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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Healthy Lifestyles

In college, I took lots of classes because I was required so to do.

I probably would not have taken a religion class if I didn't have to, but I did have to, and so I took one. I loved it. I got to perform my impression of what the first Jewish president would be like were the country under threat of a nuclear attack. It was pretty offensive, but that was my point. It's going to be a long time before this country elects a Jew as President. I mean, we can't have leaders of other foreign powers referring to our President as a "schmecky little nebbish."

You already know that biology didn't go so well.

When I came to the college to interview, I did an audition, too-- whoring myself out in front of the chair of the theatre department in the hopes of scoring some scholarship dollars, which I ended up scoring. Being as it was a semi-progressive school, the submission of SAT scores were not required. The theatre chair asked me to give them to him, just, you know, to show him.

"Wow!" he said, "your verbal scores are off the chart!" And then he looked further down on the page and his eyes almost popped out of his head. His face contorted in an improbably-shaped grimace.

"I guess you won't come here if we make you take math, huh?"

"No," I replied, "I'll never graduate."

"Well," he said, "we'll get around that somehow."

The way we "got around that" was enrolling me in a class called.... shit-- I don't remember what it was called, but it had to do with logic and syllogisms and argumentation. If it only had to do with argumentation, I probably would have walked away with an "A," but I've never been very good with syllogisms and/or logic. I got a "C." No Dean's List that semester, dangit.

By far the strangest class I had to take in college was gym. Everyone was required to either play a sport (ha-- no) or take gym for two semesters. One of the semester classes that was required for every student was Healthy Lifestyles. A college-level continuation of the health classes most of us took in 7th and 10th grade, we looked at full-color photographs of pimply penises and vaginas sporting cauliflower-shaped growths. And they told us to eat broccoli.

I listened.

Forced with some decidedly unpleasant gym offerings for the next semester, I picked a class that I knew I would have at least a modest amount of success with:

Fitness Walking

Seriously, does my lack of ambition know no bounds?

We all showed up for the first class. Most people were wearing shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers. Some of the girls, I observed, were even wearing sports bras. Hey-- you can tell if you're an astute observer. And I fucking am, and I always fucking was.

Anyway, the teacher stood in front of us and took roll. When she got to my name and I said, "Here," she stopped taking role and she stared at me.

"What's with your attire?" she asked.

Uh-oh. I looked down at myself. Plaid button-down collar shirt, pleated dress trousers, pocket-watch and chain, brown socks, and wingtips.

"What do you mean?" I asked in return.

"How are you going to partcipate in this class dressed like that?" the teacher queried.

"Well, this is Fitness... Walking, right?"

"Is that supposed to be funny?"

Jeez, I thought, this lady sure asks a lot of questions.

"Well, no, it's just that, I mean-- I can walk in these clothes." Heads were beginning to turn my way, some bearing expressions of bewilderment, others, disgust.

"Where are your sneakers?" she asked.

"At my parents' house."

Defeated, the teacher shook her head and continued calling roll. Towards the end of the semester, my relationship with the Fitness Walking instructor improved. One day we were "fitness walking" around the campus and I said to her,

"Hey, remember when you thought I couldn't do this class while wearing dress shoes and khaki pants?"

She turned to me and smiled.

"Shut up," she said.

My wife and I have just joined a gym. We're both synched up with the Healthy Lifestyles program offered by our health insurance carriers (I know, I have health insurance-- like a big boy-- aren't you impressed! Don't be-- it's not through work) and just seeing the phrase "Healthy Lifestyles" made me think about college, and smile. Those two things don't happen together very often. I hated college. Sure, I managed to publish a book and lose my virginity there, but, aside from that, it was pretty much a waste of an appreciable amount of money.

Fortunately, it was just my parents' money. And they would only have spent it on crack anyway.

I'm excited about the fact that we've joined a gym, but I'm also a little scared of it. We've only gone twice since we joined on Sunday and already my legs feel like I've been riding a horse bareback for a week straight. I suppose, if I'm really training for the police academy, I have every business joining a gym, but I hope I don't become one of those people who is always saying, "Sorry I stink, I just got back from the gym." I hate that.


  1. I am so bad at math too. Don't ever go out to lunch with me, because I can't ever split a check without embarrassing myself.

    I'd write more, but I just came back from the gym and I stink.

  2. I took fitness walking too. My favorite part was the hungover girls smoking while they walked.

  3. A healthy lifestyle: the biggest luxury of them all. As soon as I can afford groceries and a gym membership again, I'll be so goddamn fit. Milkshake bringin' boys to the yard and shit.


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