Thursday February 16th, 2012

The exercise:

Today's writing assignment: gym class.

You get a couple of 12 degree days in a row and a fellow gets to thinking spring has arrived. Then you wake up to snow falling from the sky and a fellow remembers it's still February.


Physical Education,
That's their name for this crime.
Legalized Cruelty -
No one asks, but that's mine.

Basketball again today?
That means we're picking teams.
Please let me be a captain,
Or I'll be last, it seems.

Number One Jock and his girl,
Of course it wasn't me.
Now my only hope is for
Someone to take pity.

No such luck, I'm here alone -
My name is never called.
I join a team by default,
Knowing I hate them all.


Greg said...

Teenage angst in a poem! It reads really well and does take me back to school, though we hardly ever played basketball. Football, Rugby and Cricket seemed to be just about it.
Not sure, myself, about the girl in the third verse, aren't school sports usually same-sex? Or is that a subtle dig at the Number One Jock? ;-)
Sounds like your weather is being fun too!

Gym class
"It's not gym class, it's rehabilitation clinic," said the nurse patiently. "And I'm not that fiendish ├╝ber-lesbian from hell, I'm a nurse. I'm going to be checking your vital signs while the physiotherapist here helps you to start walking again. No. Please put that down. NOW!"
Michael dropped the kettlebell he'd scooped up off the floor with a vicious little smirk on his face and it thudded on the carpet. He rolled his wheelchair forward to try and pick it up again, but then the chair went backwards a lot faster.
"The changing rooms aren't that way," said the nurse, turning his chair around and wheeling him briskly towards a door. He twisted his blonde head around, trying to see her face, but it was set and grim, not looking at him.
"I haven't got any gym kit with me," he said, losing some of his bravado now.
"Then you'll have to do the physio in your underwear," said the nurse. "I do hope you're not wearing tighty-whities, they go see-through really quickly when you sweat."
She wheeled him through the door into the physio-room where her husband, the physiotherapist was waiting, allowing herself a little smile at how quiet Michael had become.

Anonymous said...

nice entries, guys! yeah i felt the angst in marc's poem, too ewww.

gym class -
I always tried to avoid it. I got really good at that. Pity avoidance isn't a sport, I'd have scored an A. I faked excuses and sometimes used real ones. Once, I had to nurse a friend who was another avoider, although her excuse was genuine that day.
I watched the teams play blood thirsty hokey, get banged around with basketballs, half drown in bacteria infested swimming pools, be tortured by something called a jumping horse - all in the name of fitness, team spirit and whatever other adjective they camouflaged the reality of it with. Nah, gladiators, that was it. We haven't evolved at all.
Nowadays, if you're good at something, you're in line for the Olympics - a legalised amateur bloodletting if ever there was one. You pay a lot of money on training, spend all your childhood inside a gym or on track, travel the world inside. chartered bus labelled with five coloured circles, all for a chance at a microsecond of fame and a little disc of fake gold. If you come second, no body remembers you.
Gym class? Not for me, I'm glad I'm an avoider. Give me a book any day, I'll out-read and out-write you any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

sorry, i can't spell hockey, but the Freudian slip is appropriate, methinks. also the inappropriate period should read "and" instead.
i need coffee....where's my coffee...?

Cathryn Leigh said...

Ah Marcs poems does bring back memories, mostly of elentary school. No one wanted the grils with braids glases and braces... But in high school gym class was co-ed, though I"d like to think that was a dig at number one jock too. *giggles* I'm definitely with writebite on rather reading abook but oh well...

Gym Class
I must say one thing is good about my Gym class, all you have to do is make an effort and you pass. It's not like in my mother's day. She failed gym class because she couldn't climb the rope. I couldn't either. My upper arm strength sucks, my legs are strong though. I just wish the gym teacher had told me my freshman year what he told me just before I graduated.

"You would be good at Cross Country Track"

Too late now. I'm off to the University to get a science degree. Forget sports!

Krystin Scott said...

It's shirts, skins, shirts, skins,
That's how the picking begins,
First team to ten wins.

Some folks may recall,
The horrid sport of dodgeball,
A frail girls downfall,

Iron Bess said...

I do not remember a time when I didn’t like gym. It was that one period of the day where you could run off some energy. As a kid I could only handle sitting for extended periods of time if I knew that eventually I would be able to let off some steam. I guess I’m still a little bit like that. Maybe that’s why I have a tendency to fidget a bit. Well okay, maybe a little more than a bit. My husband says that if he could somehow harness the energy I put off from just shaking my legs when I sit down to eat dinner that he could power his workshop for a week. People who don’t know me well always think that we are experiencing small tremors when I sit at the table with them. People who do know me always tell me to stop that shit!

Anonymous said...

It's one of those cliches I suppose. Nerds universally despise gym class because it puts them into an automatic position of inferiority vis a vis the 'jocks' who live to achieve through flexing muscles. As usual it isn't cut and dry like that. Sure, there were aspects of 'Phys Ed' that I wasn't a big fan of but there were honestly parts where I felt entirely at home. If the sport required a modicum of accuracy or precision I could manage. If it was something that relied on a degree of finesse, once again I was up to the task.

Let's face it, even the nerds have classes that are theoretically about the application of intellect but translate into torturous boredom if the field holds not a whiff of interest. I would rather have been bludgeoned to death with a whiffle bat than endure one more droning lecture about economics by Mr. Wilkinson and I could certainly feel the pain every time we crossed the threshold of Ms. Charmichael's semester of Poetry.

But, as with so many aspects of our lives, people dislike acknowledging the way that almost everything is a big old mess of spaghetti strands intertwined and convoluted. Reality is clearly about a vast tangled web of cause and effect and still we have managers and governments who insist on reducing our choices down to idiotic polarizations. Binary choices may work in some aspects of mathematics or electronics but trying to apply them to almost any part of the human experience is limiting, dangerous and more or less doomed to failure.

These were the kinds of thoughts I was pondering in the moments before I flipped the switch on my generator and set the device in motion. It was only a matter of minutes before everyone in range was within its influence and they all began to apprehend the great throbbing mass of entanglement that made up their lives. Tycoons saw the folly of their incessant grasping for ever more profit, doctors understood that they needed empathy and intuition as much as they needed to be specialists, politicians realized that their desire for power was, at best, self delusion and the Joe Six packs realized with, some horror, that the prejudices they held about their fellow citizens was largely based on their fear of the 'other'.

Naturally, it didn't take long for all hell to break loose.

Marc said...

Greg - my gym classes were always co-ed. I remember playing cricket for the first time when I was backpacking around New Zealand - made me wish we'd tried it in school!

Ha, I quite like this nurse.

Writebite - haha, I only ever tried to avoid gym when we were playing rugby. Could not stand that one.

Yeah, the life of Olympians is beyond my understanding. I think you expressed that perfectly.

Cathryn - I don't recall being forced to climb the dreaded rope. Consider me very glad for that.

Krystin - nicely done. I actually winced at the second one.

Iron Bess - hahaha, great ending :)

I pretty much always looked forward to gym class. I think when we were doing gymnastics and rugby were the only exceptions.

GZ - sounds like a good way to start a riot :)

Though it would be an interesting world to live in, where a machine like that existed...