‘Duck’ing my mantra in favor of revenge
Be the duck.For years now that has been the mantra I have tried, and I emphasize tried, to live by. The reason I chose this is symbolic. The idea is that when things annoy or begin to anger me, I try to think about how water just rolls off a duck’s back.
The goal is to try to just let things that would anger or annoy me instead just roll off my back. Again, I emphasize “try.”
The other day at the gym, I failed.
Let me set the scene for you: It’s about 3:30 in the afternoon, and I am about 10 minutes into the cardio portion of my workout. Because it’s not a peak time, there are a total of four people in the gym.
There’s the guy in the long-sleeve flannel shirt on the treadmill pretending he’s not reading the copy of “Redbook” that someone “left on the machine.” There’s Mr. Muscle Man in his half-shirt pounding his abs, and there’s the hottie on the weight machine where you sit with your legs open and then force them closed.
I call it the “sorority girl” machine.
All four of us are going about our business, not making eye contact, when in walks a younger man who sets his towel on the step and takes the machine right next to mine.
OK, it’s OK. I don’t know why he couldn’t have taken one of the other 15 machines not near me, but it’s OK. BE the duck.
He looks like a runner, with his tight-fitting shorts and his, “Oh, look at how tone and tan my legs are” attitude.
Then to make matters worse, the machine he’s on hasn’t been serviced and it emits this high-pitched squeak with every step. This becomes apparent to everyone in the room except the wiener, who keeps looking around like he can’t figure out where this horrendous noise is coming from.
How does he not hear that, I’ve seen coma patients that catch on faster than this guy. There is no way he’s going to stay on this machine, nobody is that stupid. It’s OK, BE THE duck.
But what does the wiener do? Unable to find the sound, he decides to put on headphones to block it out instead of moving to another machine.
What the hell?!? Why is he fixated on this machine? Did the machine save his uncle during the war, and he feels he owes it? Is the machine like a father to him? What possible reason could he have for … he sniffed glue as a child, that has to be it. It’s OK, BE THE DUCK.
At this point, Mr. Muscle, The Hottie and Flannel Man are looking at me with a mixture of anger and wonderment, like it’s my fault the glue-sniffing wiener chose the broken machine next to mine.
Then, as if to further enhance the pain, he starts humming along with whatever he is listening to.
OK, that’s it. I can’t take this! I gotta say something. The other gym people are blaming me. It’s guilt by association and the glue-sniffing, humming wiener is going down. I got it, I’ll just start passing gas. Yeah, I’m all sweaty and bouncing a lot, I’ll just smoke him out. That’s it, I’m going nuclear. You don’t wanna mess with the J-man.
No, no BE THE DUCK. Just breathe and BE THE @!?*& DUCK.
It’s at this point that I look behind me and see several members of the staff gathered in a cubicle, staring at the glue-sniffing, humming wiener, shaking their head and laughing. I throw them a look that says, “Can you believe this guy?” and they shrug their shoulders.
Thanks for the help. Appreciate it you jer … BE THE DUCK, breathe, BE THE DUCK.
At this point I look down and see my time is up, so I gather my things, wipe off my machine and go to leave, proud of myself for not killing the wiener.
But, at the last second I changed my mind, knocked his towel on the floor and stepped on it.
Hey, even ducks are entitled to a little revenge, right?
What’s your mantra? Tell me about it on the Party of One blog at http://www.nevadaappeal.com/partyofone
• Jarid Shipley is a reporter for the Nevada Appeal. Contact him a email@example.com or 881-1217.