I usually write my Jerks of the Week entries on Thursdays. With Thanksgiving coming up, I decided to write an entry in advance so I wouldn't have to compile anything while drunk or hung over from the tryptophan. I went back for the previous entry and discovered I had a couple of unpublished Jerks columns that I had written last summer to get ahead. See, kids, this is why you shouldn't drink; otherwise, you'll remember these things.
Anyway, this is one of the entries from last summer...
I've endured many hardships in recent months. In fact, very few have had it worse than me. For instance, the pool at my new gym has been 80 degrees or colder on most days. Because I'm too fat to jump into freezing water like that, I've called the gym ahead of time to ask the person manning the front-desk phone what temperature the pool is. I don't like talking on the phone, so this is extremely difficult for me.
Another thing that has ruined my life is my DVR. I don't know what happened, but it canceled all of my season recordings recently. As a result, I didn't even know the new season of South Park started. I had to watch the season's first three episodes On Demand. Do you know how much it sucked to endure the 30-second commercial they have between the first and second segments? Like, the starving kids in Africa wouldn't even trade places with me, I bet. I'm sure their DVRs didn't cancel any of their favorite shows. Lucky bastards.
Oh, and as I'm typing this, I popped a green Skittle into my mouth. It tasted weird - almost as if it were apple-flavored. I checked the bag, and indeed, Skittles has replaced lime with green apple. I actually think the green apple is quite good, but I already miss lime, and I absolutely hate change. Why change anything if it's already good? Change sucks.
I happen to be a solutions-oriented individual, so I have an idea of how to resolve all of my horrible problems:
1. Have Skittles produce both lime and green apple Skittles. Why can't they do both? Removing the lime flavor from Skittles bags reminds me of that dreadful Saturday afternoon in September 2004 when I bought a bag of Jolly Ranchers and discovered that the lemon flavors (**) had been replaced with blue raspberry, even though there were already normal raspberry flavors in the passion-fruit bag. I was so outraged that I refused to leave my room for an entire week.
(**) Speaking of lemon Jolly Ranchers, I found someone selling bags of them on Amazon. They had only seven remaining, so I bought five. I would've just purchased all seven, but I'm a selfless person, and I'd want two others enjoying the incredible taste of those precious lemon Jolly Ranchers...
...Yeah you're right, that's stupid. I'll just buy the other two bags now.
2. Ask Comcast not to suck. An impossible task, I know, but if we can put a man on the moon, I'm sure Comcast can not be crappy once in a while.
3. I should be able to text my gym and ask what the temperature is. Or, better yet, my gym's Web site should have a live temperature posted on it. The site should also have a live look-in to the pool area. This would accomplish two things: First, members would be able to see if the pool is too crowded or not. Second, members will know if there's a hot lifeguard there or not. This is a great motivator for some people. Like, if the pool is 81 and there's a hot lifeguard working there, men (most of the people at the pool are male) would be more inclined to go. If, however, the lifeguard is a dude or a fat chick, people will know that staying home is the best option.
4. The pool could actually keep its heater on so that the pool temperature hovers around 84 degrees.
Believe it or not, Item No. 4 actually came to fruition. I called the gym one Tuesday afternoon, and the manager picked up. He and I are friendly, so we talked for a couple of minutes. He told me that they installed a second pool heater to prevent the temperature from going below 82 degrees.
I was so thrilled, it was almost as if Jolly Rancher sent me a lifetime supply of their lemon flavor. No more swimming in cold water! Suddenly, my outlook was much brighter than those of the starving African kids. Ha! Take that, you a**holes who have your fancy-shmancy DVRs that don't erase your shows!
I do have one final story about a trip to my new gym pool that involves cold water. It was a Tuesday afternoon a while ago, even before I began calling in to learn the temperature. In fact, I believe this experience sparked my habit of doing so.
Something I like to do when I first walk into the gym is take a stroll around the pool deck to see what the temperature of the pool is. The lifeguard there used to be friends with my sister, and she greeted me excitedly, which was unexpected.
Lifeguard: I'm back!
Me: Uhh... what?
Lifeguard: I'm back lifeguarding!
Me: I... I didn't realize you had left?
The lifeguard, who was cheery upon first seeing me, suddenly sported an angry expression.
Lifeguard: I was gone for a month! You didn't notice I was gone?
Me: Umm... oh yeah! I totally noticed you were gone for a month.
The lifeguard could tell that I was BS-ing her, so she continued to scowl. She did, however, tell me what happened. Apparently, she got into a car accident in Mexico (**) and injured the side of her face. She said she looked horrible for about a month, but I told her that I honestly didn't see anything wrong, but I don't think she believed me.
(**) I'm pretty sure she said Mexico, but I have this feeling that she might have said New Mexico. I wasn't really interested at the time, but now I want to know because I realized that Walter White may have had something to do with it. If so, I want to find out because hanging out with Badger and Skinny Pete seems like a fun time. I kind of want to tell Badger some of my fan-fiction ideas and see what he thinks.
At any rate, I saw that "80" was written next to the pool temperature on the board. I then noticed that no one was in the pool, which was unusual. It typically only gets that way when the water is 78 degrees or colder. I just had to ask...
Me: Is the pool really 80?
Lifeguard: What do you mean?
Me: It says 80 on the board, but I feel like someone may have written that even though it's in the high-70s so people don't complain as much.
Lifeguard: Well, I just got here, but I do think it's a cold 80.
She stressed the word "cold" in that sentence. What the hell does that mean? What's the difference between a cold 80 and a warm 80? They're both 80, and I'm still going to freeze my balls off in the water either way.
I normally would've went home completely defeated and rode my elliptical, but the machine happened to be broken at the time. So, I chose the third option, which was swimming in the therapy pool. The therapy pool is always heated to 85-88 degrees, but it's small. I'm usually good for about 7-8 strokes before I reach each side, but swimming in there is better than dying of frostbite in the main pool.
I went into the locker room and spotted a new sign that management must have hung up recently:
Taking pictures is not allowed in the locker room. Anyone found taking pictures in the locker room will have their membership revoked without reimbursement.
Some thoughts about this:
1. What prompted them to hang up this sign? Have there been instances where some people were taking pictures of others' pee-pees? Did someone snap a picture of my pee-pee? If so, I hope a horny, 300-pound man doesn't have it. A horny, 300-pound woman wouldn't be ideal either.
2. I think the gym's management needs to define which pictures are allowed or disallowed. Say, for example, a friend and I just finished an intense workout in the pool, and we want to freeze this moment in time. Are we not allowed to ask someone to take a picture of us in the locker room? Do we have to wait until we're changed to do this? If so, I think that would really ruin the moment.
3. Personally, I think this rule isn't fair to perverts out there. We live in an age where we must apologize for something if it's the slightest bit offensive to one person. Well, aren't perverts hurt by this rule? All they want to do is snap pictures of men's pee-pees, and these barbaric rules prevent them from doing that. It used to be difficult to be a minority or heterosexually challenged. Now, it's an extremely taxing life if you're a pervert. Someone needs to stand up for them. And that someone won't be me because I just don't have the time, nor do I care.
I managed to get changed - if perverts took pictures of my pee-pee, they were very discrete because I was on the lookout for it - and went back to the pool deck. The therapy pool, which was previously empty except for one old man, now had a lifeguard class taking place there. There were five prospective lifeguards in the pool: three younger-looking dudes (15 or 16), a roided-up guy who looked like he was 20 and a chick of nearly the same age, who had great legs.
While swimming, I was able to notice that the hot chick and the roided-up guy were in some sort of relationship. I thought I was first seeing things, but the chick constantly groped the roided-up guy. The latter, however, just started into space and seemed to have drool coming out of his mouth. While resting, I overheard him saying the dumbest things ever, like...
Hot Chick: Let's swim toward the stairs.
Roided-Up Guy: Stair? What stair? Stair over dere?
Hot Chick: No, that's a ladder.
Roided-Up Guy: Oh. I thought same ting.
Hot Chick: Let's get pizza afterward.
Roided-Up Guy: Want pizza now.
Hot Chick: We're in the pool now.
Roided-Up Guy: Oh...
Hot Chick: I can't wait until we're done this lifeguarding class.
Roided-Up Guy: We become lifeguard?
Hot Chick: Once we pass this class.
Roided-Up Guy: Pass? Oh no, there's test?
Hot Chick: Yeah, we have to show that we can save someone.
Roided-Up Guy: But what if guy die?
Hot Chick: It'll be a mannequin.
Roided-Up Guy: What if he die?
Hot Chick: Mannequins can't die.
Roided-Up Guy: Oh...
I'm sure these two have built the foundation of their relationship on their deep conversations. Yeah, that's totally the reason why she's with him.
At any rate, they kept groping each other throughout the class, which I thought was pretty unprofessional. Like really, if you're taking a lifeguarding class from someone who runs the pool at the local gym, wouldn't you take it seriously because you want to be hired as a lifeguard there?
Meanwhile, the younger dweebs kept getting in my way. They were practicing with the board or whatever, but they kept drifting into my path because there weren't any lane lines in the therapy pool. They continued to get dangerously close, until on one occasion, WHACK! I hit one of the 15-year-old dorks in the face with my arm.
Dork: Raaaaahh! Messed up my practice, raaaahhhh!!!
Me: Come on man, don't you see that I'm swimming here?
Dork: Raaaaahh! Raaahhhhhh!!!
The conclusion of my workout pretty much coincided with the end of their class, as I saw them come in as I was changing. They didn't snap a picture of my pee-pee, but they did have the following conversation:
Fat Kid: Hey guys, want to go to the movies tonight? We can get pizza before we go.
Geek: I have homework to do.
Nerd: My mom won't let me stay out past nine on a school night!
Dork: Raaaaahh! It's a school night, raaaahhhh!!!
And that's when it hit me: These losers will soon be responsible for saving my life if I'm drowning. Oh, and let's not forget the roided-up guy, who probably won't jump into the pool because he'll assume that I can't die, just like the mannequin.
Maybe I should start asking the gym receptionist who the lifeguard is in addition to how warm the water happens to be. If the receptionist says, "I'm not sure; I asked his name, but all he had was drool coming out of his mouth," I'll know to stay home and ride my elliptical, which is now fixed.
See what I mean about my life being difficult? I have to avoid the freaking pool because the lifeguard doesn't understand that I could drown. And the pool I'd be drowning in isn't even warm!