Friday, October 27, 2006

C is for Cookie

Now I'll have to admit I'm a gym bunny if I tell two gym stories in one week, but here goes:

I hopped on an elliptical trainer yesterday magazineless because my gym's mag racks were just not working for me. (No offense to anyone who reads Boating or Dirt Bike magazines, but they're just not my cup of tea. Not in this tax bracket, anyway.) After one minute of facing a robin-egg blue wall while stairstepping into oblivion, I knew I was going to need some distraction. I spotted a fresh stack of Woman's Day magazines that someone (a WD staffer, probably) had dumped onto the rack, so I hopped off mid-revolution to grab one.

Not wanting to thwart my cardio progress (um, level 5 out of 20, but whatever -- I had a pace going), I started pedaling immediately. I guess the mag I chose was hotter off the press than usual, because when I opened the cover, the first page fell out and drifted lazily to the floor. Now, in the grand world of gym etiquette, I think it is perfectly all right to drop a small item (magazine blow-in card, water bottle cap, iPod Shuffle...) and leave it there with the intention of getting it later if you're mid-workout.

So I left it.

For two seconds.

Until I realized what page had dropped: It was a full-color Pepperidge Farm advertisement featuring a giant chocolate-chip cookie. We're not just talking a cute Pillsbury plate of cookies with a loving family gazing at it adoringly. We're talking a cookie so giant, so GARGANTUAN that it was too big to fit on the entire page. Now. Ordinarily, I would have left a stray piece of paper on the floor and picked it up after I rounded out my 30 minutes. But considering the subject matter of the page (a swarthy piping-hot 3,598-calorie chocolate-chip cookie), I envisioned everyone in my row of ellipticals and the row of bikes behind me staring at the cookie on the floor for an entire 28 minutes and salivating, with cartoon pop-out eyes, vowing to blow their diets as soon as they walked out the door of the gym and into the neighboring deli. It would be a gym rebellion. And I didn't want to be implicated in the mutiny.

So I stopped mid-revolution and did a deep squat usually reserved for gymnasts and/or exotic dancers from off of one of the elliptical shoe pads in order to retrieve the cookie that ate Manhattan. I then promptly stuffed it behind the tips I was reading on how to properly clean behind my sofa.

You win this time, giant cookie. This time.


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