Please Don’t Feed The Animals

geeseIt was no accident. In fact, it was completely premeditated. Which wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me. They know I just can’t help myself; I’m often overcome with the urge to mess with people.

You may be familiar with the expression ‘gym rat’.  Gym rats are people who spend an inordinate amount of time working out, whether it be aerobic exercise, weight lifting, cardio or Olympic pole dancing. And gym rats tend to perform these activities as close to a mirror as possible so they can stare intently at their rippling, gleaming muscles or their flushed, strained faces.

Gym rats make me want to vomit. But they have bigger muscles than me, so I don’t mess with them.

There are other animals at the gym, though. Some lesser-known fitness beasts. Take, for instance, the dreaded lone gym wolf. This hairy beast moves stealthily around the facility without ever taking its eyes off its prey. Sensing danger, the prey decides to retreat to the safety of her lair. This, however does not deter the wolf. In fact, the mangy mutt is only daunted when the prey rolls down the window of her car and screams “Piss off! I’m married!” – forcing the wolf to make a highly illegal, extremely dangerous U-turn on a major boulevard so as to flee into the night, never to be seen again.

Lone gym wolves give me the creeps. But they tend to be certifiable, so I don’t mess with them.

Then, of course, there’s the gym flamingo. This leggy, brightly-plumed, fully made-up creature doesn’t actually exercise. Rather, she flutters from apparatus to apparatus in her pink track suit and pink runners and her long pink nails and her pink lipstick, not to mention the pink frosted tips of her platinum hair. She leans against the machine, oblivious to anyone else’s desire to use said machine. She smiles coquettishly at the nearest rat and strikes up a conversation. And then doesn’t move. For. Hours.

Gym flamingos annoy me. But I’m allergic to large quantities of Hello Kitty perfume, so I don’t mess with them.

I couldn’t possibly forget about the gregarious gym hyenas. These young, spotted critters scavenge less than one might assume, perhaps because they are too busy being overwhelmingly vocal without ever actually communicating anything. They simply produce a never-ending, ear-splitting series of whoops and grunts, giggles and groans, chattering laughs and whines. Incessantly.

Gym hyenas give me a migraine. But they outnumber me, so I don’t mess with them.

And that brings us to the gym geese. This vigorous trio of waterfowl loses all credible claim to machismo when you observe how they move through the space in a perfect V formation. The gaggle even maintains this pattern when using the weight training equipment; one of the geese on the bench, the other two flanking on either side at an angle. The weightlifting goose arises and, in perfect synchronicity, he takes the angled flanking position of the next goose sliding onto the bench.

And so it was no accident. I watched. I waited. I planned. And at every opportunity, I walked through them, sending them squawking in every direction, scattering them. They would eventually regroup, only to find my behind parked on the machine they were heading for. They flew around aimlessly for a while, made half-hearted attempts to land elsewhere and mostly honked ineffectually.

Geese are silly things. So yeah, I messed with them.



Welcome to Day 2 of the Second Third Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing. Today’s prompt was It Was No Accident and it was brought to you by my dear friend June, who had better post something at some point today if she knows what’s good for her. Please click on the links below to visit the other extremely talented people participating in this challenge. If you know what’s good for you.


Related Posts

  • Cadeaux

    I will have to read this again when the Ambien wears off. I think it was surreal in a way – or maybe it’s the Ambien? Who knows? Hell if I do…the Ambien kicked in. 🙂

  • It’s no accident… I simply avoid the gym altogether.

  • We have, in our gym, the wrinkled old, wallowing hippopotami. They sit and sweat and fart on the equipment. And when you tell them, “that’s where you are supposed to sit, do not put your face there”, they cannot hear you, and respond, “my daughter is an accountant”, so I walk away.

  • I love these descriptions! I recognize them all, from my previous life as a gym rat.

  • ReformingGeek

    Oh, I thought you said gym “cheese”. I was anxious to see where you went with that. Hee Hee. Geese. Love it. Actually, it was all fun, and so very accurate. Gyms are great places for people-watching.

  • I totally see all those groups at my gym. I have never thought of them in those terms…although I will in the future. Of course, you should mess with them. They deserve it.

  • That was INCREDIBLE writing. I especially loved it because I go to the gym… I could picture EVERY SINGLE ONE you described. Now I want to scatter some geese tomorrow night!

  • frankleemeidere

    Jungle gym zoology. I like. (Of course, having never been to a gym, I’ll have to take other people’s word on the accuracy.)

  • Unless you spend a lot of time at the gym, this post probably makes more sense if read while on Ambien. 🙂

  • Oh, but it’s a great place to observe human interactions and judge people, Boom Boom! 🙂

  • Do any of them have a son who’s an electrician? I need some wiring work done in my verandah.

  • LM, please tell me you were not the type of rat to stare at yourself in the mirror. Please. I beg of you! Those rats make me crazy. Crazier. Whatever.

  • The gym is a great place to people-watch, Reffie. And a great place to Facebook too. 🙂

  • It was really the geese who started it all. I noticed their goose-like behavior and then quickly realized that most of the people at the gym were displaying very animal-like behaviors. It all just fell into place from there!

  • Thank you Katherine and you should definitely scatter the geese. It’s practically a sport in its own right!

  • It’s worth it to join, Frank, if only to watch the interactions and behaviors. Better than a psych lab!

  • I really need to get out more…or maybe just exercise more. I never knew the neighbourhood gym was full of these animals. I’d stay away but now you’ve got me intrigued by those Olympic pole dancers.

  • I NEVER look at myself in a mirror. Are there mirrors in my house?

  • All the reasons why I avoid gyms like the plague.

  • Pingback: Prosaic Shades of Gray » » The Semantics of Bear Attacks()

  • Judge people? I suppose that would make a trip to the gym worthwhile… but only if I had someone to help me judge. (I suppose I could pretend to use some of the equipment while I gawked.)

  • You sound like like a crotchety old man. I like that in a woman.

  • This is brilliant! And all of your descriptions of the different types of people at the gym are spot-on accurate!

  • Hilarious, my love, but now I’m dying to know, what animal are you?

  • Sounds like there’s a lot of good people watching to be done at your gym. I do aerobics at the Y twice a week. I’ll have to see if I can spot any of these critters there.

  • KZ

    I’m just going to state the obvious here: Cheese Dragon.

  • KZ

    I love the cynicism, Nicky. You’re part anthropologist and part “IRL Troll”. Hilarious and crotchety.

  • You’re so damn funny, girlfriend. I would for one day like to inhabit your brain and see the world through your eyes. But then I want out. I may be curious, but I’m not crazy. 😉

  • Jay of The Depp Effect

    Hahah! That’s funny. I don’t go to a gym anymore. I have a treadmill and a couple of other bits of equipment at home. Frankly, I found all those ‘animals’ difficult to socialise with on any level, and it was quite lonely just turning up, working out and going home. It would have been nice to have a coffee with someone now and then.

  • Gym flamingo … haha. Good stuff. 🙂


  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest