Sunday, April 24, 2016

Remember This Thing? Why Couldn't It Have Been Real?

For as long as I can remember, my mom swam at a pool in an apartment building in the Bronx a few miles from our own, and sometimes she would take me with her. 

The pool was part of a gym, and the gym had THIS thing in it. This. A fat jiggler. Seriously. 

Who ever thought that putting a vibrating vinyl belt on your ass would make your ass fat disappear? I mean, it's a nice fantasy and I suppose it makes some sense. In the same way that the earth can't be round because we aren't falling off of it makes sense. That's the kind of sense a fat jiggling machine makes.

The only thing more interesting to me at my mom's gym than the fat jiggler was the seemingly endless parade of naked, desiccated old ladies who would amble around the locker room with what seemed to me at the time to be a highly unfounded level of confidence and shamelessness. Conscious of my mom's reproachful dagger eyes, I would try SO hard not to stare. 

But I couldn't help it. 

My pre-pubescent gaze was drawn inexorably toward the (way) post-menopausal bodies I saw displayed before me. It felt like trying to look away from a train wreck. Saggy, wrinkled breasts, wispy gray pubes, gnarled feet with bunions and bright red toenail polish, and plastic bathing caps with weird little plastic flowers protruding off of them. (That is, when their heads weren't under those giant colander-shaped hair dryers, which were also a feature of this gym at the time). 

It was like a scene revealed by The Ghost of Christmas Future in some dystopian, Dickensian parable.

As a means of distracting myself from all of this, I would put my young, perky ass into the fat jiggler and turn it on. I giggled at the sensation until, inevitably, one of the naked old ladies would rap me sternly on the shoulder. "Excuse me young lady," she would croak in a voice grated down by 30 years of a two-pack a day menthols habit. "That isn't a toy and I would like to use it now."

Fine. Have at it OLD lady. I was just biding my time trying not to stare at the terrifying ass that you are about to put into this weird belt thing in an utterly futile effort to improve matters.

Now that I'm older, of course, I have a different perspective on this device. As I see the freight train of my own saggy-ass-colander-hair-drying days bearing down on me with increasing velocity, I can think of only seven words.

I wish this fucking thing was real.

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