Entering the gym I was hit by the beat of the 80s. An old man was rolling around on one of those giant rubber balls. I've never been sure what those things are for, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But what is it with old men and their shorts? He was wearing a pair of "old man" shorts - you know, those tiny shorts with stripes up the side that only marathon runners and old men wear.
This old man was brilliant, some day I'll emulate him. When he wasn't rolling around on the rubber ball he was doing step-ups, perfectly in time with the 80s anthem in the background (I imgane he'd done this routine before), his crazy white hair towering magnificently.
Every now and then he got out one of those "squeeze and squirt" cleaning bottles, and wiped down the apparatus, including things that he had not even used. To be fair to him, he was probably assuming that some sweaty monster had previously used them. Come to think of it, he was probably assuming that I was that sweaty monster.
When he left he took his 80s anthem out of the CD player. I already knew it was his. He even put the radio on for the rest of us. What a great bloke. He reminded me of a retired partner of our sister company, a 70-year-old with shingles that beat me at squash. I decided that enough was enough and gave up squash.
The funny thing about gyms is that there's always some awful radio station blaring (Heart, Kiss...), yet everyone in the gym is listening to their ipod. At least this old man brought his magical 80s anthem and was letting us all know. And there's always one of those rowers. You know, the guy who is on the rowing machine when you arrive, and is stll there when you leave, rowing, rowing, rowing. The annoying thing about these rowers is that they tend to be bored, watching everyone else. I wish they'd point the rowing machines at the wall.
The other day we were down the Duke, when an old man burst through the door. He was wearing the tiniest pair of "old man" shorts, and tucked in to them was a checked shirt, fully undone. Nice. He was carrying a pool que, and forced his way into a bar billiards game that was already running . The lads that were playing were furious. I won't be emulating his look but if I ever fancy a game of bar billiards and can't be bothered to wait...