Fat makers, takers closed for holidays
EVEN if you are among the very small subset of Digital Slobs who are also unmarried, childless orphans suffering from ornithophobia (fear of birds -- I'll save you the Google search), you still wouldn't need to see a calendar, or a holiday display, or a "MAD TV" marathon on Comedy Central to know that last Thursday was Thanksgiving, also known in retail circles as Black Friday Eve.
Days before Turkey Day each year, Slobs nationwide are given ample notice via declarations that are taped to the doors of all our favorite hotspots, from Taco Bell to KFC to McDonald's: On Thanksgiving, the always-on instant-gratification safety-net drive-thrus we're so used to safely driving through will be folded up and locked away for at least a day, and we should plan our lives accordingly.
Most of us were able to hang on that long again this year -- on Wednesday I spotted a few Slobs trying to pack a couple days' worth of Chicken Supreme Chalupas in dry ice, but to be fair, that was the exception and not the rule.
Even places that vow to loosen, rather than harden, our arteries shut down for Thanksgiving.
A similar closure proclamation was posted on the entrance to my 24-hour gym. For approximately 36 hours, from Wednesday afternoon to Friday morning, the powers-that-be would actually be using the locks that normally seem to be on the doors for no reason, even though such a security measure is strictly a formality.
Everyone in the workout racket knows that the annual Turkey Day lazyfest is the one long weekend when all gym employees could go home with all the doors and windows wide open. They could even leave a heap of $20 bills unattended on the counter with only a single paperweight as protection, because the only thing finding its way inside an exercise facility during Thanksgiving is perhaps a strong draft.
In fact, Slobs typically need to build up about a decade's worth of New Year's resolutions just enter a gym on a normal week, let alone one where we have so much added responsibility. That seven-course Thanksgiving meal under tin foil that we crammed into our fridge almost three hours ago isn't going to nuke itself, now is it?
On Jan. 1, 1995, I vowed to find my local gym on a map. By the end of 1999, I had progressed to calling it once a month, then abruptly hanging up when someone answered. By 2004, I was able to maintain a strict regimen of circling the block around it two or three times a day in my car -- up to four times on Fridays. That's when I really felt the burn.
I'm proud to say that this year I successfully penetrated the many and varied excuses that kept me from my neighborhood exercise franchise, and actually exerted myself once or twice, though every day continues to be a struggle. If Indiana Jones thought searching for the Holy Grail was a dangerous test of will power, he should try making it to that StairMaster downtown that costs me $50 a month.
Across the street from its home is a Jack In The Box. Directly next door is a Haagen Dazs ice cream shop.
Next year they plan to surround it with a moat filled with pudding.
Guess I better get cracking on a new set of resolutions -- oh, wait, the microwave just dinged.