husband get pissed about that, especially if you merely glance in their direction and they act like you're sexually harassing them.