So it seems to be, that every few months or so, I tend to encounter some sort of bizarre behavior at the gym as I document as acknowledge with a ‘Gym J. Bullock’ (click HERE) award, or as simply another story in my on-going ‘Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…’ series (click HERE and HERE). Oh, and lest we forget the Black Mamba (click HERE).
And as far as weird-ass behavior goes, today was definitely the day.
Now, for matter of reference sake, I recently just moved my gym membership at the YMCA to the more local branch since HRH is no longer taking swimming lessons through the original branch. It’s all good though as I genuinely love this new branch. I like their approach to creating and supporting the local community, I like the people who work there, and I like that they let me yell at people for 60 minutes every Monday night as a spin instructor. The only downside is that they don’t have all the frou-frou amenities that the other gyms provided, like a “Member’s Plus” change room to use; it’s “gen pop” all the way. Now, a locker room is a locker room at the end of the day with all the usual assortment of wacko’s, weirdo’s, and people for whom there are really no words, but now that I’m without the beloved safe haven of the “Member’s Plus” change room, I have about a dozen pre-pubescent boys staring at my junk every time I change and get showered.
“Hey peanut, quit staring at my lunch box.”
Anyway, it is what it is and usually I’m there early in the morning or later in the evening so it’s not so bad. This morning, however, the gates didn’t so much ‘open’ as they completely and epically failed on a grandiose New Orleans levee scale and a total watershed of imminent craziness flooded out all over the place. I guess that didn’t sound so good, so allow me to explain…
I finished my morning swim workout as per usual without incident. Of course, there were all the usual “swim types” to deal with as well as all the typical issues as they relate to lane swimming, but I just consider these things now as an occupational hazard of being in the pool. I like to think it teaches me patience. Anyway, after I finished I made my way into the showers – as you typically do – and that’s when all the craziness started.
In the shower already was an old guy who looked as if he’d already spent the better part of the morning there. He didn’t seem to be washing, rinsing or any other of the standard things you might expect to see someone doing in the shower. No, he was just kinda standing there…passing time. Even more disconcerting was the big shit-eating grin that he had spread over his face as he stood there loitering away under his stream of water. Seriously, he was the kind of guy that my teachers in grade school warned me about getting into vans with. Had there been anywhere else to shower at the time, certainly, I would have been there.
As it is now, the shower area is pretty small with only 5 shower heads so even if you’re at opposite ends of the shower area, you’re still in close proximity with anyone else who might also be sharing the vicinity, as this guy was. So I returned his creepy ass smile politely (and modestly I might add) before immediately casting my eyes to the floor and started making with the suds. Now it also needs to be mentioned here that the showers at this particular gym also utilize a “water conservation” approach, where the facet shuts off after a minute or so and therefore reducing the amount of water waste. That potentially means that mid-suds, you might have to reach over and reactivate the shower head should it turn off in order to resume your rinsing. No big deal though, right? And it’s usually not. However, as I was “sudsing up” on this particular occasion the flow of water on my shower temporarily cut out, and out of the corner of my eye I see the creepy old dude in the corner come hustled over to reset the water flow for me.
Yup. He did.
And now he was standing there grinning at me like a total psychopath waiting for some sort of friendly acknowledgement.
“Umm, thanks?”, I offered nervously.
Strange behavior as it was, I tried to pretend it didn’t happen and simply returned my eyes to the ground and proceeded with the business of scrubbing my privates. He genuinely looked very pleased with himself though, as if he had just something incredibly noble like assisting a helpless turtle cross a busy highway or rescue a kitten from a tree, and so he continued to harbor that weird ass grin on his face as I returned to my shower.
Usually – in my experience anyway – heterosexual naked men don’t like to go anywhere near other heterosexual naked men and we approach these situations very delicately, as if coming in too close to another man’s nekkid bid’ness will result in our automatically becoming gay or something, like one of those Reed frogs who will spontaneously change sexes for whatever reason. Clearly, this old guy has never read the “Man Code” as it relates to these types of exposed situations. Hopefully, though, this was just one of the “one off” circumstances that I could just laugh off (later of course) and carry on with my day.
However, in another minute or two he did it again. The water cut out and before you could say “rub a dub dub”, he comes over to reset my water…UH-again!
The water cut off as I was scrubbing my ball sack and there he was, coming to my apparent “rescue” again with that helpful expression that seemed to be fishing for some sort of acknowledgement like he had just done me this huge favor. Bizarre! This time, I was less cordial and gave him a strange look and proceeded back to tending to my sack. Clearly this was not the reaction he was hoping for…not that it stopped him any.
It’s also worth noting here that, for the record, I wasn’t actively seeking this specific reaction by purposely allowing my water flow to cut out. No, sir! It’s just that after 90 minutes to a few hours in the pool, and I like to give myself a thorough lathering so I don’t go home smelling like the battlefields of Ypres so I often opt to let the water cut out as I’m lathering up and then just restart it when I’m ready. Besides, I’m all for the water conservation thing anyway, so it’s no big deal. So, for whatever reason, this guy now felt like it was his civic dude to help out when I didn’t really need or want it. Suffice to say, I was less than thrilled about it.
Usually, I am big advocate when it comes to “love thy neighbor” and “be kind to strangers”, but this was fucking ridiculous. Now the guy was simply standing there desperately waiting for the opportunity to present itself so he could rush to my aid and lend a helping hand. On the third and even fourth time, I awkwardly smiled appreciatively, but by the fifth time, I stopped acknowledging him altogether as this was beginning to get out of hand (no pun intended) and I was getting pretty aggravated, if not completely freaked out. Clearly this guy isn’t dealing with a full deck if his morning is spent in the Men’s showers helping other dudes with their shower facets. That’s some fucking strange ass shit!
So, now, here I was showering with someone who, for all I know, is also picturing my genitals as a potentially nice addition to his basement rec room as a lamp shade or something equally decorative.
“Yes, that’s it buddy. Get all sudsy and smooth. Here, let me help reset that water for you. Yes, that’s it. Go on, get all sparkly clean and baby-smooth. Boy is your nut sack going to look nice on my trophy shelf.”
Or, worse yet, he was going to come at me with a chainsaw a la Scarface. Now, where he might have been hiding a chainsaw exactly is totally beyond imaging but the point is, had my shower not ended right then and there I was forced to spend a single moment longer with Joe Creepoid, I might have gone all Norman Bates right there and ended up beating him mercilessly within an inch of his life for violation of space, not to mention shower privacy. After all, I’ve seen too many grizzly bathroom shower scenes that didn’t end so well in B-movie horrors (click HERE) as a kid to not take this lightly so, now, I’ve added a new rule to my ever-growing list of Locker Room Commandments:
“Thou shalt NEVER fuck with another man’s shower facet…EVER!”