Freudian Slips: Iron Supplements

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

September 07, 2006

Iron Supplements

"I'm going to be murder at the gym when I get older, Dad."

In the sweaty recesses of my gym, I often overhear an extraordinary case of verbal abuse. The situation repeats itself as two workout partners double as sparring partners with the general public as their captive audience. A man, who could be mistaken for Napoleon’s identical twin, follows the boot camp instructions of a muscular gladiator who is missing a neck. Not exactly a public display of affection, the gladiator yells and screams at his workout partner. With an in-your-face attitude, he belittles his partner under the guise of motivational speaking. As if the public facility were his private gym, the gladiator’s tone is obnoxiously loud. Operating on a short fuse, the gladiator seems to sadistically benefit from slapping Napoleon across the face with insulting words.

The poor excuse of a gentleman angers me in the despicable manner that he treats this other human being. Sworn enemies are treated better upon surrender. If I tried to correct or question the pumped up gladiator, I suspect that they would assault me on a united front before returning to their own argument. In favor of my own safety, I just stay out of harm’s way.

The gladiator mocked his partner. “Look at the baby carrying his ditty bag into the locker room. Baby.”

“Leave me alone.” groveled Napoleon. “I just want to get changed then stretch out before we start our workout.”

“You’re wasting time changing your diaper. Bak. Bak. Don’t be afraid of hard work, old man. Bak. Bak”

Thirty minutes later, I witnessed tight-limbed Napoleon getting hurt while pumping iron in the free weight room. Clutching his bicep, the older man started whimpering. Crying was apparently not within the rules.

“You ought to be bleeping ashamed of yourself.” chastised the gladiator. You bleeping sissy. Sissy.”

“Give me a minute. I felt something pop. I hurt my arm.” moaned Napoleon with a pained expression. “I told you last week that rack is too much weight for me.”

“Cry baby. Cry baby.” dismissed the gladiator. “I survived a bleeping helicopter crash into the side of a mountain and you can’t bench press 225 pounds for 12 reps Band-aid free? What a loser you are! Loser.”

The gladiator sported a grating way to repeat his insult in the same sentence. The original disbelief to the listener’s ear became replaced by outrage after hearing the repetition. The gladiator followed his wounded partner out into the hall to continue the verbal abuse. By the decibel level of his hollering, nobody needed to be out in that hallway to know what was going on.

The tirade continued, “Look at your pathetic self. You are a pansy. A Nancy boy. You’re old and weak. Get back into the free weight room you bleeping quitter. Quitter.”

I had enough. “That’s it.” I dismissed. “I’m going upstairs to another workout room. This sideshow destroys my karma.”

A man working out his chiseled triceps replied, “What a pair, huh?”

“A pair you say?” I asked rhetorically. “I don’t know how or why in the world that old guy is friends with that vein popping maniac. They are water and oil.”

“They are father and son.”

“What did you say?”

“They are father and son. I know that for a fact.”

I had trouble pairing the words together. “Father and son?”

The father-son duo re-entered the room. Their arguing provided ironic background noise to the surprising revelation. The gladiator chastised his father over to semi-supine position on an incline bench. To think human beings look down on the animal kingdom for killing their young.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to believe!!

7:56 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Join my gym.

8:01 AM  
Blogger CSL said...

Horrifying, but for all you know it is payback.

Incidentally, this sort of intrusive "you must be witness to my world" display by the weight lifitng pair ranks right up there in my book with loud talkers on cell phones.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

good point.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Di was here, sorry it took so long to catch up, but as you know I had a busy weekend

10:54 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Argh, me landlubbing wench.

11:04 PM  

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