So, I was at the gym, pumping iron and, as always, staring admirably at my bulging biceps in the panoramic array of mirrors.
There were two other people in the gym. One was an elderly gentlemen, probably somewhere in his late fifties. He had on a tank top now colored dark blue from sweat, tattered shorts, and a pair of tennis shoes that look like they were bought new twenty years ago at Chubby & Tubby’s (yeah, I know, I’m sure that Chubby & Tubby’s, which is a joke that about ten people will get, has been gone for more than 20 years). His hair is the shiny black of an obvious die job. He’s actually not in bad shape for an old dude. He’s got a gut, but he has a powerful chest and the big arms slowly going to seed of a retired construction worker.
The other person is a woman. She’s a beautiful Hispanic woman somewhere in her mid-twenties. She’s got long black hair, flashing dark eyes, and the beautiful skin tone of a sun worshiper. She’s wearing spandex pants that stops mid calf and a tight red top that reads Too Hot to Handle across the chest (not that I was staring; just being observant!).
The woman and I are working two machines next to each other. I’m doing the Chest Pull-Over machine and she’s doing the Pull-Up machine. Even though we’re less then two feet apart and we’re essentially the only ones in the gym, we observe common gym etiquette and do our sets as if the other person doesn’t exist.
She completes one set, gets off the machine and takes a thirty second break before she commences her second set. During this interval, the elderly gentlemen walks up to her (and clearly, the two have never met each before) and says, ‘Can I ask you a question?’.
There’s a pause. I can almost here the gears in her brain crank away as she processes this request. Is he going to ask me for a cup of coffee? Is he going to ask me do I come here often? Is he going to ask me to go for a ride in his muscle car (undoubtedly a late model Corvette)? After the pause, she says, ‘Uh, sure, I guess’.
He asks her, ‘How can Eskimos stay healthy when they have no carbohydrates in their diet?’ I kid you not, that is the exact question that he asks. I’m in mid set on my machine, but I have to stop just to hear the answer.
There is another pause. Clearly, this was not on the top ten list of questions that she thought that he was going to ask. Maybe not even on the top million. However, she does feel obligated to answer. She says, ‘I don’t know, maybe because of all of the protein and fat in their diet?’.
The guy nods his head and walks away without saying another word.
What just happened? Is this some kind of geezer pick-up line that I was too obtuse to pick up on? Was she supposed to say, I have no idea, let’s discuss it over dinner? Or, is he genuinely concerned about the plight of the Eskimo and thought that this woman would have the key to this burning issue? Although, you have to admit, it is a good question.
There aren’t too many potatoes in the Arctic Circle.