Some Days Are Full Of Stupid

For starters, it was the Christmas decorations. Anyone who knows me knows I am the baby that Scrooge had with the Grinch, but this year, exhausted by the damn election, I did not really have the energy to animadvert. Until:

There were signs of industry around my neighbor’s house early yesterday — yes, those neighbors, the ones who dropped a tree on my house, crashed into my car, leave nastygrams on my friends’ windshields for parking legally in front of my own house. It looked like someone was cleaning the yard or maybe servicing the heat pump and I thought no more of it. Until I got back to the house from the gym.

The bushes were filled with oversized, tacky colored balls, a swag of white icicles depended from the entire width of the front gutter, vulgarly immense pots of poinsettias crowded all the space around the front porch, gigantic red bows sprouted from the roof dormers. A huge sign, about four by five feet, supported between two six-inch treated-wood posts, advised all comers that “DECORATE A VET” had visited and adorned this worthy veteran’s house for the holidays.

I suppose everyone honors service in his own way. I am not sure whose idea this was, but there was more to come, as when I returned again from an excursion after dark, the entire fandango was lit up like, well, like a Christmas tree, including the balls on the bushes, which now burned with a sinister inner light, like one of those cottages in Thomas Kinkade paintings, or the scrotum of some creature that ended up on the cutting room floor of Fantastic Beasts. The icicles were likewise illuminated. There was enough electricity running through that yard to power a field hospital in Aleppo. You could read the newspaper by it. Planes could probably navigate by it.

This morning it was all still there. I had not dreamed it.

Late to the gym, accosted by chatty people who had done their workout, I was finally gearing up in the kettlebell room when a gaggle from the Zumba class began milling about in an odd way, as if trying to find a place for a picnic. Finally they homed in on my vicinity. Of course. An indecently earnest woman leapt into my face and asked “Do you want to be part of a mannequin challenge?”

“No,” I said expressionlessly.

“Great!” she said. “Here, take these ropes and stand like you’re working them.”

(This is the fitness rope that you loop around a convenient upright and work up and down until your arms get tired. It is not a bad cardio thingy.)

I perceived that the subtext involved showcasing one of my favorite in-house trainers, who taught me kettlebells, so I sighed and picked up the ropes, freezing in full flexion. Three minutes and a bicep charleyhorse later, they got the hell over it. I think it’s on Facebook. Possibly the best part is the housekeeping lady aiming a spray bottle of cleaner into mid-air, as if about to neutralize the camera woman with it. I miss The Weight Room, where if anyone had waved a fitness rope at you proposing a mannequin challenge (had such a thing existed in that now-remote era), no one would have batted an eye while you tied them securely to the hack sled.

I did find a way to stack chest flyes onto one-arm rows and alternating shoulder presses, which I will say makes you puff, but not for nearly long enough. When I got home — workout-deprived and flying — my first client had cancelled at the last minute. Again. She’s always good for a check, but, well, fuck.

I guess it takes my mind off politics.



13 thoughts on “Some Days Are Full Of Stupid

  1. WTF is up with all the “mannequin challenges”? It’s the stupidest thing ever, IMO. I saw one the other day that was supposed to depict “the horror of heroin addiction.” Personally, I think actual film of people with spikes in their arms, with their aspirated vomit dripping from their mouths, would be more effective than a camera moving from a fake family photo to the same guy playing dead in an armchair.

  2. Decorate a Vet? Who the hell is paying for the massive electricity waste, I wonder? Yeah the old fucks might not have had to put the shite up, but they will be paying to run it, I assume.
    I’d be more impressed if the veteran was decked out in lights, instead. Deal with that!
    We got our tree today. There is still Halloween to take down, however. So it is outside, waiting for us to care enough to take Halloween shite into the attic, bring down Xmas, then bring the tree in to let Lumi destroy it.
    Ah, it’s a pagan thing anyway, right?

  3. You might check local sign ordinances. The aggravating neighbors may be in violation, for which they could be fined, or at least forced to take down the sign. I am not totally without holiday bling myself, as I am sporting a lit-up llama on my porch (due to the many llama-themed items now available at Target, I’ve grown convinced that one of their buyers must have a llama farm), but at least no one else can look at my yard without serious effort to visit.

    • I don’t really experience a problem from the sign, and am pleased to find that the lights don’t get in my bedroom window with my light blocking blinds. I figure I’ll save my firepower for the next time I’m confronted with something like the tree that they left hanging dead and dangerous over my house for years.

      I have to see the lit up llama. Is it on your Facebook page? I’m a slob about Facebook, I hardly ever think to go there now that it won’t embed on my home page.

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