The One Where I Try to Steal Stuff From the Gym

This morning I went to the gym, just like I always often sometimes do of a morning. Now, when I go to the gym, I’m always weighed down with a collection of STUFF that is essential to my existence at said gym: stuff like my hoodie (yeah, yeah, I own a hoodie, settle down), water bottle, car keys, gym card, iPhone, etc. When I use the treadmill, most of this stuff fits onto the shelf below the display (Not the iPhone. I normally just throw it around the room. In fact,  a couple of weeks ago, I announced my arrival at a spin class by opening the door of the studio and basically just throwing the phone inside. No, I have no idea how I managed it: I think I must have tripped over my own feet in the doorway, and somehow managed to drop/throw the phone in my struggle to steady myself. What I do know is that this was the second time my phone had preceded me into a class at the gym, so it’s a miracle that thing is still working, seriously.). This time, however, I decided to use the elliptical. This was to prove a fatal mistake.

The elliptical doesn’t have a shelf for STUFF. A “Stuff Shelf”, if you will. Well, it does, but it’s only big enough for the phone and the water bottle, so I placed the rest of my STUFF in a neat little pile beside me on the floor and got on with my workout. (Aside: Bambi Girl was in the gym at the same time as me, obviously. She was doing this weird, suspended animation kind of running move, which involved the treadmill moving very fast, and her kind of skipping slowly above it, all Bambi like. It was pretty compelling stuff to watch, I’m telling you. She probably thinks I’m stalking her now, whereas as we all know, it’s the other way around. Anyway!) When I was done, I got off the machine, and gathered all my stuff off the floor, ready to leave.

It was only as I reached the main reception area of the gym that I realised I seemed to be carrying more stuff than I’d had when I arrived. Huh? How could this be? I glanced down at my arms, to reassure myself that I was just imagining things again, and there, cradled protectively against my bosom, along with my phone, membership card and water bottle, was this:

Exhibit A: bottle of detergent, with label reading “Please wipe down your machine, thank you.”

Oookkaaaay. Now, there are some people in my life who would describe me as a bit of a control freak. Put it this way: you know the episode of Friends where it’s revealed that Monica has a mini Hoover, which she uses to vacuum her main Hoover? I thought that was an excellent idea. BUT – and it’s rather a big “but” – I have to point out that I am not yet SO much of a neat freak that I carry my own bottle of detergent, complete with handy “please wipe down your machine” label with me every time I go to the gym. (Only some of the times. No, I’m kidding….) This, then, was clearly the GYM’S bottle of detergent. The fact that I had caught myself in the act of absconding with it meant that either:

a) It had been on the floor next to my stuff, and I had gathered it up along with said stuff.

b) The bottle of detergent is alive, hates living at the gym, and figured it would hitch a ride with me. “Let’s get outta this gym toniiiight, nothin’ but dust in the shaaadooowwws!” it would sing as we went.

c) I am a secret kleptomaniac (secret in that even I didn’t know about it, I mean), and have moments when I black out and steal things from gyms, and possibly other places. That would explain all of the shoes, actually. (“These? Oh gosh, no, I wasn’t STEALING these! They were just lying on the floor, and I must’ve, you know, dropped my coat on top of them, then when I picked it up they must’ve been inside, silly me, tee hee!*)

Whatever the explanation, I think I got off pretty lightly here. I mean, thank God I realised before I walked out with it! Can you even IMAGINE the embarrassment of being caught trying to “steal” a bottle of detergent from the gym? Or the humiliating phone call I’d have had to make to Terry. “Oh, hi, babe! Yeah, I’m at the police station. I bin stealin’ again. Yeah, detergent. Can you come and get me? And bring bail? They’re asking for £2.75…”

(I have no idea why I have a Southern accent in my little “caught stealing” fantasy. I just do.)

Anyway, needless to say, I returned the detergent to its rightful place, and escaped the gym without further incident. I expect the security cameras will have captured a nice little video clip for the staff Christmas party this year, though…

* Some of my readers have a tendency to take everything I write totally seriously. For those readers, I feel the need to point out that I have never stolen shoes, or, indeed, anything else. It’s just the bottles of detergent.