I know: you’re picturing a guy who’s about 6 foot tall, dark wavy hair, high cheekbones or maybe dimples. He’s trying to hide his ass in those baggy basketball shorts, but they only set it off nicely. Sculptured arms and abs. Long legs. You might be picturing this guy. Or this guy. The Gym needs such guys if only to provide the necessary eye candy while I run, tediously, on the treadmill for 60 or 90 minutes, trying to get the miles in each week. The ice and snow (more coming tonight) outside prevent me from my usual river trail running, so I greatly, greatly appreciate these men.
But, that’s not the Gym Guy I’m referring to. I’m referring to THIS guy.
No, not really Archie Bunker, but someone very much like him. He’s probably 70-something; an ex-baseball player (really, he was: he’s told me about his glory years many, many times); retired from some sort of business that allows him to travel to Europe annually, and to Palm Beach each winter for a few weeks. Let’s call him Bob.
Well, Bob knows I’m an English professor (ah, small town life), so he loves to ask me grammar and word use questions. Today, as I was nearing mile 7.5 on that damned treadmill, sweating despite the ceiling fans, he motions for me to take out my ear buds so he can ask me a question.
I usually try to snag a treadmill where the neighboring treadmills are already taken to avoid just this scenerio. Obviously, it doesn’t always work.
Today’s question: Bob’s friend’s answering machine (yes, answering machine–clearly this crew isn’t into the cell phone age yet) has the following message, and Bob wants to tell him it’s incorrect usage: “I can’t answer your call right now. Could you please leave a message after the beep.” Bob says that the word “could” implies that the caller is being asked whether or not they have the ability to leave a message. Bob wanted me to confirm that the friend should delete the word “could”.
Of course, wanting to get back to my boring treadmill and get to mile 9 already, I confirmed his opinion (as he knew I would) and quickly replaced my earbuds and raised the volume on my ipod to avoid further discussion.
But people: this happens REGULARLY and it’s quite annoying. Now, to give Bob credit, he waited till I had run nearly 7.5 miles before finally begging me to hear his question (though he had been trying to make eye contact for at least a few miles). Really, there’s nothing I can do short of changing the time I go to the gym, something I can’t do.
Sigh. If only this guy would interrupt me on the treadmill. My luck, he’d ask me a grammar question.