Friday, June 24, 2011

RE: 'Tis the Season for Fitness Humor...It's Not that It's NOT Time to Get Fit

The Not Not List…10 Reasons to Not Not Be Fit

I love lists, don’t you? I’m thrilled by the power that surges through me as I check-off one nagging task after another, watching my chores dwindle from countless to count ‘em down.

Daily, I leave brightly colored pieces of paper in my wake with “To Do” emblazoned on the top of the page, heading up the most scintillating tasks known to woman; buy cat food, make bank deposit, acquire drain unclogging liquid, and “Be Here Now.”

Everything from menial tasks to mantras of inspiration are reflected on these shreds of paper which also document my hobby of running hither and thither.

In a nod to my love of lists and humor applied to just about anything, including fitness and test taking experiences of all things, I’ve created this particular “Not Not” list.

The general provenance of “Not Not” lists comes by way of my experiences as an adolescent student when I navigated countless test questions that ended with: “Which of the following answers do not best describe…”

These drove me crazy because I spent my entire educational career matriculating toward the right answers, so why on earth were the blasted test makers having us identify the wrong answers? I swear I heard electricity in my brain whenever I was presented with this ilk of examination.

(Also, truth be told, I’m also somewhat of a closet “knock, knock” joke fan, so “Not Not” is designed to sound like that classic joke set-up.)

The “Not Not” is not just for lists either. The reference can also work as a conversational gambit, such as when folks ask you for money.

“It’s not that I’m not interested in donating to your organization.” This leaves them confused and you off the hook.

In honor of the fact that summer seems to have finally arrived and with it the moment of truth that is, “Oh, no, my traditional build does not bode well for swimsuit season,” I will address the topic of fitness.

Even now, as I skim the aisles for a beach burka that will highlight the parts of my body that actually do illustrate the fact that I work out, I have come face-to-face with that never fun, always true revelation – I’ve got to stop eating the wrong things.

Since I will not be spending my summer stuffing my piehole with pie I must stuff my mind with humor, so here is a Low-Cal helping.Ten Reasons to Not Not Be Fit:

1. During the parent-teacher conference you’ll be able to avoid that cursed excuse, “Oh, no I’m not stuck in the chair, I’ve just got a kink in my leg” when trying to escape the student chair that has you wrapped like a human burrito;

2. Not having to assert that you’re big-boned and from hardy stock when you’re 5’2,” wear a size five shoe and you hail from people who paid people who were of hardy stock to do things that your decidedly non-hardy clan couldn’t;

3. Once and for all you can put an end to those “Red Rover” flashbacks from childhood when you simply couldn’t make it over;

4. You will no longer have to make excuses for your “does not play well with others” metabolism that always seem to include the words “thyroid,” “medication” and “mumu”;

5. Squeaking furniture will no longer sound accusatory;

6. Driving up hills won’t wear you out;

7. You can postpone the improvement of your personality, instead drafting off of the fact that your fit body will encourage more looking than talking;

8. You will no longer need to generate fantastical stories like, “I’m in the witness protection program” to justify your NO PICTURES policy;

9. You’ll be able to quit saying, “This runs small,” even when you’re talking about jewelry;

10. When others say they need to get fit, you’ll just smile, flex your new muscles, and mentally cross this one off your To Do list.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

RE: PRONING THE ACCIDENT...humor about being a wee bit accident prone...

Proning the Accident

I’m a wee bit accident prone and though there isn’t a support group, or 12-step recovery program for this condition, the distinction may at least merit qualification as an unofficial club.

I will call those of us who possess this tendency “proners.” (I almost said for the sake of clarity, but even I know that’s a bit of a stretch.)

I often joke I can dance, but I can’t walk because I not only bump into inanimate objects on an almost hourly basis, but I have patented a type of running trip that often lands me somewhere I wasn’t planning to go, narrowly avoiding full implementation of my full coverage insurance.

My clumsiness has always been a part of my life, but as I’ve gotten more – mature – I seem to have incorporated a new twist into my customary movements around this earth. I don’t even notice when they‘ve occurred.

It isn’t unusual for me to be told things like: Your zipper is down, your hair is stuck in the car window and your sweatshirt is zipped over your seatbelt, often at the same time.

This worries me when I watch elder care commercials and the words “surrendering your estate,” “power of attorney” and “best placement of least restraint” flash by.

Proners beget proners and clumsiness begets antics and that brings me to my mum.

She has always been a source of slapstick comedy and, thus, hours of amusement. She is Lucy and we’ve always had a “Lucy and Ethel” sort of relationship.

Instead of stuffing chocolates in our faces as the conveyor belt runs rampant we‘ve found ourselves stuffing overdue bills in our purses as my father wonders why we never seem to receive any mail.

And speaking of my father. He was a hilarious guy, there’s no doubt about it, but his physical comedy chops were unparalleled, albeit unplanned.

One sweltering summer we were engaged in the delightful pursuit of the American Dream that is traveling via motorhome, necessitating the purchase of a cooling unit due to the aforementioned swelter.

I can still see my father standing at the front of the vehicle, explaining to us all how he had installed a fan right up front and we needed to watch our heads. He cautioned us that if we were “…too stupid to avoid the fan, then I don’t feel sorry for you. I’m only going to tell you this one time. Watch your head.” It’s not like I retained a transcript, but that is the phrase we chant when my family tells the story.

As my father climbed off his makeshift podium he managed to snag the edge of the newly installed fan with his noggin, causing him to shift his weight slightly. We didn’t say a word.

One hour later we were at the side of the road taking a potty break – ya gotta love the comforts of the Winnebago – the motor home as opposed to the American Indians – when my father attempted to scoot back into his seat. It looked as though he was going to clear that multi-bladed contraption too, but it all went wrong in a split second and he managed to wing the side of his head.

We immediately guffawed, covering nicely with some coughing. Later that day we pulled over again to enjoy a nourishing, motorhome-cooked meal which always seemed to contain three elements: meat, potatoes, and a can of vegetables. In short, the same fare as we had at home.

As my father made his way past the almost-regular-sized table located behind the driver’s seat, he nearly made it to the driver’s seat, but at the last second he hit his head so hard on the fan that the force threw him down the aisle, bouncing him all the way back down the aisle like an errant pinball in a pinball machine.

We never saw the fan again and I suspect it disappeared somewhere in the oil fields of Texas, arcing into the derrick-dotted landscape.

To this day I cannot look at a fan without chuckling, which makes for some interesting moments when I’m by myself purchasing a fan during my own sweltering summer.