Confessions of a Frustrated Blogger

17 04 2010

Such a sad, strange, man.

Disassociated Press, 4/16/10

Zach Arnold takes a long drag off his Marlboro Light before tapping the ash down to the concrete.  He’s a short man, rotund.  Comparable to the Penguin, one of Batman’s several nemeses.  Or perhaps that Travelocity gnome, which proclaims affordable deals for all travelers.  Tonight, however, as we sit on the patio of a TGI Friday’s, he most resembles what several of his generation have become…a frustrated blogger.

“You see people…” He takes another drag off his cigarette.  “…When most people go online, they aren’t looking to expand their worldview.  Nah, they wanted to do that, they’d read a book or…or a newspaper.  Nah, when people get online, they’re looking for escapist entertainment.  I mean, how else can you explain LOLcats and keyboard cats and dramatic animals…”

I nod.  Not in agreement, but to avert Arnold’s eyes as I close out my Twitter page on my iPhone.  Our drinks arrive.  The waiter sets my cranberry juice in front of me, and a Yuengling with a tiny umbrella inserted into the mouth is placed in front of Zach.  “That makes it classy,” He chuckles, pulling the umbrella out, nearly stabbing himself as he sucks out what little beer was absorbed into the wood of the toothpick.  He then asks me where he was.  I slide my notes over to him, which he pores over with intent eyes.

“LOLcats…dramatic animals…right, yeah.” He shoves my notepad back over toward me before leaning back in his chair, the tempered steel of the seat groaning under the massive pressure his grotesque body exerts upon it.  “Now, you see, I started blogging a while back.  Probably 2002, 2003, something like that.  And at first I was having fun with it.  LiveJournal.  Just putting random thoughts down, entertaining the few friends that read it.  Then I got to thinking that hey, I could use my writing prowess for something productive.  Get some debate going.  I was having people write some decent comments out, so why not fan the flames a little?  The first entry was supposed to foster a discussion on if our President at the time, George W. Bush, was using appropriate measures in his fight against terrorism.  I put that blog up and guess what?  Not one single comment.  Only 2 hits.  I know one of them was mine because I logged in at the library, see if anyone had posted anything.  That night, I put up a post debating the merits between eating ice cream in the hot seasons, and eating ice cream in the cold seasons.  Know how many hits that one got me?  65.  The writing was on the wall, baby.”

I had no idea why Mr. Arnold had addressed me as “baby”, but decided to push that aside.  This man was obviously getting drunk off one beer, or had been drinking before arriving at Friday’s.  I glanced at my watch.  Where the hell were my fried green beans?  A loud belch from across the table snapped my attention back toward my portly interviewee.  Swallowing the small amount of bile that had crept into my throat, I asked him to continue.

“Let’s see…ah, yeah, after that LiveJournal thing, I stumbled onto blogspot, and spent maybe a year or so using that thing.  My heart wasn’t really into it, though, and I stopped posting maybe 8 months in.  But!” He exclaimed, snickering as he leaned forward, resting his short arms against the table.  “I got asked to join this spectacular improv group, called Made of Bees.  And whaddya know, we get a website going on WordPress.”

I nodded again, this time in agreement.  Yes, Made of Bees was an improv group nothing short of phenomenal.  Over the past two years, they had entertained hundreds of people, leaving a residue of hilarity with every crowd they encountered.  Truly, greatness personified.

My eyes return to Mr. Arnold, who while I pontificated on the magnificence that is MoB, had fallen asleep.  A quick shake arose him from his slumber, followed by five minutes of assuring him that yes, only five minutes had passed.

“Sorry about that.  Anyway, I decide that hey, I’m in this group, I need to start contributing in some way, other than sheer sexiness.” He leers at me, a sloppy grin across his face before continuing.  “So I start writing on there.  And I figure that since we’re a comedy group, I need to write some funny stuff.  So I had blogs about me and my cousin wrestling in the backyard, how I named my sideburns, all that crap.”  Arnold accosts our server just as she places my appetizer down, requesting another Yuengling with umbrella, punctuating his drink order with a “darlin'”.  After watching our server leave, he continues.  “So I get a few posts into it, and once again, I got people putting comments up!  Telling me how they’re enjoying the hilarity and cleverness and that they’re looking forward to my next tale.  Once again I had ’em in the palm of my hand.”

Arnold looks off into space, a mix of nostalgia and drunkenness clouding his eyes.  “I had power.  That felt good.  It felt…right.  But I wanted to use this power for good.  To bring some light into this world.  So I started writing some satirical stuff, like about how Obama was getting in trouble because he wanted to address all the schoolkids.  People reacted well to that.  And once I got that reaction, it was like a drug.”

His euphoria wouldn’t last long, however.  Arnold’s eyes grow dark as he begins the next part of his saga.  “And then…Aaron had to come and screw it all up.”

Aaron Grant, another member of the spectacular Made of Bees, was also a regular contributor.  He had written three pieces.  One decrying the former Ukrop’s market chain for utilizing senior citizens as cart pushers, and two which detailed his adventures in the gym.  The first entry discussed a woman with a horrible tattoo on her lower back, while the other discussed the inability of old men in gym locker rooms to be clothed.

“And what do you know?” Arnold slurs, his eyes closing and opening slowly.  “When I come back on to check the blog, the views on Grant’s entries sky-freaking-rocketed.  I looked at the search terms, the words people used to get to the site.  I was…shocked when I saw that 20 people had come to the site using the search term ‘elderly nudes’.  I mean, ‘elderly nudes’? What kind of sick freak looks up ‘elderly nudes’?”

A plethora of them, apparently.  Grant’s blog entries quickly became the crown jewel of MoB’s site.  In fact, his first volume on the disturbing things he’s seen in his gym has garnered over 3,500 views alone.  That’s almost half of the total page views for the Bees’ site itself.

I look back at Arnold, who is now weeping openly.  There, at this TGI Friday’s, sits a broken man.

“I’m done, baby…” Again with the baby.  I brush it off.  “…From now on, no more suave political commentary.  No satirical stuff.  Just straight, flat-out funny stories about my life.  I mean, everyone loves to hear stories about fat guys getting stuck on things, right?”

I assure him he’s correct.  He smiles a sad smile, leaning back in his chair, of which the legs are now bowing out.  “I’m proud of Grant, I am.  That boy knows what the people want.”

I nod in silent concurrence, glancing back at my iPhone, enjoying a silent triumph as I become the new mayor of Friday’s in 4square.  My victory is only slightly marred by my now-cold fried green beans.

Fin

-ZA





Disturbing Things I Have Seen At the Gym: VOL 2

31 07 2009

Last week we went on a grand adventure, where middle aged woman with tramp stamps roamed the earth. This week, ladies and gentlemen, we dive head first into the world of the elderly male athlete!

AHHHHHHHHHHHH

Yes I know, it is a scary tale, but together we can survive it!

Any good gym provides its patrons with adequate changing facilities.  A few lockers, toilets, showers, and occasionally a sweet sauna room, but there are certain individuals who constantly abuse these amenities. A demographic who assume that the men’s locker room should have a “make yourself at home” policy.  You all know who I’m talking about! That’s right, the old men. The guys who are always butt ass naked. There is no logical or scientific explanation as to why these elderly males deem it necessary to always be stark nude. Any time you enter a men’s locker room at your local gym, you are guaranteed to see a pale, wrinkled apparition.

DumbbellCurlOnLegStart

I have been going to the gym long enough that I have gotten use to these images. I am no longer bothered by what looks like an old naked big foot sitting on the bench next to me. It has now become part of the gym experience. But what I saw the other day, would make Hiroshima look like a botanical garden.

I had entered the locker room expecting to see the normal amount of old man ass. Of course when I first walk in, there are two gentlemen carrying on a conversation while naked. This didn’t really surprise me so I continued looking for an empty locker. I placed my things in the locker and began to change. Another older gentlemen exits the shower and takes off his towel as he reaches the locker containing his belongings. Again, this isn’t anything new, so I continued about my business, lacing up my sneakers. As I was finishing the change, I noticed the plump, elder had retrieved his socks from his Nike gym bag. I thought this a bit odd considering the man was just standing in the middle of the locker room without any cloths on. In my mind, the underoos are the first clothing item any man should reach for. It is only polite to cover your twig and berries as soon as humanly possibly. But for some reason old men love being naked. I’m telling you, its a science oddity!

bball 32005 012b

As I get up to exit the men’s locker room, the elderly fellow goes over to put on his socks. Bent over full moon, I get a sneak preview at this man’s backdoor entrance, along with tickle whistle, and shriveled prunes. For that split second I felt like I was about to give this man his yearly prostate exam.

I still wake up from nightmares.

-AG





Disturbing Things I Have Seen at the Gym VOL: 1

23 07 2009

I feel as if Zach Arnold is stealing all the blog glory! So I felt compelled to add my own little flavor. Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to a blog-ment (it was my clever way of combining blog and segment) I like to call: Disturbing Things I Have Seen at the Gym!!

1_gymEmpty

Being a pretty active fellow I spend a good amount of time in the gym. I tend to zone out, get the workout in, and get out. But every now and then something peculiar, out of the ordinary, and just down right not meant for human eyes, will catch my attention. Last week I was at American Family fitness doing a couple reps of dumbbell deadlifts (1,000 to be exact), when God himself thought it necessary to come down from the heavens to punish my eyes, AND overall mental state.

No more than 2 feet from my designated work out area, that I had clearly marked with droplets of sweat, an intruder had arrived. Now I am not a gym snob by any means. You know, those guys who feel it necessary to use all the equipment at once, and choose to condescendingly smirk at you when it’s finally your turn. I just simply want a little bit of room, so that I’m not constantly having to dodge people in the middle of my set.

This was no ordinary intruder, no, it was a middle aged African-American woman sporting a “flock of seagulls mixed with Fresh Prince of Bel-are” hair do, and Baby Phat attire. And lets just say that she did not fit these close the way a grown, mature woman should. The hot pink tank top she was wearing only went down to about mid-bellybutton. Just enough to cover the start of her happy trail. Thank you for only halfway scaring me for life. The tight black workout pants she was wearing, hugged her legs making them both look like giant man eating caterpillars.

6a010536846743970c011571280332970b-800wi

I was already at workout mix song number 5, so I was able to zone this hideous sight out. As I was doing my reps I notice she is doing lying flys. Which, if you are not aware,  is basically laying on your back and opening your arms and closing them like a butterfly (with weights of course). This strategic move, allowed the ever so lovely “Baby Phat” to share with me, and the rest of the gentlemen in the gym, that she was not very good and shaving her armpits. And you say: “But Aaron, this is disgusting enough, please stop the post!”, and I say, nay my friends, it gets worse.

Once she is done, she begins to return to an upright position on the bench. Of course because her hot pink Baby Phat shirt is three sizes too small it begins to ride up her, surprise, hairy lower back. As the shirt is slowly escaping the almost certain doom of her butt crack, I begin to see the revealing of what looks like a tramp stamp. Am I surprised? Of course not, this far into the story, it should be obvious this woman would have a tramp stamp (lower back tattoo). As her shirt was wondering up I began to wonder what the tattoo could be. A butterfly perhaps, maybe some sort of flower. I was naive to assume it would be anything remotely beautiful. The shirt finally and fully revealed the entire tattoo, and in cursive it read:

VERY SEXY!

-AG