Today, ten minutes into my daily (okay, maybe every other day) thirty on my favorite treadmill, I saw the sight that always takes the spring out of my step. Stinky Man was passing by on the other side of the fitness room’s big window at the Y. I knew from bitter experience that his next port of call would be the recumbent bike diagonally to my left, strategically situated between me and the fan.
I could only hope that he would fritter away some time visiting the men’s locker room, but no, there he was, settling in five feet away. He is Stinky Man because even the most inept detective can tell he’s a smoker by his permanent cloud of old cigarette fumes. I always picture him driving to the gym, the interior of his car blue with smoke. It seems unlikely that twenty minutes on a recumbent bike will ever be enough to cancel out the effects of his smoking habit, not to mention his hefty paunch.
But I was wrong. Two minutes passed, then five. No odor. Inexplicable but fabulous. I relaxed back into my stride and was able to turn my attention to more important things, like the Today Show and its lengthy coverage of a stroller in
York City, humorously rigged to produce a baby doll
that popped up, shrieked and spun its head around. And no, I’m not making that
Two more blissful odor-free minutes passed and then the treadmill on my right became occupied by (Psycho theme music please) a tiny 70-ish red-haired woman - aka Stella -wearing many, many ounces of eau de something. I had paced unhappily at her side before. At this point you may want to reference a past post: Passion at the gym
I was forced to cut my session short by ten minutes, but on the plus side I was driven to the more challenging stairmastery kind of thing across the room and probably had a better workout than I’ve had in months.