There CAN Be a Downside To Physical Fitness...

Time to tell a personal story of my own which many of my Dallas comrades have been privy to.

Many years ago, during my tenure as music composer at TM under the magnificent guidance of my mentor, Tom Merriman, a colleague, who officed in our building on Regal Row, noticed something odd about my physique! According to Marty Pearlman, I had mysteriously evolved into a grown man without any apparent muscle development of any kind, and this was an unacceptable situation that needed to be addressed immediately. Marty, a man in great shape, decided at that point to remedy the situation by enrolling us both in a gym not far from our office. This upscale conditioning center was known as the Verandah Club and attracted a somewhat gregarious and cultured clientele!

Three days a week, Pearlman and I would take our lunch break and “padasha” our way down to the club and begin our men’s aerobic workout led by that swingin’ Texas sweetheart, Becky!!! As the weeks went by, I found myself growing cautiously attracted to the lovely Becky, and became obsessed with the notion of getting her to notice me as I huffed and puffed my way through the prescribed routines. I remember relying extensively on my “English” accent in a vain but ambitious attempt to attract her! Soon my friends, an event would occur that would not only get Becky’s full attention, but leave an indelible imprint on both myself and her, that would stain us both forever!

One day, instead of the usual outdoor activities, Becky had us inside the basketball gym and had set up a series of exercise areas. These included stations for sit ups, dumbbells, pushups, punching bag etc., and at her command, one of us would be periodically chosen to attempt the pull up bar and I was quite intimidated by the skill and upper body strength of my younger counterparts.

Before long I was summoned to the aforementioned pull up bar and being painfully aware of my lack of upper body strength, approached the apparatus gingerly like a condemned man being led to the guillotine! All that was missing in my mind's eye was the ghoulish “lunette” and “bascule”! Now bearing in mind, my friends, America had been good to me from an epicurean point of view and due to a slight but noticeable change in my center of gravity, my “arabesques” were not achieving full apogee or “air time”! This was soon to become an issue that led to my defining moment at the Verandah Club.

I positioned myself under the bar and with an elegant leap, found myself clutching the crossbar. “Ok G” she said, “up you go”! Giving it all I had, I began what felt like a futile attempt to conquer Mount Everest by way of the East Face, using no oxygen or ropes. Oh, the humanity! By now my eyes were bulging in their sockets (not unlike Marty Feldman in the movie, Frankenstein) and massive valleys of postulant flesh were being forged into my face by countless engorged veins protruding from my sweaty, tormented forehead. Friends, I had so far not moved an inch and realized I might need the guidance and advice of a Texas Sherpa Tensing! That help soon arrived as Becky, realizing that my manhood was slowly being compromised, positioned herself directly behind me. She then instructed me to cross my ankles and pull up. With her help, I started to achieve lift-off and began a slow ascent! Still straining like a bull about to relinquish his “wedding furniture”, I did not realize that certain other muscles in my body were also looking for a “release” of sorts and as my bum became level with her face, there was a dramatic and sustained “burst from the boilers”!!!! This was accompanied by the fetid stench of last night’s chicken and chops, her face being directly in the line of fire at point blank range!

At this point I released my grip on the bar, sank into the fetal position and scuttled into the change room never to return. I can still hear the joyous and approving shrieks of delight from my fellow compadres! I had made their day! G Man.