It started with well meaning insults. I called him Fat Lard — he asked when my baby was due. It wouldn’t have mattered much except we were at work having cake and ice cream for a co-worker’s birthday.
I fell for it when he asked if I was losing weight. “I don’t think so”, I said suspiciously wiping ice cream from the corner of my mouth. “I don’t think so either!!” he proudly rebuffed. That made the guy sitting between us laugh so hard ice cream came out his nose.
Another co-worker, a skinny, hard belly, in shape little snot, talked about how we ought to come build fence with him over the weekend so we’d lose weight. He smiled as big as a con man at a senior citizen’s home when he proclaimed he wouldn’t even charge us a gym fee. We both ignored the loudmouth and chalked up his demeanor and hard stomach to a bad case of pin worms.
Later that afternoon I was bringing in boxes of office supplies from the loading dock. The same co-worker started helping after seeing me carry in two huge boxes. He didn’t know it was only styrofoam cups, but I acted like they were a hundred pounds each. He carried in several boxes of heavy copy paper, so I grabbed a big, light box beside it and again acted like it was a massive weight.
The receptionist opened my box and started pulling out paperclips, staples and pens from the foam peanuts. Once he realized he’d been played, he called me a bad name. Now to be fair, I didn’t actually hear him call me a bad name, but I’m pretty sure by the look in his eye, he thought a bad name. I can’t be sure. He may just have gas pains.
By some cosmic coincidence, the next few days we’d talk in the office kitchen about important things, like Snickers, the left and right Twix debate, and how much milk is actually in Hershey’s Milk Chocolate.
Then one day the subject came around to working out. To be semi-honest, I was pouring creamer in my coffee and just the thought of working out made my wrist as sore as carpal tunnel syndrome! Coffee creamer bottles are a lot heavier than they look! Granted, that’s pathetic, but it was still better than my coworker who broke out in a cold sweat just mentioning a work out. Makes me wonder if he has some latent, deep seated psychological issues causing instantaneous sweating. I could totally see him Norman Bates like.
Anyway, a new gym opened and we joined. The fact that we’re both so cheap nickels squeak when we walk is just another weird coincidence. Still, this is by far the cheapest gym in town, so that helped the decision along. Now we’re on a new, healthier, better kind of you wellness regime.
We went to the gym at lunch, did 30 minutes of cardio vascular exercise and get back before the clock hit an hour. In the beginning, we were a sad sight to see, sweating like a couple of warthogs running from hyenas on an African safari. After 30 minutes we’d half step down, half fall off the machine and get dressed in a hurry for work within the 3 minutes 46 seconds allotted to avoid being late.
The first week I was sore! The good news was he was hurting more. He was walking like Forest Gump after he was shot in the buttocks.
One day after lunch my coworker’s left heel involuntarily collapsed to meet the back of his leg in a major hamstring trolley horse. I was at the copy machine and heard him groaning in agony.
At first, I was concerned, kinda. I thought he was having a seizure, something, or maybe a bad case of demon possession the way he was yelping and rolling around grabbing his hamstring.
When I realized it was just a cramp, it would have been both wrong and rude not to laugh and make fun.
“Oh suck it up, Princess!” I said over my shoulder. I told him to sit on the floor with his legs straight and touch his toes for cramp relief. I left. He’d figure out the rest. If he didn’t, well it would be a good life lesson to help him next time.
Each day we got a little stronger, except for the gut weight thing. The imbecile snuck jellyrolls out of his desk drawer when no one was looking. It was a sad sight! You’d go in and he’d try to talk without chewing, pretending there was nothing in his mouth. All the while he was wiping jelly filling off his mouth onto his shirt sleeve.
He was, however, an example, albeit a bad one, so I decided to start eating better. One Tuesday morning I bought four protein bars on the way to work…one for lunch every day for the rest of that week.
Trouble was, I didn’t eat breakfast. Since the bars were mainly protein, I figured eating an Oatmeal Raisin protein bar was a good thing. By 10 AM though, the Hearty Apple Nut bar was gone. After we worked out, the Garden Granola fell by the wayside. Then I’d open my desk drawer ever few minutes to see how the Blueberry Pomeganate bar was getting along without me. It needed me, so I ate it too.
About 30 minutes later, my workout buddy waddled to my office asking if he could have one of the protein bars I’d told him about that morning.
I guess I looked guilty, like a puppy when it goes in the corner and knows it’s not supposed to.
His mouth dropped open in amazement. I told him he had not paid attention because I was just “thinking” about doing that. He immediately started digging in my trashcan pulling out four empty wrappers, and that’s so wrong because it’s like an invasion of privacy, you know?
In a very condescending tone, a quite unnecessary condescending tone I may add, he spoke like a stuck up Rhodes Scholar bullying a special ed student. “And you ate the Blueberry Pomegranate! I can’t believe you! WHAT! A! LOSER!!”, then stood holding his fingers in the shape of a “L” over his forehead.
What could I say? He had me dead in the cross hairs. All I could do was shrug like that was the plan all along.
He scornfully said, “Psft! Whatever! You’re just a sad sea cow!”, before waddling his Baby Huey self back up the hall.
I wanted to say something brilliant in retaliation, but on such short notice, nothing came to me so I just called out, “I hope you cramp up again!”, which was lame, but better than nothing.
I’m not sure how long the lunch time work outs lasted, but it was helpful to have his accountability, plus a little side bet to see who could get to three sit ups in a row first.
Eventually, it all fell apart.
Now we just take turns at lunch driving to the pizza buffet! Maybe we’ll start back again
tomorrow, next week, soon, sometime, after New Year.