Sunday, January 3, 2010

An Open Letter to Plague-Carrier

My intention today was to write a smashing review of a book I just finished, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, by Lauren Willig. I even went out and found an image of the cover so you know what to look for when you rush right out to Barnes and Noble or Joseph-Beth (or whatever your crackhouse of choice is) to buy it. But as it is with all well-laid will have to wait. I am taking a cue from Salt Says and dedicating today's post to an open letter (specifically an open letter to the guy on the treadmill next to me in my teeny-tiny 24-hour gym).

Dear Unfortunate Soul Carrying the Plague,

May I be the first to suggest that perhaps you, above all people, have a very valid excuse for staying home today? Judging by your head-to-toe UK ensemble, I would guess that you are a true blue UK fan. Congratulations. So am I. And yes, that was a helluva game last night, wasn't it? Who would have thought there would be 6 fouls between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville (schools which are separated by 78 miles...and I am an alum from both because I think you should make college last as long as possible) in the first 45 seconds? I mean, that alone would cause you to inhale a basket of chicken wings and wash it down with a Pabst. Perhaps you awoke this morning and, upon remembering that it was the 3rd day of the new year and thus entirely too soon to ditch all of your New Year's resolutions, you rolled out from under Bambi, threw on last night's UK hoodie and hauled butt to the gym. My gym. When we came into the cardio studio (a room separated entirely from the rest of the gym because we're so classy, we belong to a place that is essentially in a strip mall), you were already hacking (into your hand...obviously you didn't get the memo. We hack into the crook of our elbow now) and looking as if the vapors were going to overtake you at any moment. And then, wonder of all wonders, you began texting. I understand that people walk and text all of the time, especially when they don't have to worry about walking into parking meters...but we're at the gym. Just a thought...maybe you should pick it up a bit. You're still in your hoodie, after all.

On second were coughing with such force and frequency that I truly expected a lung (or at least an alveoli* or 2) to violently eject from within and slime its way down the mirror, leaving a trail of green slime and pus. So...perhaps best not to ramp it up a bit. Maybe just sit?

Imagine my relief as you finally called it quits... ending your phone call, laying down the remote, dismounting the treadmill, and giving it a quick wipe-down (although what it really needed was a HazMat crew). My favorite part, though, is when you grabbed a squirt of the hand sanitizer on the way out the it was you who must be protected. Classic. And, in case you were wondering, I did see you in the weight training studio via CCTV (FYI: that is not's self-preservation). You really shouldn't just sit and text while you're at the gym. It annoys the hell out of the person waiting on that bench/equipment/stability ball, etc. But maybe you missed that memo, too. At any rate, I would really appreciate you skipping the gym on days like that. I know that it's a new year and everyone has worked themselves into a fitness frenzy, but is it really worth infecting me so that you can get your "miles" (or in your case, I would say mile) in?

Thanks a google,
The one who kept staring at you in absolute horror

*For those of you who haven't been forced to sit through 400 hours of anatomy and physiology...alveoli: Found in the lung, the pulmonary alveoli are spherical outcroppings of the respiratory bronchioles and are the primary sites of gas exchange with the blood.


  1. Ah!!! Gross!!! The winter is the worst time when it comes to gym patrons. The snot flies, along with the sweat, all over the treadmill, and sometimes... people suck at cleaning. Particularly the men. Choose wisely. (and try not to gag) Buuuh.

    I need a shower.

  2. greetings from the U. S. A.

    how are you?
    thank you for sharing your book review and the insights of reading it with us...Reading is FUN for me, and I am glad that you are one of those bookworms, or book fans.

    smart post.

    happy new year,
    welcome any time.

  3. eww. When I am sick I don't even leave my bed... let alone go to the gym. thats gross. If i do have to leave the bed to go to work, I am a whirr of lysol and hand sanitizer so I dont get anyone else sick. And yes, I cough into the crook of my elbow. But as soon as work is done I lock myself in bed where I belong and dont leave.

  4. OH man! A & P felt like 4,000 hours of learning time! Helpful for knowing what alveoli are though =) Sorry about the walking phlem-bag PUTZ that you encountered!

  5. I'm all about exercise and being active, but GAHHHHH-ROSS. However lame the effort was, at least he wiped the machine down though. I catch WAY too many people at my gym not wiping their machines down and it disgusts me. Being the germaphobe that I am, I wipe down before AND after I work out. You never know who was there before you (ie: guy coughing up a lung). And WTF is wrong with people and their texting at the gym?? What could possibly be so mind bogglingly important that he needed to do that just then? Maybe it was Bambi wondering where her underwear was or something.

    PS Wonderful use of a science vocab word! I don't think I've heard "alveoli" since I was a senior in high school!

  6. Oh and PS...I think I might know why I'm not updating in your blogroll. Try changing the address link back to It will still go directly to my blog, but it might fix the problem also.

  7. oh... blech. i HATE people who do that! the texting honestly gets me more than the infectious spray of germs and ickies, i think. seriously, hollywood? you can't put the phone down for 15 minutes? sheesh. i wouldn't judge you if the next time you saw this guy he "accidentally" (got) tripped and "accidentally" fell off the treadmill, resulting in his inability to go back to the gym... *tear*

  8. EE...disgusting!
    Everytime I think back to a picture this creepster on my facebook took of his little brother with snot all over his nose I feel like vomitting! So I totally get what you're saying!

  9. Oh my GAH. People like that thoroughly disgust me. What the hell are they thinking anyway?! WTH with feeling the need to text the entire time? I'm betting that you're really NOT all that important.

  10. I've been seeing you everywhere recently so I thought I'd pop over to stalk you. Ahem. I mean I'm your newest follower.

  11. Feel better now??

    Did anyone ever tell you that you're beautiful when you're bitchy???

  12. Ugh SICK! I don't get people doing this to others. I always thought cell phones were banned from gyms, but maybe it's just frowned upon?


That's it, let it all out....