This is from the chapter on Sly Stallone: No Wonder I Never Wanted An Easy-Bake Oven.
I’m not in great shape. The only time anyone wrote “lots of abs” next to my name was in my attendance report from high school. So I joined a gym. You can’t not join a gym in Los Angeles. The authorities will find out and suddenly you’re on a billboard that says Got Fat?
So I Got Serious and hired a trainer, or rather hired the one that Bally’s Gym assigned to me. He'd been Mr. Bulgaria twice; Mr. Northern California in the early 90s and wrote three fitness books, which was three more than I'd written. I felt sorry for him; his business card was an unevenly sliced-up piece of Xerox paper. He was earnest and committed, probably had a family waiting in a cramped one-bedroom apartment somewhere in Koreatown, expecting him to put borscht on the table. He had that sad, vacant look that people who do not ever expect to catch up with life have. I have the same expression after I’ve had sex.
Mr. Bulgaria loved working out and assumed I did also because why else would I be at the gym?
Sidebar: Cute guys, the smoothie bar and cute guys. Oh yes, and cute guys.
I don’t understand why people love to sweat. “It gets out all the toxins.” If there are toxins leaking out of any part of me it means my alcohol levels are dangerously low so point me in the direction of a martini.
Maybe I’d love working out if I enjoyed eating. Then there would be a goal, to lose weight or keep a steady weight. But I hate eating even more than I hate working out. Hand me a pill marked LUNCH and I’m done until I’m handed a pill marked DINNER. Give me a purple drink like the one in the movie Barbarella. Jane Fonda drinks it when she wakes up from a hundred and fifty-four hour nap. Sounds like a perfect place to live; you drink your meals and get to nap for six days in a row. That movie was made in 1963 so apparently the future has let us down. And by us I mean me.
I don’t like to discuss food, shop for food or try the food at the trendy new restaurant in Who Cares, Connecticut. I lived with a man who used to drive me crazy because while we were eating breakfast he’d ask me what we should do for lunch. At lunch, he’d ask me what we should do for dinner. At dinner, he’d ask me what we should do for breakfast. No, we’re not still together, why do you ask?
When I do manage to eat something I inhale the whole thing and am then surprised to discover that it *serves 4.* Four what, anorexics? I can hardly wait until I’m rich enough to have Ina Garten move in. It’s the only reason I’m still breathing in and out.
The only machine I used regularly at the gym was the water fountain but I kept going because of the cute guys. And the smoothie bar. And oh yes, the cute guys. But sometime in the last few years the cute boys emigrated to marriage and the gym became a meeting place for old Chinese women. Mr. Bulgaria deftly escorts me through them as if he’s afraid I'll stop and spontaneously break into a mah-jongg game.
The gym rat in our family is my sister Lindy, who once graced the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine. Her nickname in college was The Body. My nickname in college was Can You Introduce Me to Your Sister. She goes around spewing communist propaganda like, “I’m really craving an apple.” Please, Johnny Appleseed didn’t crave an apple. If you’re at her house and want something fattening to eat, you have to lick the grease off her stove. She’s always telling me I don’t work out enough, that I don’t do enough aerobics. Like getting up from the couch and lying back down twenty times a night isn’t aerobic. Every time we have an earthquake I grab my Shake Weight so as to maximize the effects of the shifting tectonic plates. If that’s not dedication to exercise then I don’t know what is.
“How do I look in this bathing suit?” I once asked her.
“You look fabulous.” Then ten days later she saw me in shorts and said, “You look terrific; not like you did in that bathing suit.”
As for the rest of our family, we would rather die with a stent in our hearts than a deltoid on our wherever the hell the deltoid goes...
(...continued in book)