You know, what I’m talking about, right? You’ll just be standing at the counter minding your own business, blowdrying your hair and some lady comes over and announces to you and the people standing next to you, “You shouldn’t be getting ready in the dark!” Then, she slams on the light like she’s your mother or something, shoots you a look of disgust, and throws her tennis bag over her shoulder as she EXITS leaving you blinded. (To the other women still present in the room:”Do you want the light on?” “No.” “No.” NOBODY wanted the light on. We turned it off.)
I guess she thought she was helping. But would you ever do that?
Of course, Light Lady pales in comparison to Grunting Man. Pales, I tell you.
There I am (minding my own business–again) reading my Kindle on the treadmill about a half hour into my workout. Next to me a guy is running. He’s not one of these real runners with the extra tiny runner shorts and the wicking top, but so far he’s not invading my personal space. As time marches forward, his clunking feet seem to announce, “Look at me. I’m running. Not walking. Running.” The longer he goes, the louder they get.
His noise doesn’t stop with his feet. His whole being gets louder. He starts breathing REALLY hard, panting like Baron, the neighbor’s German Shepherd, who used to hoist himself up to my windowsill at midnight when I was in high school and freak me the hell out.
The clunking. The panting. I’m okay with all that, but then he crosses the line.
He starts talking to himself in a raspy voice, whispering at first: “Do you want it? Do you want it?”
I’m trying to focus on Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver on my Kindle (great read!) and having to read the same paragraph over and over because Grunting Man is becoming increasingly distracting. I start to laugh at the paradox of the title of my book and Grunting Man, who seems to be outrageously open himself in a I-know-no-boundaries kind of way.
He gets louder. DO YOU WANT IT? DO YOU WANT IT?
Understand he’s 12 inches from me. Adjacent treadmills. I like to think I’m not a prude, but–well–come on. I try to look around to see if anybody else is shooting a YouTube or at least looking. Nobody seems to be aware.
DO YOU WANT IT? HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? TAKE IT ALL.
I start laughing like a kid in church and I can’t stop. He’s SO loud. I grab my phone and Facebook status trying not to fall over my feet and land face down on the treadmill. Maybe just knowing other people out there could share this with me would make it less obnoxious somehow.
And they were there for me, my Facebook friends.
I wrote: Can somebody please tell the guys who run on treadmills panting wildly and yelling to themselves “Do you want it?” that it’s wholly inappropriate?
Jodi says: Oh my…did you pant back “no” “no” “no thank you!!!” The minute he starts twerking – move away quickly!!
Sybil says: YES YES YES OH MY GOD YOU WANT IT! (From When Harry Met Sally)
Crista says: That’s hilarious!
Steve says: His playlist obviously includes Spice Girls-tell me what you want and Blurred Lines.
Bill says: You have me thinking now. I better pay attention to what I sound like on the trails. I certainly don’t want to be in the same category as these ‘treadmill monsters’. lol
Susan: You all have me laughing so hard I can’t stop! I really needed a good laugh!
As he finished, he was practically screaming. Yes! Yes! That’s what I’m talking about!
I felt like I should hand him a cigarette, but we were, after all, AT THE GYM. (And who even knows if they make cigarettes any more.)
That’s what gym freaks are good for, I guess. A really good laugh. And laughing is one of the most healthy things we can do. That said, I think I’ll go ahead and keep wearing my freak magnet and see what fun lies ahead.
But be warned. If you are the Grunting Man, next time I may have to take Darbie’s suggestion and YouTube you so the whole world can appreciate your performance.