Not too many guys will admit they had a lengthy conversation with a naked man about global warming, but I am confident in my own manhood and not threatened by such things. If you have been keeping up with this blog at all you already know this is not untypical (see This Is Not What I Thought It Would Be and Making Hay posts). Now, I have lived in nearly half of the states in the US (25 if you are a republican and 28 ½ if you are a democrat), as well as four different countries and I have never seen anything like what I have witnessed at the Claremore Recreation Center in Claremore, OK.
When I arrived in the locker room the other morning I had the pleasure of meeting Jed. Jed is in his late sixties, about 5’ 7” and weighs in about 300 pounds. I have recently learned at the rec center that something dramatic happens to the human body with age and a few too many chicken fried steaks. Jed was the poster child of this phenomenon. When Jed struck up a conversation with me in the locker room I was caught a little off guard when I turned around to see him naked as a Jaybird. The impact of his form made me wince a little. Let me say, Jed is a really nice guy so I don’t mean any disrespect to him but I have never seen so many overlapping rings of flesh stretching so far down on any living thing in my life. My mind sort of went blank from trying to fit the image into some precept of logic like when my wife leaves a message on my phone that says, “Call me back if you don’t get this message.”
One thing led to another and Jed finally said out of the blue, “There’s something to that global warming thing.” This also caught me off guard because, as everybody knows, this is the most conservative state in the US and conservatives don’t really buy into global warming. I told him I was on the fence about many of the claims because the recent release of some emails from some leading scientists exposed some overstated statistics and false science. I also mentioned how John Kerry said ten years ago that the average temperatures would rise eight degrees in the next eight years and how Al Gore said twelve years ago we would have mass starvation in ten years – neither of which came true. He mentioned something about ice core samples and an ice age in twenty-five years and then suddenly, a cold shiver swept over me as I realized I am having a discussion about global warming with a large, naked man. Immediately, I reversed my politics and agreed with him about everything so we could end this conversation quickly. He seemed pleased with himself at having converted me and put his swim trunks on. Of course, that created a whole new problem. In my own experience with obesity I learned that when men put on more and more weight our butt cracks get much longer. Jed was no exception. When he turned to go towards the pool it became painfully obvious his swim trunks fell way short of hiding his. Good ol’ Jed. I hope the senior lady’s water aerobics class can keep their attention on their choreography when Jed gets in the pool. Maybe he is why that class is so big.
When I got to the cardio are I saw Elroy. I had met Elroy earlier on the track but had never seen him down on the floor where all the cardio machines were but there he was. Understand, Elroy is also in his late sixties but about half the size of Jed. When he saw me he smiled to acknowledge me and went on about his business on the stationary bike. Up to this point this doesn’t sound unusual except that Elroy was working out on the stationary bike with his wife and the two were a sight to see. Elroy was wearing his Wranglers, western shirt (the kind with the ivory snap buttons), large leather belt, and shoes like the UPS drivers wear – all while pumping away on the bike. Elroy’s wife, a little younger, short and plump – was wearing knee high black socks with multicolored polka dots, panty hose (black), shorts, and a greenish colored button up shirt. It was like the Walmart shoppers came to the rec center to work out. And this is not unusual. Every day is a new adventure in things I have never seen before when I go to the Claremore Recreation Center.
Aside from the interesting encounters, I did a lower body workout after my warm up a few bikes over from Elroy and his wife. The knee still hurts a little and my calves are quite sore so I am on the bike until I heal better. My weight remained at 250 pounds which is interesting since I ate so little yesterday. Maybe it was the Chianti in lieu of dinner. I know, not a good idea. But then again, you didn’t have a conversation with a naked man about global warming or see Elroy and his missus on the stationary bikes. I did.
End of Day 24