Sunday, 20 May 2012

Like a Shark, I keep moving

Having had my first run I was eager for another and so approached the gym excitedly the next day, aware that I should not try and go too quick. Feeling perky I continued my charm offensive on Ms Rable, the gym receptionist. I treat life like impro, always say the first thing that comes into your head.

"Ooh, you look a bit tired today." I thought this showed concern and that I'd noticed a change in her demeanour. Surely this makes me a nice caring person. She took it like a criticism.

"I ain't got no make-up on."

Again, first thing that comes into my.."You do realise that's a double negative which in fact means you do have make-up on?"

"No. I haven't. I got up late." As she was saying this I realised that she'd changed her hair. Previously it had been brown and curly, today it was straight, shiny and had a red tinge. If only I had said something about that rather than her looking tired. I filed it away for later and walked away from what was now an awkward situation.

On the stairs up to the gym there is a poster which has been there since my first day:

We Are Currently Updating Our Posters.

From what I can see this seems to be taking a rather long time. Not a single poster has changed since I joined. That doesn't make this poster incorrect but it is rather irritating. I decided that the next day I would bring in a post it note: 'No you're not' and see if that created a stir.

Before going on the running machine I go on the bike. This is my version of a warm up but because of my competitive nature I can't help myself wanting to beat the day before. I go too quickly then slow down near the end so that I advance on the previous day's score by just a little, then on to the running. Again I aim to beat the previous day by just a little. I'm running for 15 minutes and I'm aiming for just over 1500 metres. As I said before, it's not quick but it's enough to push the knee, and is actually quite tiring having not had any real cardio work for over six months.

At home, Katie is worried that I will do too much too soon. I explain that I'm running so slowly that the machine thinks I have stopped. I think she believes me. I explain to her how my charm offensive failed. She is never surprised by my lack of ability to talk to or understand women.

"Never tell a woman she looks tired."

"But I was showing concern."

"You might as well have said she's ugly."

"What should I have said?"

"Nothing. Don't talk to women, you don't understand them."

"Her hair looked nice. Should I have said something about that?"

"If you do that she'll think you're trying to chat her up."

"I'm just trying to be friendly, cheer her up."

"Believe me, you can cheer her up by not talking to her."

"Would that cheer you up?"


"Me not talking to you?"

"Right now?"



"Oh, okay. I'll cook the tea."

My next run came the next morning. The bin men, for some reason, keep not taking our bag out of the bin. We were just leaving the house as they went past, without our bin.

"Quick, Daniel, grab the bin bags and run after them."

"You said I shouldn't run too quickly." She grabbed the bags, chucked one at me and set off down the road. "You need to get there first, I'll be too rude." I chuppeted after her, trying to run at a pace no quicker than 1600 metres in 15 minutes, difficult to judge on the street when you're carrying a bin bag. I overtook Katie and got to the bin van. All the way I had been trying to think of a way to broach the subject without sounding middle class and uptight. As I arrived I believed I had succeeded.

Handing him the bag: "What's wrong with our rubbish, not good enough for you?" I said it with a chuckle in my voice just to emphasise that this was a light hearted way of telling him he wasn't doing his job.

"Where was it?" Katie had just arrived.

"Where'd'you think it was? In the 'king bin."

"Alright luv, no need to swear."

"You collect my rubbish" she'd gone all squeaky "and I won't swear." When she gets annoyed her voice goes so high pitched that dogs within 50 metres have to cover their ears.

"Well where was it?" I stepped in, there was glass around and I didn't want it shattered.

"In front of the house, brick building with a door, in the bin, round metal thing with a lid."

"Well I didn't see it."

Katie's head exploded all over the street and I had to drag her away.

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