Take Thy (Chicken) Beak From Out My Heart


As I was leaving the gym tonight, my attention was drawn toward two signs on the wall by the steam room. The first one announced “Free Spinal Checks” from a local chiropractor. It informed me that at least ten different ailments, from headaches to bunions, could be caused by a misalignment of my spine. I cracked my back and moved on to the next sign:

Dear Patrons:

Due to unfortunate circumstances, we will no longer be serving food in our juice bar. However, we will be bringing back free high-speed Internet, and expanding the hours of our juice bar so you can enjoy tasty smoothies and shakes first thing in the morning or late into the evening.
We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause.

The Management

I’m sorry – “any inconvenience this change may cause?” Are they f*ing kidding me?! The number one reason I joined this stupid gym in the first place was the promise of rotisserie chicken on demand! Now what the hell am I supposed to do with my half-filled “Buy 11 Rotisserie Chickens and Get the 12th Rotisserie Chicken Free!” punch card? I mean, it’s not like Bally’s is going to honor this!

Do they think I was born yesterday? I’ve worked in marketing for my entire career – I invented bait and switch! Oh, man. I am going to write a letter – a scathing letter – to “The Management” and let them know exactly how I feel about this “unfortunate circumstance.” They haven’t seen unfortunate yet!

I mean, what a bunch of crap. So, like, one well-intentioned and eager new member accidentally leaves a rotisserie chicken leg on the treadmill, and another careless gym-goer impales himself on a chicken femur, and suddenly we have to ban rotisserie chicken altogether? I’d like to see them try to go 30 minutes on the treadmill at 2.0 incline and 4.0 speed without eating anything! IT CAN’T BE DONE!

Okay Big Brother. Why don’t you control what I watch on TV while I’m working out on your newly chicken-free elliptical trainers? Why don’t you tell me what I can and cannot listen to on my iPod while doing the thigh-squeezy machine? Why don’t you stop me from doing that back exercise on that one machine just because I’m sitting in it backwards and could do permanent damage to my spine? (Okay, actually, I kind of appreciated that one… but still!)

I’m not just going to sit back and take this. Beginning tomorrow, I’m getting a petition started to bring back the poultry! You can break down my muscles, but you will never break my spirit!
Attica! Attica!

The Blogologist

This past weekend, I was telling a group of friends about my recent bar room interrogation, and how I realized that I’m not really quick enough with the lies. One of my friends revealed her secret weapon for dealing with such situations: make up an absurd profession and the rest of the lies will just flow like water.
“So what do you tell people you do?”
“I say I’m a dolphin trainer.”
“A dolphin trainer? Okay, you’ve got to be joking. Who would believe that?”
“Lots of people. I tell them I work at the Shedd Aquarium.”
“What if they ask you how you train dolphins?”
“I say they’re actually really easy to train. They’re a lot like dogs. Really intelligent, they have very distinct personalities. It’s really rewarding work.”
“Okay, that’s insane.”
“Works every time.”
As outlandish as this seemed, I was intrigued. Maybe I needed a fake career, too. It would have to be something normal enough to be believable, yet complex enough that people wouldn’t ask too many questions. So I consulted my friends:
“Hey guys – maybe I want a pretend job, too.”
“All right – what do you want to be?”
“I’m not sure… I think I’d like it to be kind of scientific, but a little uncommon. Maybe something that ends in -ologist.”
“Like a cosmetologist?”
“No, more scientific, like an ophthalmologist. My brother’s an ophthalmologist, so I could probably fake my way through that one. No, wait – I want to work at the Field Museum! What are those people who study bugs? I could say I’m in charge of the butterfly displays at the Field Museum!”
“Yeah. I’m totally going to be an entomologist.”
“Yeah, that’s sick, Jenny. How about a paleontologist?”
“No, that’s lame.”
“Bugs are better than dinosaurs?”
“At least bugs still exist. Paleontologists are just living in the past. Oh! I just read about this new kind of scorpion they discovered, along with like 20 different species of bugs, in some caves somewhere. I could use that anecdote to prove I’m an entomologist!”
“Somehow I think people will believe you’re an entomologist without any help.”
“Thanks! Hey, wait a minute!”
[In the event that I pick a fake career like an entomologist, for example, and then someone says, “Really? My dad is an entomologist. What’s your area of specialization?” I’ll need to have a backup career. That way I can say, “Entomologist? No, you heard me wrong – I said endocrinologist.” I am now amassing a list of fake –ologist careers to keep in my back pocket, so let me know if you have any to add to the list. Thanks!]