Danger! Fitness Center Ahead

I am noticing a disturbing trend. It has creeped into our lives in a very subtle way and grown into a destructive entity destroying our collective soul, like a societal tapeworm reproducing itself a million times, in a thousand different forms. In my fifty plus years of course I realize that there must be change, and I accept most changes begrudgingly, but this inclination must be stopped before we destroy ourselves. You may have noticed it too. You may have seen the positive glow that has enticed so many. You may have even looked into this abyss and forayed into its dark maw. So today I felt it was my duty to expose this evil and perhaps set the world back on a more enlightened course. Sort of makes me sound important, doesn’t it?

It all started, at least to my eyes, about twenty years ago. Across the street from my apartment, the little convenience store closed. That doesn’t sound so bad. People retire all the time, as happened in this case. I admit this saddened my wife and I, because we enjoyed our nightly walks to the store to get supplied with ice cream and salty snacks. But then a self-serve fitness center moved in. (This is the moment when you hear the random lady scream, like in horror movies.) Almost immediately people started going there, so they could sweat, and complain about how tired and sore they were. I of course am smarter than that. I never went in, although there was that that one lady on the treadmill which I watched through the window, but that’s another story.

My opinion, then, was one of acceptance. I mean, there are lots of weird people in the world. If they want to make themselves uncomfortable for an hour a day, so be it. I even tried an exercise machine in a store once to see what the allure was. My opinion was, that waterboarding would be a faster way to achieve the same level of discomfort, although I admit it’s difficult to do by yourself.

Looking at that place every day opened my eyes a bit and I began to notice that fitness centers seemed to be popping up all over. I attributed it to the new era of tolerance. Masochists all over the city were coming out of the closet, so to speak, and entering mainstream society. Good for them. Diversity is good.

Then a local restaurant, I frequented, closed and a center went in. Now it was personal. When they start making it difficult to get pierogis, and goulash, something must be done. I should have acted then, but my own complacency kept me down. I thought those insane places, like Discos, Juice Bars, and On-line Sushi, were a fad which would die in a few years. I have seen so many fads come and go that I just sat there. Then it happened. (another scream) Gloria Sue’s Doughnuts closed, and you guessed it, a fitness center moved in. Those freaks were replacing doughnuts with sweat. I didn’t understand it. Then an old Italian bakery closed. This time it wasn’t a fitness center but a vegetarian grocery that moved in. How could this happen? Twelve thousand calorie, high fat and sugar, breakfast pastries are an American institution. Possibly more prevalent than apple pie.

Something had to be done. I organized a community event against these horrors at Dunkin Donuts. Sorry, but I had to go with the chain because the local places were gone. As I entered the event, I was shocked to see that Dunkins had a healthy choice menu. What, the snarts, is going on?

Some of you may scoff at me and say that this infectious boil on the back end of society is real people trying to give themselves better lives. I strongly disagree. First, I have looked into the windows of these places. Real people don’t go in. Real people have imperfections, and real people age. People like that are NEVER seen anywhere near those places. All it takes to notice is to look at the exercising girls through the window. I do. At least until an officer happens by, then I leave quickly.

That was when I figured it out. Aliens have come to earth. Don’t panic, they are not hostile. I’m thinking that their planet grew uninhabitable due to the smell of sweat socks, and the pain-ridden screams of people riding stationary bicycles. They came here with their horrible machines, so that they could continue their strange exercising rituals. But where will it end? Are we going to let them just destroy our planet too? No, I say! I say we befriend these newcomers and teach them the ways of cholesterol, before it’s too late. I’m convinced they will come over to our side once they taste the sweetness of fried chicken, Big Macs, and chocolate. Further, I am lobbying congress to fund NASA so they can find the planet they are coming from and build a space-wall and stop this Illegal immigration. Thank you for your time.

If you have comments, want to share a tomato soup recipe, or want me to take a sideways view at your favorite topic. Send me an E-Mail at ohhssidewaysview@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you!

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