The one thing I love about the gym in my living complex is that it is rarely used.

The equipment is fairly sophisticated and new-looking. They have a TV and a stereo and VCR player (hey, haven’t you heard of DVD players? Come on!). Two treadmills, two bikes, five jogging machines (you know, those with the paddles), free weights, those four in one island weights thingies, and even an exercise ball.

And yet, ever since I started going, I’ve never seen anyone there WHEN I reach. This makes me very happy because I get to use the treadmill I like, which sits right in front of the TV. Most importantly, reaching there first ALSO automatically makes me the MASTER OF THE TV UNIVERSE. I get to control the remote and everyone else who comes after has to watch MY channels, muahaHAHAHahah.

Except for this one time.

A tiny Japanese lady came in with her teenage son. I was on the treadmill, about 15 minutes into my workout. After a few minutes of looking at the TV and discussing in loud whispers about something, the mom approached me.

“Are you watching?” she asked, all smiles, pointing to the remote which was sitting on the things holder on my treadmill.

As I was huffing and puffing and could not stop to say, “No, go ahead, I’m just looking at it for no reason”, I simply nodded.

“My son would like to watch, can he?” she asked louder, and then pointed at her son who was sitting on a chair, looking sullenly at me as though I’d stolen his remote.

I got here first, you little punk ass. I have remote privileges! Go brush up on your gym ettiquette!

In breathless surrender, I nodded again, signalling for her to go ahead.

She smiled in sincere appreciation, took the remote and passed it to her son, who all of a sudden, sprang to life.

And then “America’s Got Talent” popped on. David Hasselhoff was getting rigged up for a couple of jugglers and in what sounded like very excited Japanese, mother and son got onto the jogging machines and paddled the hell out of them.

I’d literally never seen two people happier to just be alive and watching TV and exercising at the same time.


That was when I made a mental note to come an hour earlier the next day.

And to bring Raeven.

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