Heeeey, I'm back!* This blog is about how to eat good on bitch money.

*This is a lie.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bait and switch!

Those bastards!

Okay, I renounced the prize money, right? Because after having cheated in, I counted, five different ways for three months, I not only lost a larger percentage of body mass than anyone else, I also achieved a kind of moral nirvana in which I became more honest and true to principle than anyone else in the contest at least and probably the entire country. And once again all because of horseracing, the sport of spotless saints.

At the "awards" "banquet," I found out from the hastily appointed leader of this farcical affair (a sweet, harmless boy who should never have been saddled with this nightmare--he hardly qualifies as a Gym Person, and it is my hope that he will escape before he becomes... Like The Others) that even had I not lost a single pound during that final ten days when I ramped up the cheating to heights never before achieved except by jockeys who are dead today, I still would have beaten Slick. I had only to maintain. So no spitting, no hotbox, no evil, cynical blood donating, no renal failure. When I heard that and thought about the chunk of change I was giving up in refusing to sign the purity pledge, I almost collapsed, and not just because all I'd had to eat that day were a couple loaves of bread and a pineapple and a turkey. I thought I would have to spend the rest of my life kicking myself. But I was very wrong in this surmise. In fact, I have never before been so richly rewarded for momentarily declining to indulge in the delicious falsehoods that are my usual fare. To say I dodged a bullet would be a crime not so much because "dodged a bullet" is a cliché but because it would be such a monstrous understatement.

This post is about what happened at the potluck awards banquet.

First, here is all the bad stuff I nipped neatly around:

*The feeble opener: they announced that they'd changed the rules. Now instead of a first place winner and a second place winner, there would be an overall male winner and an overall female winner. Translation? No glory whatsoever. I could've shambled along in low gear the whole way and been two points behind Slick and still won top honors. Pa to the thetic.

*The bombshell: They announced that they weren't going to award cash prizes. Apparently, any prize over $600 they have to fill out forms with the IRS and you have to report it on your tax return. So why didn't they give the first place winner $600 and $150 worth of Rice-a-Roni? Why didn't they give the second place winner $350 as per the original contract? Because they are a bunch of shifty double crossing GYM PEOPLE, that's why! I shouldn't have trusted a word they said from the get-go!

*The nuclear warhead: the "prize" to the first place winners, plural, male and female, was nine months free GYM MEMBERSHIP and a few hours of time in the company of your choice of the know-nothing personal trainers (Earlton excepted from the know-nothing class). I could have colleagued with Satan and signed their purity pledge. Then I'd've won nine months more of going to Step, Jump and Pump and PowerJamz "classes." Nine months of being told to "engage your core." Nine months of looking at other patrons' CoolerThanThou steel water bottles. Nine months of yogablab, which is Hindi translated into English and then re-translated into new millennium Americanese about breath. I don't want to listen to you tell me to listen to my breath, Gym People. I don't want to hear you say the word "core" or the word "breath." I don't want to hear you tell me to "take it to a march, take the march to the right, now give me a knee for four! Grapevine left!" I don't want to hear you Gym People. I don't want to hear you. Ever. Again. (Earlton excepted. I love Earlton.)

Next, great stuff that happened!

* My friend won! My friend (who didn't cheat in any of the five ways or any other ways that I know of) won FIRST PRIZE! And my friend likes the Gym and the Gym People--all of them, not just Earlton! So the nine months plus training sessions are actually an okay prize, though, of course, bullshit compared to the $350 that would've been the prize had the doublecrossing bastards stuck with the original contract we all signed.

* My friend and I had the wrong guy pegged as Slick! The real Slick was not the demonic blancmange I had been thinking, but this totally inoffensive quiet chappy with a ponytail who never made a moment's trouble for anybody. The other Slick was also pretty inoffensive and quiet and also made no trouble, but somehow the difference in haircuts enabled me to pile on the hate for the imposter Slick. Bizarre, and probably the result of decreased lipids to the brain.

* A little consolation prize: I signed up to bring a quiche to the "awards" "banquet", but the quiche in Q refused to set up in the oven despite the fact that I left it in a full 40 minutes longer than it said to in the recipe. Which meant that I brought something that looked delicious and all Martha Stewart but that nobody obsessed with healthy eating could touch, since it was essentially a panful of lightly browned raw eggs. So I, the purest of conscience and the paragon of low bodymass, wronged, deprived of my prize by the throngs of lesser-thans surrounding me, I at last revenged myself by eating everybody else's food. And I did not have to share my own perfect food with the tiresome children and significant others of a bunch of low-percentile gobblers of steel-cut oats who could not reduce their body mass if they had both hands tied behind their back and their hair was on fire. I went home with my quiche unmolested and put it back in the oven and my friend the prizewinner and I ate a pile of it while we watched the debates and drank elephant liquor (recommended). Then for the next several days I and my other beloved friends and my dear, cherished family polished the quiche off and no Gym Person had so much as a crumb of its delicious pecan crumblecrust. This is my kind of Gym People potluck.


Robin P said...

Nom, focus on the good stuff: you are eating again, and you aren't a Wall Street investment banker.

Sorry about the Gym People rip-off. If it were for more money, you could sue them. What they did was illegal. But unless you turned it into a class-action lawsuit, and found some good Samaritan lawyer (perhaps at a liberal legal-action foundation), it wouldn't be worth it, UNLESS the gym is part of a national franchise. Otherwise, all you would do is drive the gym out of business.

A quiche with pecan-crumble crust? Nice touch. It sounds delicious. How come you didn't cook like that when I made my first (imaginary) visit in July? (smile)

Nom, nom, nom! said...

I did! I cooked exactly like that! The whole time! You just forgot about it because you were so obsessed with redecorating the rumpus room downstairs you barely knew what you were putting in your mouth. Not that I'm complaining. I love the Miro-esque murals you painted with hand-harvested ochre from the south of france and the in-ground trampoline you made fast became my favorite place to go to meditate on revenge plots. I know you would've preferred a patriotic gourd theme, but you were so adaptable. I think that's the mark of a true artist.

Maybe my new project could be to sue the Gym People in one of those Cali small claims courts that doubles as a TV show!!! One time I stayed home all day and watched TV and there appear to be about 500 of those TV-show courts to choose from.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's so funny you referenced They Shoot Horses Don't They at the start of your blog because *MOVIE SPOILER ALERT* things do not turn out well for our young marathon dancing couple due to some Gym People type actions.

Robin P said...

O.K., Nom, I'm thinking back to that weekend now... I believe I suppressed the memory because you insisted on eating your quiche on a picnic at a festival of Amway sales people, many of whom had not made their sales quota that week. It was all I could do to stop from striking one of them.

But, in a non sequitur, make a cloved orange, but don't eat it. Put it your drawer of dainties, or wherever you want a pleasant smell. Simply get about an ounce of cloves (not inexpensive, unfortu) and one decent-looking orange. Now proceed to insert the cloves over the entire surface of the orange. Your thumb will have an imprint on it when you are done, and your fingers will smell like a combination of clove and orange juice, which is wonderful. In a few days, the orange will begin shrinking, until it is small, hard, and impervious to fungus and bugs. It will also exude a wonderful odor for a long time. Your grandma called such things "sachets", but a kind-of manly man such as myself doesn't use that word. I call it "cool". You can thank my Mom for this inedible 'recipe'.

Nom, nom, nom! said...

The actual word for those cloven orange things is "pomander."

Robin P said...

Nom, what's going on? You seem down and verbally-unplayful. Is it from being ethical in the face of the Gym People, or what?

BTW, you aren't quite on the mark with calling my Mom's cloved orange a 'pomander' Here is what your formerly-beloved Answers.com has to say about the word:
(pō'măn'dər, pō-măn'-) pronunciation


1. A mixture of aromatic substances enclosed in a bag or box as a protection against odor or infection, formerly worn on one's person but now usually placed in a dresser drawer or closet.
2. A case, box, or bag for holding this mixture.

[Middle English pomendambre, alteration of Old French pome d'embre, apple of amber, from Medieval Latin pōmum dē ambrā : pōmum, apple, ball (from Latin, fruit) + Latin dē, of; see de– + ambrā, ablative of ambra, amber; see amber.]
But my choice of 'sachet' is a synonym for 'pomander', so the cloved orange is really its own thing. It isn't a bag or a box filled with perfume, but two formerly-living plant substances turned into a wonderful fragrance device.

So there. Make one and feel better, please.

Nom, nom, nom! said...

Robin, Robin... I worry about you. "Cloven orange" is plenty playful. And you of all people ought to know better than to mount a Scrabble challenge with nothing to get your back but the feeble "Answers.com." No one armed with that pitifully meagre assemblage of minutiae could possibly prevail against me, for I have at my beck the lexical supernova that is the Oxford English Dictionary. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station:

pomander, n.
2. a. Originally: a mixture of aromatic substances, usually made into a ball, and carried in a small box or bag (see sense 1) in the hand or pocket, or suspended by a chain from the neck or waist, esp. as protection against infection or unpleasant smells (now hist.). Later also: A PIECE OF FRUIT (ESP. AN ORANGE) STUCK WITH CLOVES and usually tied with ribbon, which may be hung in a wardrobe, used as a decoration, etc. [CAP SHRIEKING ADDED]

1492 in S. Bentley Excerpta Hist. (1833) 90 To one that brought the King a box with pomandre 10s. 1509 S. HAWES Pastime of Pleasure XXVII. 125 The rofe was..Knotted with pomaunders right swetely, Encencing out the yll odours misty. 1562 W. BULLEIN Bk. Simples f. 59v, in Bulwarke of Defence, A precious Pomamber to be worne against foule stinkyng aire. 1577 J. FRAMPTON tr. N. Monardes Three Bookes II. f. 84v, Makyng a Pomander of it, mingled with Muske, Lignaloe, it doeth comfort the braines. 1628 G. WITHER Britain's Remembrancer II. 9 Or like Pomanders of a curious Sent. 1683 London Gaz. No. 1804/4, A little Gold Box, with a sweet Pomander in it. 1710 R. STEELE Tatler No. 245 2 Bracelets of braided Hair, Pomander, and Seed-Pearl. 1790 Golden Cabinet (ed. 3) 128 Of making pomanders for bracelets. 1852 THACKERAY Henry Esmond II. xi. 204 The courtier..bowed out of the room, leaving an odour of pomander behind him. 1864 N. HAWTHORNE Dolliver Rom. (1879) 23 Pomanders, and pomades, the scented memory of which lingered about their toilet tables. 1931 E. S. ROHDE Scented Garden viii. 219 Pomanders, Etc... well over a year. 1946 J. DE BOTH Mod. Househ. Encycl. 237/1 Pomanders may be made from apples, oranges, or lemons.to make, select firm fruit and stick whole cloves into entire surface; hang in clothes closet or place in dresser drawers. 1963 Good Housek. Home Encycl. (rev. ed.) 367/2 The pomander..looks prettier if tied round with ribbon or tinsel, with a loop for hanging it up. 1997 R. PORTER Greatest Benefit to Mankind v. 125 They recommended sniffing amber-scented nosegays and pomanders and administering strong-smelling herbs.

You are right, though: a pomander SHOULD make me feel better, and if I were a better, kinder sort, it WOULD. I'm afraid that what I chiefly need, however, to cheer me up these hideously crisp fall days, is a whole bunch of obesity and "My doctor is a dickhead!" posts on the Well blog. There haven't been any fights on there in days and days and days, it's just a lovefest lately, and it's frankly very dispiriting. Bring back the petty rage-fests, people, damn!

Robin P said...

Nom, I bow to you and your OED-ification. (scrape, scrape, grovel, grovel...)

But, your Word Highness, I need to tell you that one of the best things I ordered from Book-Of-the-Month Club (hereafter BOMC) was a condensed 2-volume version of the OED with a cool, deep-blue cardboard drawer on the top of it, with a magnifying glass in it. And you needed that magnifier, too, because the typeface was like .01 size, or some such. So I used to be an edumacated person, too!

This was all just about when you were glad to be getting out of junior high school (1980). I thought I might be a scholar back in those heady, youthful days. Alas, I am too lazy and low-energy to ever be such a creature.

Yes, my dear ole' Mom showed me how to a make a pomander when I was sick as a dog during my second-grade year at Hammerschimdt Elementary school in Lombard, Illinois (a 'Far West' suburb of Chicago back before Chicago turned into Megalopolis). I nearly had to stay back a grade because I was sick for so long. But it was not a taxing school and I was one of the brighter students there.

Re the Well blog, you have been completely absent from its pages. And there have been a number of complaints about doctors on a few of its entries. You, dearie-bee, need to get over there and mix it up with somebody, and dazzle us all with your creative writing style, which mine pales in comparison to.