The more observant of you will no doubt have noticed that I haven’t been doing the Friday 5, other than those two times when I’d just started doing it and was all about answering questions about myself. Well, two weeks ago the questions were pretty lame ("Of the people in your life, who has the dreamiest eyes?" Er, who cares?), then last Friday I had that brain tumour, and then today I find that I’m not actually clever enough to answer the questions (Sample question: "What would be a good collective name for your family?" Umm, The McNaughts? Maybe?). So I’m not going to do it. Instead, let’s talk about the gym again. Oh come on, you know you love it…
So, as of today I am three steps closer to getting that precious, precious free towel. (Quick recap: you go to the gym thirteen times in your first month of membership, you get a free towel. I’ve actually been four times this week – GO ME! – but I forgot my membership card the first time, so it doesn’t count, apparently.) To be completely honest with you, as far as motivational "prizes" go, I don’t think a towel is a very good one. I mean, not to boast, but I actually already have a towel. And, you know, if I really wanted another one… I could buy one. But hey, a towel is what they’re offering and I WILL GET THAT TOWEL. Just not today, because I’ve got too much work to do to go to the gym today.
Towels aside, the gym-going has been fine, even although the behaviour of The Others continues to amaze and perplex me. Take yesterday’s visit, for instance. Yesterday, I went for a swim. I had only swam a couple of lengths when I noticed a man appear at the poolside. He was dressed like some kind of pro-swimmer: trunks, goggles, bathing cap – even earplugs and one of those nose plug things that divers wear. I was so sure he was going to get into the "Fast Lane", which was the one next to mine (I was in the "Slow Lane", natch) and plough up and down like a madman that I even moved over a bit, so that his froth wouldn’t reach me.
But no. My friend with the nose plug got into the super-wide lane (The "Extra Slow Lane") instead, and spent 40 minutes doing nothing more taxing than floating up and down the pool on his back, occasionally making little fluttering movements with his hands to prevent himself from coming to a complete stop. WHY? I mean, fair enough if that’s what he wanted to do: I’m partial to a bit of floatin’ myself, and maybe the dude had an injury or something, but WHY THE PRO-SWIMMER CLOTHES? It was almost all I could do not to nudge him and ask him why the hell he was dressed like that to float on his back. I mean, it was like the aquatic equivalent of me wearing crampons and hiring a sherpa just to walk the dog around the block. WHY? I was doing something like three lengths to his one, and given that I swim so slowly that it sometimes makes time stop and start going backwards, that’s saying something.
Also: the sun loungers that are around the pool. What are they there for? The pool is an indoor one: there is no sun. And yet, three out of the four times I’ve been there, two young men (not the same ones each time, but always young men) have emerged from the changing rooms, laid themselves down on these sun loungers and then stayed there for quite some time. Again: WHY? Why would you come to the gym just to lie on a sun lounger in a room where there is no sun, and it’s not even that warm? If they just want to relax and chat, there’s a spa pool, a sauna, a steam room and a restaurant. Why the no-sun sun loungers? Maybe it’s important to them to relax and chat IN THEIR SWIM SHORTS? Maybe those loungers are the only places it’s acceptable for young men to do that. Who knows?
Still, at least The Whistler hasn’t been back. Yet.
Oh, and for the benefit of those of you who are only here to find out how the whole Total Assholes Management thing worked out, I’ll tell you… after this from our sponsors!
Nah, I’m just kidding. They called twice yesterday, and although they hung up on Terry the first time, the second caller seemed slightly more sensible than the first, and I managed to keep him talking for a few minutes. It went like this:
T.A.M: Hello! I am Mike and I am calling you from…
ME: [in unison with him]: Total Asset Management! You want to send me an information pack! And when I tell you I don’t want it and that you called me seven times yesterday, you’ll put the phone down on me, won’t you?
T.A.M: Oh. Okay then, I will.
Me: That’s not an instruction, by the way.
T.A.M. Yes, I am understanding your instruction. I am putting down with the phone…
Me: No you’re freaking not….
And thus it went on, with him protesting his innocence ("This is being the first call I have been making today, it could not have been me, Mike, who is calling you…") and me explaining, at length, how we now considered the behavior of Total Assholes Management to be harassment, and that we would report it as such it they ever called us again. Weirdly, he agreed to give me the company’s address and a phone number (he says it’s a phone number, anyway. Doesn’t look like one to me, but they are based in India). Even more weirdly, we haven’t heard from them since. Amber – 1, Total Assholes Management – 0. So the week hasn’t been totally wasted.