Smile Politely

A man walks in with a duck

Okay, so we’ve got St. Patrick’s Day and all that goes along with that over, right? There’s not a top-secret, officially, unofficial day I haven’t heard about or anything, right? Geez Louise, I genuinely don’t understand people who need a reason to go out boozing. “Ooh, I’m gonna wear green and get piss drunk! Whoo Hoo.” On the other hand, I usually like, “Hey, it’s Wednesday. I’m going to dress normal and get piss drunk.” Both situations probably aren’t ideal.

Also, since I’m bitching about things, why is it so fucking cold? If we’re gonna get globally warmed, then let’s get that shit going already. Yeah, I know it’s been a candy-assed winter so far. I know this because everybody keeps telling me. It seems like it’s sort of sucked to me though. Yes, it hasn’t been just terrible, but it seems like it’s gone on for far too long, sort of like a Wilco record. I mean, I like them, but still … let’s get it on.


As I mentioned last week, I’m doing this dumbass Tough Mudder thing in May, so my lazy fat ass is working out for that. I’m sure you care about it roughly as much as I do at this point. I’ve been working out for a while and it’s going fine, but with two months to go until the race it’s pretty easy for a fella like me to lose interest. I should probably be running outside to get ready but it’s all cold, so I’m waiting until April begins for that sort of thing.

In the meantime, I’ve been spending far too much of my time at Planet Fitness. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t seem like a place I would go either, but you know what? I actually really like it there. The first thing about it is that it’s cheap. The other thing is that it’s big. I’ve belonged to gyms before and most of them seemed a little too tight when it was really busy, and sometimes even when it wasn’t. Maybe I’m just weird, but if smells and sweat are coming off of people, I’d really prefer to be as far away from them as possible. I’m sure most people would feel the same about me.

Besides that, more space means more things like treadmills and ellipticals. I’ve been going since probably November and I’ve never once had to wait to get on a treadmill. This is very important to me because if I’m going to run for an hour I have to finely tune my mind for about an hour ahead of time in order to have any desire to do that. Getting to the gym and having to wait once I get there is something I’d rather not have on the agenda. It’s just hard enough as it is.

So far, most of this seems good, you know, because it is. The bad parts to me aren’t necessarily bad so much as just weird. The one rule that bothers me the most is that you can’t wear any sort of headgear except a baseball hat. Who the fuck cares about that? I mean, wearing a tiara shouldn’t be allowed, because those have sharp edges, and a person could probably smack somebody in the face with a sombrero if they weren’t paying attention, but who the hell cares if someone has a stocking cap on because, oh, I don’t know, they might be fucking cold.

The other stuff doesn’t really affect me, but it’s also sort of strange. They encourage you not to be a “lunk,” which is apparently someone who is really strong, but they classify it more as someone who acts like a body builder and struts around. They even have some sort of siren that goes off if someone loudly drops a weight to the floor. I set it off once, accidentally, when I tripped over a weight bench and almost impaled myself with a 25-pound dumbbell.

The deal with all that stuff is that they want this gym to be a “Judgement Free Zone.” I know this because it says that all over the place. I’ll be honest, I make a lot of judgements when I’m there. It’s just that I keep them inside my head and try not to let them leak to the outside. I will admit that all that stuff does sort of work because it’s not quite as gymy as most of the places I’ve been.

The best part for me is that it’s on the way home from work and it’s open 24 hours. I didn’t think the 24-hour thing would be a big deal, but I can’t tell you how many times my dumbass has woken up to pee at four in the morning and decided to go to the gym before work, just to get it out of the way … and to have a guilt-free drinking session right after work.

So, anyway, I think it’s sort of great. Yes, it’s a gym and I often feel as though it sucks, but that’s really my problem and no fault of the actual facility.


I got a calendar after Christmas, one of those day-by-day calendars where you tear off a page at a time. This particular one is just weird pictures of animals. Remember, it’s not necessarily cute pictures, just weird ones. What I’ve learned is this: a shit ton of people apparently have monkeys as pets, or at least the ones who do take a bunch of fucking pictures of these monkeys.

I suppose I can’t blame them since monkeys are generally fucking funny and surprisingly photogenic. Usually on the calendar they’re dressed up, but sometimes they are just hanging out with people. It makes me wonder how the monkey feels about the situation. They seem sort of wonderfully arrogant and not self-aware in any way, so I’m assuming the monkey believes the humans to be his minions. I mean, the humans feed him and bath him and pick up his poop, so what’s a monkey to think. Don’t get me started on monkeys.

I mostly brought this up because of this picture.

Yeah, I know, it’s just a guy holding a duck, but really, it seems like so much more. He looks so pensive. Does he love the duck? It sort of seems like that. Is he about ready to snap the duck’s neck? Well, it could sort of seem like that, too. What makes the picture vexing is also what makes it captivating. I suppose it could be that you just don’t see a lot of guys holding ducks, but it really seems like more than that.

I have made up several fictitious backstories in my mind, but none of them quite work. All I really know is that it probably would not be a good idea to try and take the duck away from this guy … unless, of course, you would like him to murder you.


This is pretty cool. I never got no rollercoaster when I was a kid.

The best part is that it’s probably exponentially more frightening to ride knowing that your dad drank eighteen beers on the afternoon he put it together.


In about five years, when Lindsey Lohan is a homeless crack whore, I hope she considers making Champaign-Urbana her home. It would be a pleasure to mock her every time I go out drinking.

My apologies to Ward, but maybe Ohio should go ahead and change their license plate slogan to “Ohio — The Worst Place in the World.”

The NBA is sort of interesting this year. I haven’t said that for a long, long time.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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