Last month, my gastroenterologist ordered me to lose the equivalent of a bowling ball and seven bananas in weight. I am paraphrasing his exact wording, but he insists that I must slam the brakes on my widening middle age spread and focus on getting back into shape. My knee-jerk response was spastic discombobulating followed with denial that devolved into defensive arguing. Then, I coughed up a copper penny I swallowed when I was five and purchased a spin bike that set me back another 44,899 copper pennies including shipping. It arrived two weeks ago tomorrow. Here it is.
I cannot show anymore of it because I have yet to open the box. Allegedly, inside is one Spinner brand FIT bike, 4 DVDs (but it is not specified if any are from the Criterion Collection or my second choice, documentaries about historical people of accomplishment or my third preference, celebrity sex tapes). In addition, there’s an 8-Week Weight Loss Program (on week 9 do I revert back to my 5-Year Weight Gain Program?) and something called Guide to Ride. The last could be an advisory sentence: “Climb on and cycle your guts out lard ass.” Until I open this box, for all I know what’s inside is a hundred lead-filled sock monkeys. How would I feel about that? After I finish brooding it would solve what everyone is getting from me for Christmas this year and 15 years hence.
Everyone (in unison): Lead-filled sock monkeys again! You suck!
If this had been a delivery of tile samples to my place of employ, The Grind, I would have opened and inventoried the contents of this box at warp speed to ensure that we received exactly what we ordered, everything was intact nor were any lead-filled sock monkeys included. I did shift into overdrive playing intermediary between the delivery service, FedEx, and my apartment building’s manager who graciously arranged to have this hippopotamus-sized hunk of steel carried up to and placed inside my third floor hovel. She knows that I have reached the age when my carrying anything less portable than a bottle of Windex and eleven craisins will elicit huffing and puffing worthy of a 19th century steam engine, coincidentally exactly what I feel like most mornings when I wake. Huh, maybe I should do something specific about getting back into shape?
One of the advantages of living in New York City is that I do not need to own a car. My main sources of getting around are public transit and walking. Over the weekend, I needed to go to my market, Fairway, to do some foodstuff shopping. I walked to the store. It was very crowded, but at least the homicidal maniac-types were sleeping in and everyone that showed up was civil. I was determined to grab what I needed and go as quickly as possible. Returning home I encountered a loose Brussels Sprout on the sidewalk near my sanctum sanctorum.
As I was photographing this rare sight, I remembered that in my haste I had forgotten to pick up pita bread. I went home, dropped off my sack of groceries and then embraced 21st century technology and texted my friend, Coco. Why suffer in dignified silence when one can grouse in whiny text? It’s vital to have a buddy to share one’s suffering with and for me, that buddy is Coco.
Coco (via text): I hate when I forget something at the store. I feel your pain.
I returned to my market, where I again wended my way through the masses and picked up pita bread and on impulse, a package of chocolate sea salt cookies — in defiance of why I have gained a bowling ball and seven bananas in weight.
When I returned home, Coco texted me.
Coco: Glad you accomplished mission pita.
What she does not know is that Project Lazy Lard Ass is continuing with gusto. When I get around to opening that spin bike box, preferably before I polish off every chocolate sea salt cookie, I hope that I am not greeted with a hundred lead-filled sock monkeys, or equally irritating, a spin bike missing a fly wheel.
Now for some shilling in this quid pro quo world we live in. My worst seller, Lame Adventures: Unglamorous Tales from Manhattan, is being featured tomorrow at The Fussy Librarian, a new website that offers personalized e-book recommendations. You choose from 32 genres, indicate your preferences about content and then their computers, or maybe it’s a gray-haired lady in orthopedic shoes named Agnes, do the rest. Check out their site: