Wednesday, July 27, 2011

That's what she said

I’ve always been a fan of running in the summer rain, but when thunder and lightening show up to the party, I turn into a total scaredy cat.

So the other day, when the forecast called for an afternoon thunderstorm, I opted to employ my contingency plan: the elliptical.

I was about 20 minutes in to my plan B workout when…dun, dun, duunnnnnn…a mid-storm power outage killed the lights and all of the electronic exercise machines.

“Uhhhhhhh,” groaned the extremely tan, extremely wrinkly woman to my right.

Of course, this was the ONE time I didn’t have my iPod. So as the back-up generator kicked in and brought the machines—but not the lights or the TVs—back to life, I was forced to interact with Whiny Wendy.

Actually, I guess Whiny Juanita would be a more appropriate sarcastic nickname for this particular woman, since her accent would suggest some sort of Latino nationality.

“Oh jeeeeeeeeez,” she went on. “How loooooonggg is it gonna take them to feeeeeeex theeeees?”

I really wasn’t in the mood for conversation, so I tested out the “non-response method” for a few seconds. But I could feel her pleading eyes staring in my direction, and they weren’t going to move until I had supplied a satisfactory answer.

“Um, well, last time this happened I think it took, like, five minutes,” I finally replied.

“Fiiiiiiiiiiiivaah meeeeenutes? I neeeeeeedd my TeeeeeVeeeeeee when I workooouuuuutttt!”

“Me too,” I muttered under my breath.

I don’t know what it was about her voice that annoyed me so much, but I knew that if one more high pitched, overly annunciated word came out of her mouth, there was a 95 percent chance that I would involuntarily slap her in the face.

But at that very moment, I received a critical dose of comic relief from a pair of old-timers whose lifting workout had been interrupted by the blackout.

“Come on, Jerry, we don’t have all day. Martha’s aqua-cise class gets out in 20 minutes, and if she has to wait for me, I’ll be in big trouble,” said the first guy.

“Sorry Frank, I just can’t do it in the dark,” replied the second guy.

“That’s what she said!” quipped the first guy, with spot-on comedic timing.

I bit my lip as I tried in vain to suppress my giggles. But I just couldn’t help myself—it was the best-executed “that’s what she said” joke that I’d heard in a long time.

Guy number two, however, was not nearly as amused by his friend’s impeccable wit as I was.

“Frank, that was absolutely terrible,” he said in a tone that made him sound like a disappointed father. “I can’t believe you just said that.”

I almost piped up with something like, “Ah, relax Jerry. Don’t be such a buzzkill.”

But before I could say anything, the lights came back on and the latest episode of Sports Center was blasting into my headphones. I guess the sound on the built-in TVs automatically resets to maximum volume following a power outage.

Of course, not even that could drown out Juanita’s excessively emotional reaction to the electrical reboot.

“Well, thaaaaaaaannnk God,” she declared. “Eeeeett’s abouuuuuuuttt tiiiiimmee!”

Ay, Dios mio.

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