“Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…” (Part 2)

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Gym, In Transition
Tags: , , ,

As you may or may not already know, in the past few months I have been frequenting a different gym.  It’s a little further to drive, but it’s a pretty cool place complete with an entire Aquatic Center, an indoor 200m track, a clean and spacious weights area, an engaging Kids program, and a very distinct lack of annoying meat heads.  Plus, the staff is pretty nice as well.  All definitely perks in my personal checklist for a successful gym.  There are a few drawbacks in that it doesn’t have a Member’s Plus change room for gym snobs like me, and there isn’t a dedicated spin studio.  Oh, and for whatever reason, they don’t have a swim suit spinner/drier in the Men’s or Women’s change room but only in the Family change room which is a bit weird.  I hate walking into the Family change room after a swim to dry my suit while mothers are trying to dry and clothe the naked little bodies of their kids…and then I go strolling by.  It makes me feel weird and you should see some of the surprised-slash-concerned looks I get sometimes.  Anyway, it’s a minor thing and the advantages of the place definitely outweigh the disadvantages and, so, I’m sold.

However, I’ve been finding it a bit hard to establish a positive reputation.  At best, I’d be happy to just slip by under the radar completely.  Not that I go to the gym to socialize or attempt to impress anybodye but, hey, when you start going somewhere regularly people begin to recognize you just as you begin to recognize them.  We may never actually speak or even make eye contact but, still, there’s a certain distant rapport being established.  Depending on how you conduct yourself you might come across as annoying and obnoxious, or polite and respectful.  I definitely strive to be the later but, hey, things happen.

Now, you might recall my little incident last month, or what has now become known as my “post swim locker room shit story”, right?  Click HERE  for a little taste, err, reminder.  Yeah, its totally things like that that don’t exactly win you many friends at the gym but I can’t fault anybody but myself here.  It’s just one of those things.  Having a chocolate protein bar smeared all over your bare ass, well, it could happen to anybody. Likewise, today’s locker room misadventure was just one of those things, but it does bring up my first real complaint for this new Shangri-La I’ve been going to.

You know what should NEVER be played in the Men’s change room?  Bette Midler.  Yeah.  So not cool.

I mean, picture it:  you’ve just finished a tough weights workout, completed a hard spin class or track workout, or otherwise accomplished some other manly task of Herculean proportions and you’re jacked; endorphins and testosterone are absolutely coursing through your veins.  throughout the workout, you’ve probably been listening to your own macho playlist (click HERE  for an ongoing account of my own) of music through your ear buds to keep you motivated, alive and kicking ass, right?

Of course you do.

Those tunes could be absolutely anything you find inspiring (either passively or actively) but I’m guessing not many people choose to listen to Enya while throwing around the heavy iron.  No, it’s more likely you’ve been listening to AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, or whatever else that might float your boat.  Well, a man’s man would anyway. Shit, I know a guy who loves his Janet Jackson (right Devin?).  Not that I’m judging him or anything, but as long as it keeps him stimulated and rocking the shit out of his workout, so be it, power to ya tough guy.

Personally, I was in the pool today.  Not exactly the kind of workout that one might need motivational music, but when I do long or speedy sets, I tend to hum ‘Just Got Paid’  by ZZ Top, so I’m including it as a manly Herculean deed.  Anyway, upon leaving the pool and entering the locker room I immediately noticed that something was, well, ‘off’.  I couldn’t place my finger on it right away so I made my way to my locker and proceeded to get to the business at hand of drying off, changing, showering, getting dressed, what have you.  But then I noticed it, everyone is looking at me strangely, and I back at them. We must have look like a bunch of startled rabbits.

WTF?  Did I “shit” myself again…no.  So what gives?

Then it hits me, Bette Midler is playing on the internal music system; in the MENS change room!  A little disconcerting?  You betcha!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Bette hater and I have no problem with the stereotypical type of fella that might enjoy himself a little Better Midler.  Shit, I’d get naked in front of a gay guy no problem as long he observes the universal law of ‘Feast your eyes, brah, but no lookee no touchee’.  But, still, as it turns out not everybody else might feel that way.  It’s not exactly a comforting thing to listen to while in the vicinity of other naked men.  I’m sure there is a time and a place for Bette, but this definitely isn’t it.

And here we are, several dudes in varying stages of undress all trying to carefully observe the cardinal locker room vow of ‘Ignore thy Neighbor’  and, suddenly, Bette Midler comes on the radio.  It’s may as well have been this:


Suddenly, we’re all eying one another suspiciously and trying to cover ourselves up a little more than normal.  It’s true!  It happened!  I swear.  In fact, a few of the other guys were dressed and scurrying out of there within the first few chords of ‘Wind Beneath My Wings   quicker than I could say, “We’re Here; We’re Queer…”, well, you get where I’m coming from.  Talk about awkward!  Hey, it’s not like I requested  it or anything.  Seriously, you’d think they were trying to escape a hostage crisis, or as if I was all up in their face like this:


Anyway, not being particularly embarrassed about my shame, I went on about my business in all my naked glory to the chagrin of the few other fellas who were either not so quick to depart, or were waiting to see where this goes.    Maybe I should have followed suit and immediately got dressed myself and vacated the premises lickety-split rather then make eye contact (a huge no-no in the Locker Room Commandments), smile sheepishly and simply carry on carrying on.  I don’t think the remaining guys were seeing the situation in the same humorous light as I was.  So now, to some, I might just be ‘that’  guy.   Oh, well.  I’ve been worse I’m sure.  Anyway, I’m now thinking of filling out a comment card requesting a the gym adopt a “No Bette Midler” policy in the change rooms.  I wonder how that will be received?


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