Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Done, Done and I'm On to the Next One

I love my gym. As a teenager or elementary school kid, you never would have heard those words cross my lips. I hated the President's Physical Fitness Test (approximate pull-ups completed in my entire K-12 lifetime: 2) and trying to run a mile in under fifteen minutes. I wasn't a lazy kid-- I'd spend entire days outside, and I loved to swim-- but I hated the barking orders of what physical feat I'd be forced to attempt. Let's just play floor hockey and call it a day, Mr. Z.

Anyway. I love my gym because they have individual televisions on the cardio equipment. The first gym I joined only had two big TVs at the front of the cardio room, so I usually ended up watching Lifetime or Headline News. Now I am the master of the images that float before me as I pedal away on the elliptical machine. Of course, I usually go for channel 7 to catch up with Pete Bouchard, but I often do the gym equivalent of reading over someone's shoulder and watch what other people choose to watch as they work out.

A popular choice, aside from NESN and the music video channel, is MTV. (Note how the gym has to create their own channel for music videos since MTV hasn't played a video in prime time since 1992.) I'll watch MTV if Made is on, but during the post-work workout sessions, it's usually one of their dating shows. Yesterday, the show Next was on. If you've never seen it, Next is probably the dumbest dating show in the history of television. I love a good dating show, don't get me wrong. Blind Date rules my world. It's like Pop-Up Video meets every bad date you've ever had. But Next isn't funny. Next is absolutely terrifying. The premise is that five or six girls/guys ride around in a bus between locations, and they go on "dates" with one member of the opposite/same sex, depending on orientation. The single guy/girl can "next" a member of the bus team at any time. Usually, some chucklehead will see a girl come out of the bus, look at her, and tell her to get back on the bus and send the next piece of meat out. Depending on how long the date goes, the member of the bus gets paid for the date (I think it's $1 a minute). I think that Next makes me so uncomfortable because it's like my dating life. I get off the bus, the guy gets a look, says "Next" before I can even stun him with my wit and stellar smooching, and I turn around and another girl skips off the bus and into his awaiting arms. Then you add in the fact that these people are completely stupid (the "clever banter" once someone is "Nexted" is obviously scripted and not amusing) and will get more ass than I will ever see in my life, and that there is an uncomfortable element of prostitution in the fact that people are paid to date each other, and I'm squirming. And not in a good way.

Last night, one girl came out of the bus. They freeze-framed her, and a bulleted list of her likes and dislikes came up. "Idolizes Nicole Ritchie," read the first. Is that possible? What does Nicole Ritchie even do that can be idolized? She doesn't sing, she doesn't act, she doesn't even consume solid food. Do you aspire not to eat? I guess Nicole is your girl if that's what you're hoping for. "Hates Birkenstocks," read the second point. Um. Okay. "Loves her collarbone." I nearly fell off the elliptical machine in a fit of laughter. I guess this young woman did idolize Nicole because all you can see on her is her collarbone (and all her other bones).

I may die alone. But I can always enjoy a good dose of irony.

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