As I have the luxury of starting work any time between half-nine and ten, I arrive at the Gym as all the pinstriped city boys and their orange-skinned PAs are making their exit. The former mutter into their phones about reports being ready by ‘close of play’ whilst the latter apply eye-liner as they power-walk down the Strand as if they are too busy to stand still for ten seconds.
The soundtrack changes dramatically for the changeover. Until 9am, it’s all ‘Eye of the Tiger’ for the city boys to get pumped up to while visualising all the assetts they’re going to strip that day and ‘I Will Survive’ for all the recently divorced middle aged women who work the cross-trainers as if each calorie burnt buys them back another unit of self respect.
As the city cunts disperse and the media wankers arrive, Eye of the Tiger fades out and smooth jazz fades in. Like heavily sedated pandas, we make half-assed and brief attempts at dumbell manipulation for a good five minutes before retiring to the jacuzzi/sauna/steam room to read soggy copies of the Guardian and mull over which variety of smoothie we’ll have with our porridge.
I’m not a total pacifist though. For example, the next time someone I barely know comments on my build, I’ll punch ’em in the face with my bony fist. If I went up to fat people I didn’t know and said things like ‘Hey, lard-arse, you look like you could do with losing a few pounds’ or ‘Oi fatso, get on a treadmill and stay there, you disgusting, blubbery fuck’ then I’d be correctly deemed a sociopath, but when you loudly point out to skinny people that they’re skinny, it’s all a big joke. Ah-ha-ha-ha, thanks. Your powers of observation are astounding.
‘So, Watson – you’ve decided to pass on the Banoffee Pudding’
‘How the devil did you deduce that, Holmes?’
‘Well, Watson. I observed the skin on the end of your thumb is looking a little rough. Your thumb is only employed in manual labour when you are using your hand-drill. You are currently adorning a dressing gown, and as such I hypothesise that you have been drilling new holes in your belt. Your girth must therefore have reached sufficient proportions that even you might start to bring your gluttonous diet under such close scrutiny that a Banoffee pudding is rejected.’
‘Why, Holmes – you are correct on all counts!’
Speaking of sherlock Holmes, a few weeks ago I had a couple of beers in the tourist trap that is The Sherlock Holmes Inn and overheard an American woman loudly asking “Did Sherlock Holmes actually drink in here?”
I wish I was making this up.