Sunday, November 6, 2011

Get Off My Treadmill Miss Daisy!

Well I’m back after a bit of a hiatus.  I really didn’t want to write this story again after originally writing it back in the late 90’s.  After searching for it for this blog without any luck, I decided it was time for a re-write.  Thank God I was blessed with a good memory.  Now, on to the story.    

 When I moved to Atlanta back in 1998 I lived in a very nice high-rise condo building near Piedmont Park.   Even though my condo was less than 800 square feet, I loved living there.   I could walk to work, walk to restaurants, and even drop off my dry cleaning with the concierge.   One of the other nice benefits of the building was the fitness center.  It wasn’t very large, but it had just about everything you needed, including two treadmills.  Even though I wished there were more treadmills, I usually managed to get one on my morning visits.  On one particular morning I walked in and found that one of the treadmills was not working, and the other was being used.  “No worries,” I thought. I’ll just lift some weights until the treadmill was free.  Since there was only one working treadmill, I knew I had to keep a close eye on it to make sure I got on as soon as it was free.   So I’m working out and listening to my Discman while trying to keep my eye on the treadmill when this cute elderly white couple managed to sneak in on me.  To my dismay, the lady headed straight toward the treadmill!  Despite her age, she was much closer to the treadmill so there was no way I could get to it before she did.  I suppose I could have told her that I was waiting for the treadmill, but she was a cute little old lady, and I was taught to always respect the elderly.   I will admit that I wasn’t really happy about it, but I figured that “Miss Daisy” wouldn’t be on for very long.  As time passed, I found myself hovering around the treadmill, circling from time to time like a shark with its eye on some prey.  With the passage of more time, my thoughts and actions continued to spiral down the path to hell.  I started clearing my throat loudly, giving her the occasional evil eye, and calling her names under my breath.

My mood took a dramatic turn for the better when one of my favorite songs started playing, so I went back to the weights.  I turned the volume down a little so I could hear what was going on around me to make sure that I didn’t miss the treadmill again.  I was in the middle of a set of dumbbell curls when, out of nowhere, I heard this loud sneaker squeak (like the kind you hear on the basketball court) followed by an earth-shattering crash, combined with repeated cries of “oh God, oh God, oh dear God.”  Yes, Miss Daisy had fallen and couldn’t get up!  When I looked I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Poor Miss Daisy was wedged up against the wall behind the treadmill in the most awkward, contorted position you can possibly imagine.  She looked like she was playing Twister— lying on her neck, legs wide open, arms going in all directions, all while still mumbling “oh God, oh God, oh dear God.”  The visual and the sound of her voice still haunt me to this day.  I rushed over to her and I swear I almost blurted out in my best Morgan Freeman voice, “Is you alright Miss Daisy?” But no, I just did the right thing and made sure she was alright before helping her get up.  Unfortunately, she couldn’t get up right away.  She needed a couple of minutes to sit on the floor to gather herself and examine the various bumps and bruises.  After gathering herself, she looked at me and said, “thank you so much, you are so sweet.”  My eyes got as big as silver dollars as the guilt rushed in.  All I could think was “if she only knew” as I shamefully mumbled a quick "thank you."  I know that it really wasn't my fault that she fell, but deep down inside I felt responsible.   Fortunately, she was not seriously injured.  Needless to say, she did NOT get back on the treadmill.  In fact, sadly, I never saw her in the gym again.  I hope she wasn’t scarred for life.  Oh, and yes, after she and her husband left you know I got on the treadmill and got my 30 minutes in, but it was a real struggle because I just could not stop laughing at what I had just witnessed. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Three Women and the Missing Nuts

When I was in high school I worked at the local public library.  During the summers I worked full-time and sometimes worked from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  In the evenings the library was often empty after 8:15 or 8:30, so we started a routine of ordering sundaes from the nearby McDonald’s.  One night we sent Terri, another high school student, to get sundaes for the four of us who were working that night.  I ordered a caramel sundae with nuts, as I always did.  When Terri got back with the sundaes I was helping a patron at the front desk.  The three ladies were in the office talking and eating their sundaes.  When I finished at the front desk I walked into the office, excited that I could finally sit down and enjoy my sundae.  However, when I spotted the sundae, a look of disappointment overcame my face.  Without thinking twice, I immediately turned to Terri and blurted out, “AWWWW TERRI HOW COULD YOU FORGET MY NUTS?”  To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group a women laugh so hard and I’m fairly certain that I’ve never been more embarrassed.  But, hey, no one ever forgot my nuts after that night.    

Monday, February 7, 2011

If You Plan to Drink and Ride A Bicycle With a Passenger, Watch Out for Police Officers Who Try to Hold You Down When You're Doing Your Pushups

The Artistic Lawyer is back, finally. After missing the entire year of 2010 for some unknown reason, I am back with my first entry of 2011. But I must warn you---this one is a bit of a departure from the norm. Although there may some comical aspects of this entry, that is really not the point. So, are you ready? Ok, let’s get started.
Last night I had a pretty odd dream. I dreamed that I went to an elegant Black-tie event with a beautiful date. (That’s not the odd part, by the way). Here’s where it get’s strange. When we left the event, we hopped on my bicycle and pedaled off into the cool evening. Yes, a bicycle, and not one of those tandem bikes with two seats and two sets of pedals. There was only one seat on the bike and my date sat on it in her beautiful dress with her legs stretched out to the sides, and I had to stand on the pedals in my tuxedo, that is, when I wasn’t pumping the pedals to get us up some steep hill.
A few miles into the ride I noticed flashing flights. You guessed it, I was being pulled over for suspicion of drunk cycling and being unfit (i.e. too out-of-shape) to transport a passenger on a bicycle. In order to avoid being arrested I had to pass a physical exam, which consisted of doing 40 pushups. No problem, I thought. I dropped to the ground and started doing the pushups. Of course the officer thought there was no way I would make it to 40 so he started getting the handcuffs ready. Much to his surprise, I was blowing through the pushups with ease. As I got to the high 20’s I started to feel something on my back. The officer was beginning to push down on me as I pushed myself up. The more pushups I did, the harder he would push down. By the time I got to 35, he was practically sitting on me trying to keep me from finishing. By the end I was straining to lift the weight of two people, as my date stood watching and cheering me on. Despite the officer’s attempts, I made it!
As I thought about that dream today, I was struck by the differences between the two people who were with me. First there was my date, who was leaving a fancy event with me on a bicycle, a true ride-or-die friend. Obviously, she was someone who would stick with me no matter what the circumstances, and cheer me on during the tough times. Then I thought of the officer, who not only doubted that I could finish the task, but physically did everything within his power to keep me from finishing. The closer I got to the finish line, the harder he worked against me to keep me from making it! As I think about it, I was at an advantage because it was obvious that the officer was working against me so I knew what I had to do to overcome his efforts. Even so, he didn’t just jump on my back to try to stop me. He started with a little pressure and gradually increased the resistance as I got closer to finishing.
Unfortunately in life the people who work against us aren’t as obvious as the police officer. That makes them even more of a hindrance to our success because we don’t always recognize them or what they are doing. What’s worse is that we often push the ride-or-die friend out of our lives, while we let the police officers continue working against us. Oh, and one other thing---as much as the officer was ready to arrest me if I didn’t finish the pushups, he was just as quick to apologize and tell me how he knew I was going to make it all along. Sound familiar to anyone?