(Wherein I begrudgingly mumble the Body Electric.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 25, 2014 10:07am | Post a Comment


I hope you won’t think less of me, dear reader, but I’ve started going to the gym regularly. But wait – it gets worse – I’ve been going there to exercise.

I realize this sort of behavior doesn’t gracefully jive with my established persona; I live my life and make choices guided by the principle: What would Mrs. Dalloway do if Laurie Anderson was scripting her fate? If someone’s going to cast an actor to play me in a film, I aspire for the obvious choice to be Liv Ullman, or – if the film’s merely going to focus on my nervous breakdown, circa 1996 – Mink Stole, please.

"I can neither live with this crushing depression, nor tolerate anymore cheap, turquoise jewelry."
- Mink Stole as the author in his early 20s

None of these women would be caught dead wearing the sweatpants and V-neck undershirt I don for my workout routine, nor subject themselves to my Sisyphean Stairmaster set – though the look on my face when I approach the scale in the men’s locker-room does, I think, parallel certain expressions Ms. Ullman crafted in some of the darker scenes of Ansikte mot Ansikte.

Exercise is boring. It rivals sleep for my title of Most Boring Thing I’m Obligated to Do if I’m Going to Stay Alive on this Impertinent Planet Against My Better Judgment. (I’m sure you can imagine the glittered sash for this honor looks obnoxious.) I sometimes wonder if I don’t burn more calories procrastinating gym-time; regardless, if I’m going to have any meaningful self-respect, I simply cannot kid myself into thinking that – instead of heading for the treadmill – it’s a “real priority” to wash the lids of my spice-rack… again.

I wish I could be one of those people who enjoys working-out.

“But doesn’t it make you feel great?” these peppy homosapiens will ask.

“Of course it makes me feel great, afterwards. I love the results – it's what I have to do to get them. I also love the feeling of having an orgasm, but I don’t relish the seeking out, and dismembering of, the homeless prostitutes that goes into it. Enjoying an action’s result is not part-and-parcel with said action, necessarily.”

“Well, yeah but, I just love the way exercising makes me feel!”

…These people are not generally the brightest of bulbs. Why should they be? If I had impressive pectoral muscles and a skill for spiking balls do you think I’d be spending my Tuesdays perfecting a recipe for pot de crème? Cuss-wording no.

Fitness-nuts – theirs is a world of wonder; imagine entering a swimming pool swiftly, simply because you couldn’t wait to scissor-stroke some laps, instead of how it is: your hoping to obscure any spying of your saggy stomach, ASAP. Consider the peace of sauntering down sketchy sidewalks, secure in the knowledge you’re stronger and/or faster than any yobo who’d consider slicing you with their switchblade? As it is, I’m leery of any passing pedestrian who isn’t obviously stricken with muscular dystrophy.

Honestly, I’m not even physically attracted to very fit folks. I can find a lazy-eye coquettishly cute; I’m height-blind and have no issue craning my head down or up to kiss; I might think someone’s bow-legs have swagger and even a missing appendage isn’t a deal breaker (assuming it’s something from the neck-down) but if you have zero body fat? I’m sorry – I’m just not that into you.

My fiancée teases me, saying I’m a “chubby chaser,” as though my being turned-off by skinniness, plus my finding certain stout humans sexy, is indicative of an over-arching amour of anyone ample, which isn’t accurate.

Whatta lamb!

(It’s not hyperbole to say my sweet babboo is always hyperbolic; for him, it’s a short leap from my thinking Seth Rogen is handsome to an unwavering fetish for the swarthy obese. He’ll also conclude that, because I’m not in the mood to “watch VEEP tonight” that I’ve eschewed all contemporary comedy for the duration of our existence on Earth, while my appreciation of a new fry-pan, four years ago, has resulted in guaranteed birthday and holiday gifts of the cooking kind.

“You don’t like it?” he pouted after watching me empty my most-recent Christmas stocking.

“I do, sweetheart, but… I just can’t get excited by a fourth wire-whisk.”)

The only thing that gets me through an hour at the gym is Greg Proops. His podcast, The Smartest Man in the World, combined with my doctor-prescribed methylphenidate, provides the perfect drug-cocktail for iron-pumping perseverance.

Greg talks some nonsense into that thick skull of yours.

I realize that some of you plebeians aren’t familiar with the podcast medium, but it’s high time you were, and I can think of no suaver sonic-Casanova to deflower the buds of thy ears than he. Mr. Proops’ deft, stream-of-consciousness monologues are alternately uproarious, astonishing, antagonizing, academic, admonishing and sassy, yet always adroit.

If you can read this sentence, as I suspect you can, you have access to the technology required to subscribe to a podcast. It costs nothing, so you won’t have to handicap your allotted budget for horehound candies and harpooning Hunchbacks.* I urge you to explore Mr. Proops’ back-episodes by clicking on this very link.

I no longer work in the Jazz Room at Amoeba Music Hollywood, but I often wish I still did, particularly when my absence means missing out on things like this:

Gee whiz… It just occurred to me that I’ve finished writing this entry, which means it’s time to go get my oldies all sweaty. I guess this is goodbye.

...Unless – Does my collection of Love & Rockets trading cards need to be reorganized by order of character-appearance? That’s maybe pretty important, you guys.

Maybe pretty important…

* I’ve been meaning to discourage this habit of yours, by the way – it’ll have to wait, though, until I’ve built my case for why it’s grody-to-the-max, plus offer you a comparably-acceptable, culinary mock-uqsuq.


Experience luxury with your own Mink Stole in these films: Pink Flamingos, Serial Mom, Desperate Living.
Liv Ullman är min hjälte: Scenes from a Marriage, Autumn Sonata.
Plus much, much, so much more available at any one of our three retail stores!

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Podcasts (4), Ritalin (1), Fat (1), Veep (6), Seth Rogen (2), Ansikte Mot Ansikte (1), Face To Face (1), Ingmar Bergman (5), Mink Stole (6), Greg Proops (1), Liv Ullman (3), Gym (1), Fitness (2), Exercise (2), Smartest Man In The World (1), Love And Rockets (5), Methylphenidate (1), Jack Lalane (1)