I won't leave until I've burned 500 calories, which is half as many as were in the burrito I ate for lunch

When it comes to exercise, I'm one of those  people who prefers health clubs to the great outdoors. In my warped little mind, it feels more authentic to exercise this way. I mean come on, any psycho murderer can run around the block and call it cardio, but real pros go to Fusion Fitness. The fabricated ritual appeals to me. I get dressed in all the appropriately clingy-yet-breathable garb. I drive to the appropriate location. I park. I smile at whoever's working the desk. I diligently work through my 1.5 hour routine (45 minutes on the elliptical, half an hour on weights, 15 minutes bike, with periodic trips to the drinking fountain by the massage center, not the one by the bathrooms because that one might be recycling toilet water). I try not to make eye contact with anybody who looks like they might be on steroids. And I always carry around a fresh towel to dab away excess sweat. Not that I sweat or anything. I'm too pristine for that. But if I ever did, even though I never would, I'd be polite about it and CLEAN UP AFTER MYSELF.

But going to the gym is always a crap shoot, because you never know who's going to step in and ruin your pleasant little fabricated ritual. Here are some of the people that have taken credit lately:

  • The guy on steroids who asks if he can “work in” between my two sets of reps because he just absolutely has to be on this particular machine at the same time as me, and of course I have to say yes because I'm afraid of him, and then he leaves the bench all sweaty
  • The girl talking to herself on the treadmill adjacent to mine, which isn't really a problem, obviously medicated people need to excercise too, it's just that now she's actually kind of shouting and if I turn my music up any louder I'll probably go deaf
  • That naked woman hanging out in the locker room who can't bring herself to put some damn clothes on even though she's obviously not showering
  • The dude who grunts in an uncomfortably sexual way during his bench press
  • That chick who stole my Vogue magazine that was literally four inches away from my feet while I was doing sit-ups, and then gave me a dirty look when I found her reading it on the last bike way back in the corner and reclaimed it, I mean that was ridiculous the way she made me feel guilty about reading my own magazine, and now she also knows where I live

I'd go on, but I actually do have to go to the gym pretty soon so I can time my elliptical workout with an episode of “House Hunters”. Those personal TVs they have on all the machines now...GENIUS!