Free Jim!!!

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Today was highly productive. I had to cancel the newest class I was meant to audit, Playhouse West, as I no longer had a mode of transport to and back. The Bucket was still not returned by Robbie so I presume he’s happy with the present. Not really up for paying a $80 taxi for the round trip either, cabs are a rip-off in LA!

So, as I was saying, it was a highly productive day. I managed to apply for a few jobs on-line, go food shopping and go to the gym. Wuu. I would highly recommend living close to a few gyms if you ever move to LA, or any city in America probably. The ones I live close to are tres expensive, at least $150-$250 dollars a month and they tie you down to a 2 year contract, which are meant to be even harder than a full nelson to get out of. But, if you’re clever, they’re free. And if a gay dude takes a fancy to you, they are free for longer. My first week here I went up to Crunch gym which is just around the corner from where I live. Spoofed on how I was really looking forward to joining for the next few years, such a nice gym, we don’t have gyms like these in Ireland, my God this place is amazing. Any chance of a free pass for the week?

So, you fill out the form for the free pass, email, address, phone number etc. I’d advise saving the gym’s phone number straight away so you know its them when they call and you can dodge. And they call the minute your foot touches the ground outside the door. “Hey Merrick, this is so and so from Crunch/Equinox/24 Hour Fitness, how was your first visit? Would you like to join? We have a great deal on today and its only for you.” You can literally look back in the window and see them on the phone to you, giving you a big wave full of American enthusiasm. Or just give them a wrong number. Although not always the best option as it turns out.

First week I went for Crunch, second week I went for Equinox, third week I went for 24 Hour Fitness. Crunch and Equinox are full of ridiculously hot women and gay dudes. So its balanced for the area I live in. 24 Hour Fitness is borderline gay porn. No joke. When my week was up in Equinox and I had dodged enough calls from them for them to give up, I checked Google Maps for the next closest gym to me. 24 Hour Fitness. I didn’t ask my roommates what it was like as I just presumed it would be the same as the other two.

Straight away I get a weird, different, even friendlier vibe in 24 Hour Fitness. Rainbows everywhere. Only guys in the guys changing room. Weird. Something was definitely up, ha. So as I walk around lost looking for the weights room, I kind of thought it was weird that an old old guy was just sitting in jeans and a headband, no top, just kind of watching people work out. As in staring at people and giving them shrugged eyebrows and a smile as they walked by. And guys like the dude with the wig and spandex pants would shrug their eyebrows back and hug each other. But anyways, continued on, looking for some machine or something I recognized to avoid too much eye contact with people in there. Maybe the machine is behind the two guys kissing. I’ll check later. Maybe over there where some guy was telling another guy I will bite it off if you do that again. Still not sure what he was going to bite but I still couldn’t find what I was looking for. That guy over there seems to recognize me, trying to get my eye contact, keeps saying hi and nodding his head towards the steam room. Hang on buddy, I must get my weights session in first! When two guys started to pretend to simulate stuff next to me, jokingly in fairness, but still, I decided this wasn’t the best time for me to be here.

The walk home was a bit numb. What just happened. Was I part of a gay orgy somehow? After I get home and tell my roommate about it, she’s just in shock that I was there. She asks me half jokingly but a bit serious “Are you gay?’. I give her a “Ha, no, why?” Apparently, that gym is the gay gym, where only gay guys go, and the showers is where you wash down and hook up. Basically, if you’re in there, its assumed you’re gay and looking to hook up. Good to know now. Would’ve been even better to have known before then.

So I ask her is it normal that the two other gyms keep ringing me, plaguing me to join, leaving me messages on the hour every hour. It is. Is it normal that this guy from Crunch keeps ringing me and giving me his personal cell number in the messages, to call him anytime about anything. He’s here to help. Did I know there’s a great new bar opened up on Sunset. I’d love it. We should so go. Is that kind of message normal? It’s not. Ok.

Its only day two of my weekly free pass and I have no intention of going back to 24 Hour Fitness. Purely because they didn’t have the right equipment that suited me. Obviously. Im gym-less six days sooner than expected. I must put visa application, job hunting, acting classes, writing, everything on hold until this major issue is sorted. The next closest gym is a good 35 minute walk. Bob Hope. Time to make the return call. Sell my soul. “Hey buddy from Crunch, Merrick here, did you see Queer Eye For The Straight Guy last night? Oh, its not on anymore. Anyways I really want to join for the 2 years but might have to go home soon for a week and Ill join when I get back. Anything you can do? You’ll put me on the system until I leave? Sorted? Cheers. Yeah, it is a fabulous day. What am I up to? Do I have plans? Oh no, my battery is about to g…”

That was about a month ago and my free pass is still going strong. My buddy who hooked me up told me to call in some time too to say hi. He told me he works 9 until 5 every day. Unfortunately, with my busy schedule of classes, work, food shopping, sleeping, eating and buying & selling a bucket I have only been able to make it in there after 7 whenever I go. Ill fit it in someday this week. Could be dodge tomorrow though. Laundry is piling up.

Here’s a great song too on behalf of 24 Hour Fitness and all the other Jims out there…Hey Muscles I Love You by Muscles. Muscles – Hey Muscles I Love You

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