A sign in the lockerroom at my Y. The grammar police, headed up by my oldest brother, sister, and mother (thank you D for resisting that tendency), will no doubt seethe at the capitalizing of “Health Concerns” and the missing period, but the problem with the sign is the thought process that produced it.
When I first saw it about six months ago I wasn’t sure if it was a joke. I realized it wasn’t one day when my ass cheeks were firmly planted on a towelless bench. All of a sudden out of nowhere, three male Y workers descended on me and threw me up against the lockers. They cuffed me, wrapped a towel around me, and took me into an empty room where they interrogated me for hours. Obviously McCainiacs, they didn’t even read me my Miranda rights. They were going to let me make a phone call until I rubbed the receiver all over my ass.
“Who the f$%^ do you think you are sitting naked on the bench?” Must fight the power I decided. “I also shower barefoot, spit in my goggles, and whizz while showering.” Chaos ensued. The three of them angrily debated whether to waterboard me until one finally said, “You probably ride your bike without a helmet around children and don’t use seatbelts out of fear you might wrinkle your dress?” Who knew the Young Men’s Christian Association now specializes in questioning male members’ masculinity?
Things went downhill from there. When I refused to comply, they started to smack me around which only deepened my resolve. I wasn’t about to be bullied so I fought back in the only way I could–with words. “I intend on not just sitting naked on the bench, but rubbing my ass cheeks all over your precious benches and I hope all your members catch the serious illnesses that are no doubt incubating on said ass cheeks.”
I could tell there was a two-way mirror and the Y director was signaling to his henchmen to increase the pressure. It wasn’t until I pointed out that 100% compliance wasn’t necessary that they stopped hitting me. I explained that as long as the germaphobes put down a towel, they’re protected from naked sociopaths like me. “Never thought of that,” one conceded.
Finally, the beatings stopped. After being forced to sign a confidentiality statement, I was uncuffed and escorted back to the lockerroom. Exhausted but unrepentant, I waited for the germ fighters to disappear. Then I tossed the towel on the floor and plopped down naked on the bench feeling equal part social activist and renegade.