In Line and Outta Line in the Locker Room

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 | 0 Comment(s)

I've stayed away from locker room centered posts for awhile now. Karma's a bitch and I have no desire to upset the delicate nature of a scale already so precariously balanced.  But yesterday. . . Maaaaaaaan . . . Yesterday. What I saw yesterday in that beat up bygone-era UMASS men's locker room, now used only by recreational swimmers, I don't know what to do BUT write about it.

I have seen a great many bizarre and impossible to predict souls slosh their way through this locker room over the better part of the last decade.  And, more to the point, some aspects of the freak show are now par for the course.  It would be weird if I didn't see some aspect of the show.  I mean, the locker room just isn't the same without Unbelievable-amount-of-back-hair Guy or Jocky McJockerson.

Or, like yesterday, I saw the dude who looks like a miniature version of the Dunkin Donuts' "Time to make the donuts!" Guy from their 90's TV ads. This cross between a New England celebrity (I once saw the actual DD guy while shopping in a Pittsfield TJ Maxx as a youngster) and the Johnny Depp idiration of the Oompa Loompa (see picture puzzle below).  This mostly harmless character has a particular propensity for shuffling along the cement floor in his shower shoes -- totally naked. Like, he's holding his towel lazily in his right, but shuffling like a sad, droopy-skinned, wind-up toy robot.

And this, is normal to me.  It no longer even blips my radar. Catching a passing glimpse of Mini-DD is merely checking off a square on my work-out BINGO card.  Sometimes it happens, sometimes it don't.

But yesterday.  Maaaaaaaaan. Yesterday, we had some wild card shit go down. Possibly even a technical foul.

So. When you go swimming, you get practically naked.  Sure, you could wear a shirt -- and there is no shame in that -- but it doesn't exactly lend itself to lap swim. Sans shirt, men and women alike shed our protective outer layers in favor of a thin piece of chemical-resistant fabric stretched taught over our bathing suit areas. Pretty f'n vulnerable. While I do my locker room stretches with my t-shirt on, inevitably I shed everything but my jammer for the "dead man walking" stroll into the pool area.

And yesterday, while I was washing my googles in the sink and mini-DD was showering, a college-aged student, with camera phone in hand, came ROLLERBLADING through the bathroom space!


Mother fuck'n.



This is a non-starer. This is ludicrous speed. This is the end. This is A Horseman of the Apocalypse. What in the ever lovin what now?!?

Let's get this out of the way. The early 90's called and they want their cocaine and rollerblades back. But, sure sure, you're wearing them ironically.  Why in winter!?!?  That's not ironic; that's inefficient. Even without snow everywhere, campus still doesn't resemble Santa Monica Blvd in the slightest. And there sure as hell aren't any sweet jumps where you're riding.

"Watch all the air I get off this sick ramp!"
Second, and perhaps most important, why are you rolling through the locker room of a sparsely populated gym building.  I mean, there is a fancy track in the new athletic facility that I'm sure has accommodations for even the most douchey of athletic pursuits.  But dude, that's not where you are!  I don't even know if there is a track in this building.  If there is, it's certainly not on this floor.

Which means, my man, you went up and down stairs with in-line wheels on your feet. And here comes the freakiest part once again: you did it just to subsequently wear those fucking things in the locker room.  You are admitting to the general public that being able to have wheels on your feet in a locker room is worth sidestepping, slowly and uncomfortably, downstairs while clutching a railing. That makes you a dangerous person.  Unstable and Unpredictable.

And I haven't even dug into the camera phone which you are holding far too high up in the air to be web browsing. Using your camera phone in a locker room is only, ONLY, acceptable if it is clear you are capturing a particular inanimate object. Any motion that could be construed as surreptitiously snapping pics of other gym goers is a complete non starter.  While I openly recognize that it is more probable that the rolling paparazzo was switching playlists or taking a ill-advised selfie, I feel the need to point out that what he deemed a reasonable set of decisions left me wondering if I was mid-fever dream in the last location I would ever want to pass out.

In a matter of seconds, Photographer Interuptus has wheeled out of sight and I am left with an important decisions to make.  Do I carry my "Instructor" role into the recreation center, and give chase?  Or do I instead do nothing, and later craft an angry blog post on the subject.

I look down at my body. I'm all chest hair, spandex, and shower shoes.  I carry my self-righteous indignation with me into the pool area where the water is cooler than usual.

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