You signed up for the gym and they gave you a koozie.
At first you wonder why an institution that proclaims itself a sanctum of health and wellness would encourage you to drink, but you push the doubt out of your mind and take it as an obvious endorsement of your favorite vice.
You have your workout clothes on, and you’re already here, but you feel tired and you figure it’s best not to start too quickly. You signed up today, you’ll start working out tomorrow. You don’t want to hurt yourself, after all. You stuff the koozie in the back pocket of your gym shorts and walk outside.
You stop by the bar on the way home. No one else is there because it’s three in the afternoon. The bartender, Andrew, greets you by name and brings you the usual: a cold bottle of Mickey’s Malt Liquor.
Andrew opens the bottle and places it on the bar in front of you. You hand him two dollars and twenty-five cents. You tip him a quarter because you like Andrew, and you are an oblivious asshole. Andrew maintains his humorless expression. You notice that he never smiles, but you are not self-aware enough to realize that it’s only because he hates you.
“What’s with the gym shorts?” Andrew asks you.
You smile knowingly. “I’m glad you asked.”
As you dip down to pull the koozie out of your pocket, Andrew rolls his eyes. Andrew is not glad he asked.
You hold the koozie open and slide the bottle of Mickey’s into the waiting foam. Perfect fit, you think to yourself, as if it is some sort of mysterious magical coincidence that a stretchable koozie fits over the exact object it was designed to hold.
After the ritual of joining is complete, you turn the koozie so that the gym’s logo is facing Andrew. You smile again.
Andrew holds his hands up and shrugs. “You got a koozie?”
“Oh, Andrew. No.” You laugh condescendingly. After a rare (and brief) moment of thought, you stop laughing. “Well, yes. That’s not the point. What’s on the koozie is the point. I joined a gym.”
You raise the bottle of Mickey’s to your mouth and turn the bottle up. You chug the bottle in just shy of five seconds. When you are finished, you belch loudly directly into Andrew’s face because you are disgusting.
You slam the bottle onto the bar; because of the koozie, this produces a dull thud instead of the usual sharp clank. You look at Andrew and point at the empty bottle. He reaches below the bar and grabs a fresh bottle out of the well cooler, unscrews the bottle, and replaces it with the empty one in your koozie. He does all of this without breaking eye contact with you, because he is secretly trying to set your head on fire with his mind. He is slightly disappointed when it does not work.
You slide Andrew two dollars even. You tipped up front, after all.
Andrew resolves to bide his time until your inevitable demise by liver failure. He decides to continue the conversation as a distraction. “Ah, so what’d you do for a workout?”
“Didn’t work out today.”
“So you went to the gym in full work out gear and didn’t work out?”
“Ah-ah!” You say, wagging a finger at Andrew. “I walked to the gym in full workout gear and I walked back home.”
“You can’t count walking as exercise when you have no other method of transportation.”
“Oh look, I’m Andrew,” you say in an insufferable, mocking voice that everyone hates, “I make up rules about exercise!”
“The gym is across the street.”
“Nobody likes a smartass, Andrew.” The irony of this statement is lost on you because you are an idiot.
You drink yourself to an early death at 42. You never return to the gym. In your will, you leave your gym shorts to Andrew but give explicit instructions that they not be washed before they are presented to him. As the sole beneficiary of your will, Andrew also inherits your considerable debt of unpaid gym membership dues.
Andrew is the only person in attendance at your funeral. He cries. The priest believes this is because Andrew cared for you, but it is because Andrew ate crawfish just prior to your funeral and he rubbed his eyes to stay awake during the sermon.
Andrew stays after the priest leaves and pees on your grave. A police officer passes by and witnesses this. He laughs.