They remodeled the gym. All the machines for spinning flywheels and driving up your heart rate – the rowing machines, the stair machines, the cross trainer machines and the stationary bicycles – are way upstairs now (and no elevator!). The good part is they have two televisions, one on the left side, one on the right. So now I can watch TV when I get my cardio workout.

Or I could, if I could figure out the remote control mechanism.

Late Sunday night my wife and I were at the gym. My wife was a floor lower down in an odd-looking contraption she swears works. I went upstairs. The room was empty but for a hot blonde in cutting edge workout wear pedaling away in front of the left-hand television. There was a movie on. You have a TV, you know which one I’m talking about. That black guy from Wild Wild West was dragging an alien across the desert and encountered a bunch of Winnebagos.

I stared at my dark television set for a while as I did the cross trainer thing. Then I got up enough courage to try to turn on my set. I figured I’d watch the same thing, so the soundtracks didn’t clash. But no remote control.

“It’s over here,” she said. “There’s only one for both TVs.”

I thanked her, pointed it at my set and promptly turned hers off.

“Sorry,” I said. Did I say it was dark in the room? She hadn’t turned the lights on. Without the television, I couldn’t even read the buttons on the remote control.

The view out the window was interesting – the local cemetery. Most fitness clubs I’ve worked out in had views of cemeteries for some reason. One was next door to a mortuary.

I finally surrendered the device to her. She was kind enough to turn on my set for me just in time to see an alien vivisection.

Boy was it pissed off!

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