I ran today, and I wasn’t even chased. I ran under my own accord. I ran several blocks before slowing, short of breath. I strolled into a stagger then into an amble. Wheezing, my amble became a saunter which slid to mosey until falling into a toddle followed by a hunched, gasping stop.
I was a diagram illustrating the devolution of Man.
I prayed a line of volunteers would encourage me to push onward. Just punch through the exhaustion. My exertion rewarded with an ice-cold martini from the trays of cocktails held by the cheering mob. No such luck.
I jogged to the park near my apartment. A neon orange jungle gym sang with dangling children. I don’t know which was louder: the children, the paint or my panting. Two very young, black sisters played claps. Kneeling, I lowered myself to the highest bar and attempted a chin-up. I failed. They stopped clapping and stared at me with stunned silence.
Mother appeared by her daughters. Still I hung there, my flabby arms exposed to the family. She handed me the door key I’d dropped.
“You lost this.” Her tone was “get away from my children, weirdo”. I climbed up from my knees and a little Indian boy proceeded to perform fifty chin ups. He counted each one with an Olympic zeal. “Show off”, I thought.
Like a decathlete, I dashed from the park at top speed before ducking behind the bushes out of general view. I panted laboriously while hiding behind the shrubbery. I removed my t-shirt and moved from the vicinity of Hamilton Park until the telltale rhythmic clapping grew louder and closer. As loud as my thumping heart the little girl’s clapping was again upon me.
Around the corner were the two little girls, once again. Motionless, silent, they stared at me with those cautious eyes. Not to frighten them, I reassuringly gestured towards them, out of breath. The mother found me, yet again, wheezing, topless, skulking behind a bush grabbing for her little girls, and promptly dialed three numbers on her cell phone.
I ran this time with a little more motivation. At home I plowed through a box of cold Popeye’s chicken, three tortillas and a quart of chocolate milk. Crumbled Nutter-Butters over raspberry sorbet finished the pig-out. I justified the chicken as ok with my Atkins. The tortillas I didn’t cover with cheese. The chocolate milk at least wasn’t Coca-Cola, and the cookies were crumbled over fat-free sorbet. Anyways, I “worked out” tonight.
How lucky the ancient Romans had it when eating disorders were cosmopolitan. Stuffed, I could have lounged in my luxurious vomitorium. Ticking my gizzard with an exotic peacock feather, I’d expunge my body of the ill-humoured ingestion. I’d retire to my gladiator pit where strapping warriors would massage one another in olive oil before flexing for my amusement.
Lucky Ancient Romans, those hunky men. I could have a body like that if only I pushed myself. Narcissism is a better motivator than even 911.
Drastic steps must be taken. I’ve decided to start playing rugby. Oh sure, I know nothing about the game. I’ve never really enjoyed contact sports, but I relate to the adrenaline fueled macho passion that only barreling into a mound of screaming brutes can satiate. Fear of cauliflower ears, torn ligaments, black eyes, broken fingers, shattered knees all feed my rugby/gladiator/fight club anticipation. I’m a man and I need the full body contact of a rough and tumble English blood sport where my only padding is a chewed up mouthguard.
Also the men on the gay rugby league are really, really, really hot. So macho fulfillment, really sexy blokes and with strenuous hard work and sacrifice I’ll get into shape, the choice seems simple, right?
Roman Philosopher Cicereo detailed in 41 BC, “Lost in fantasy, the eccentric Roman Senator Gaysissi Neilicus relaxed in his vomitorium. He imagined a road divided and saw images before him. In one an obese monstrosity cheerfully devoured oriental food, in the other a muscular Adonis flexed his muscles. The first path was delightful sloth. The second path represented beauty and health gained through hard work. Gaysissi Neilicus chose the first path and sent his messenger out for peacock feathers.”