Monday, December 19, 2005

The hornet

This morning I had an epiphany of sorts at the Y while on my favorite elliptical and watching my favorite anchor CNN's American Morning Soledad O'Brien (whom one of the L's of L&L tried to convince me unsuccessfully over dinner the other night was reputed to be an absolute and insufferable bitch, or so she'd heard from someone 'in the know.' I told Lynne that I could not form any opinion on someone based on hearsay (that's the lawyer in me, I guess), that I would have to experience the alleged imperious and demanding personality firsthand before I could agree. My 'Y' epiphany concerned a fellow member who was peddling with determination on another elliptical machine. I was peddling pretty vigorously too because I'd keyed in the 'fat-burner' program as opposed to the more sedate 'calorie-burner' one and, disinterested in the interview Soledad was conducting with yet another author of the "How To' genre, I happened to look around at my fellow elliptical-cum-stairmaster junkies.

The member, a late middle-aged woman trenchantly frosty of demeanor with short, blunt, professionally dyed honey-blonde hair, always reminds me of a NY Supreme Court justice I'd once argued a case before when she strides into the gym. You may be familiar with the archetype from LA Law, Law and Order, and Ally McBeal and such, one of those powerful female presences that exude an intimidating 'Don't pull any fancy attorney crap such as another request for a continuance,' and/or 'You screw with me in any manner no matter how trivial while you're in my courtroom and your ass will be jumping through hoops and up for contempt' aura. This morning however, she was already astride the machine and sported a glow above her thick layer of make-up. Given the position of my machine and hers, I had a body profile view of her and it was not very flattering because all human dignity while on these machines is cheerfully traded in the pursuit of the 'nirvana of sveltness.'

My frosty 'judge' worked more and more feverishly, her painfully thin legs sheathed in a black lycra leotard, her very thin arms tugging at the handles, her hunched (on account of the machine) barrel-like torso draped in a baggy mustard and black striped T-shirt that resembled a carapace, and I immediately thought,'insect'. This woman resembles an insect. I watched riveted. I could not take my eyes off her and, boy, did my twenty two minutes pass quickly for the first time ever. (She always stays on the machine for forty-five minutes, despite there being a time limit of 30 minutes per member per machine in the interests of consideration for fellow members, but not even the staff will approach to remind the 'judge' of the Y's rules. As her time on the machine approached an end, I expected a pair of wings to slowly rise from out of her back and to see her body lift off and set course for the free weight section, her legs drifting wispily like a hornet.

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6 comments:

Dorothea said...

Sitting here, laughing my head off............

By the way, how is Spice doing?

Trevor said...

I don't understand. Who's Soledad O'Brien? What's an elliptical trainer? And why are you arguing with judges in gyms?

Spencer said...

Way funny!

Damian McNicholl said...

Trevor, I think you speed-read the post, but that's okay. Or maybe you were pissed in the Brit sense?

She wasn't a judge and there was no argument. Also, Soledad is one of the morning anchors on CNN here in the US. If you live in the UK, you don't have her.

Damian McNicholl said...

Trevor, I see I forgot to answer your other question. An elliptical trainer is a machine with pedals that operates something between a cross of a stairmaster and a ski-machine. The pedals operate in an elliptical pattern, you can set the machine at various levels of duifficulty, and they give a damned good workout.

Thanks for the comment.

Trevor said...

Ho be the pokey!