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Three Blogs in Three Days

It’s like I’m the Mad Midnight Poster What Posts at Midnight! Only I don’t post at midnight, I just post frequently. Lately.

I saw something wonderfully thought-provoking the other day. The story begins as my wife and I were on our way home from working out. See, we periodically spend time at the local 24-hour Fitness Emporium of Medieval Torture, flogging ourselves and hurting our bodies under the guise of “healthy activity.” My idea of healthy activity requires either a jungle gym or a bed. Maybe both. Seriously, does anyone else get depressed going to gyms? It’s such a sordid affair! Walk in, avoid eye contact, don’t get too close to anyone else, and please God, don’t raise your voice loud enough to be heard more than a foot away. Grown men and women either slink around the place trying not to be noticed, or they grunt and flaunt and flex like rutting moose.

Imagine, if thou wilst, if children treated their playgrounds the way grown-ups treated their gyms. Down and back twice on the hand-over-hand bars, ten pumps on the swing, “Are you finished with the rope ladder? No, it’s cool. Take your time,” five runs on the slide and remember to maintain proper posture, then round it out with 20 laps around the playground. They’d stand in line next to see-saws, taking swigs from water bottles and acting like they’re always out of breath, stretching occasionally, and not playing with anyone else. That’s why gyms are absurd.

That and, at our 24, there is a young woman who smells overwhelmingly of vanilla perfume. I’m neither joking nor exaggerating when I say that it would be possible to track this girl through a forest at night simply by following the scent. If she remains stationary at, say, an elliptical machine, the perfume wafts to a range of about thirty feet. I don’t personally regard this as awful, being a fan of vanilla, but it has made me consider going to Wal-mart, buying the most pungent orange-scented cologne they have on the shelf, dousing myself and going to 24 where Vanilla Girl and I can combine our powers and make the whole place smell like a giant creamsicle. I personally maintain that more people would be interested in fitness if it didn’t ferociously project an aura of grueling seriousness. Physical activity should be fun, not a second job.

So, anyway, on our way home from the Tower of London, there’s a business with the best readerboard in town. It’s always got some witty quote or tidbit on it, and the last time I went by, the following quote was indelibly writ upon my cerebral cortex.

“Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.”

George Santayana said that in 1905, and it’s just as true in 2007. I believe that we Americans have forgotten our aim, and it’s past time to remember what we’re doing and why. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to be thinking of Santayana’s words next November.

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4 Responses

  1. Sweat the vote!
    Sweat the vote?
    Yeah, sweat it!

  2. I know. A little politic-heavy, but I felt like saying something.

  3. Yeah, politics are on my radar these days. Every time I hear Bush talk, I feel ashamed to be an American. Did you see his blurb on education? He said “Childrens do learn”. Our president is the jock we knew in high school who was just dumb enough to think he was smart. I’m like you, hopeful for the future.

  4. Meanwhile, that guy Florida had a problem with in 2000 just won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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