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I felt pickled and this is not a feeling you want when working out.

I was at the gym yesterday morning, early, way too early to be doing 45 minutes of elliptical training but that is what I was doing because I like to over eat and I don’t want to be the size of a couch or shaped like a potato. (hmmm now that I think about it I am the color of a Russet potato) Chingy is singing “Dem Jeans” in my ears and I moving rather slowly as my body warms up. I look around the gym and notice the other tired and typical Americans – soft, pudgy, pale, pasty, wild-haired, and damp. I can see myself in the mirror and I look like the blue Rock’em Sock’em Robot without the chiseled features.

In the distance I see an Asian man working out and I notice he is walking in my direction. Soon he is on the elliptical machine right next to me and so we are working out in tandem. No problem, I like a little competition and when you are on a stationary machine for 45 minutes then you have to play mind games in order to stay sane. So here I am racing this Asian man and WINNING of course and I start to smell something. What is that? It’s so pungent and so not an odor normally emitted by humans. I try to continue my training but the smell will not be ignored. It smacks me in the face repeatedly. Wack. Wack. Wack. And then I feel a wave of nausea. The odor is so intense that I feel like a pickle inside a jar of garlic pickles. The kind of garlic pickles that only old people eat and that you didn’t even know existed until you saw your grandfather eating them.

I don’t like to quit my workout and so I try to stay focused. I change songs on my iPod, I look away, I try to breathe through my mouth but the stench is almost palpable. I am sure that at any minute that this haze that I am swimming in will soon turn into a green haze and everyone around will think that I am the culprit of this vile smell.

I finally give up and leave before the stench clings to me like a pair of pants filled with static electricty. I bounced over to a weight bench and loaded it up with weights. No sooner had I got ready to lift than Garlic man came over to workout next to me. Why was he following me? Was there no escape? I immediately unloaded the weights and moved across the room. I prayed to God that he would stay over on that side of the room for at least a little while so I could get a couple of sets in. He did and I was relieved and inhaled the normal sweaty stale air that is redolent and acceptable in most all gyms.

Later as I showered I thought I smelled the smell again and then I realized it was just phantom odor that was probably left over from the distilling that I had gone through while on the elliptical machine. I also wondered what if the man next to me was indeed a man at all or some type of secret defese weapon. Like maybe he was a humanized form of garlic? What if I was being watched that entire time and my reaction was being recorded? All I know is that if it was some sort of secret weapon then I am here to testify that it works.

I also thought of other reasons why he could have smelled so much like garlic:

1. He is afraid of vampires
2. His bed is made out of the husk of garlic
3. His religion requires him to soak in garlic juice every morning for 30 minutes when he gets up.
4. He ate an entire bushel of garlic in a garlic eating contest.
5. He wasn’t human and he was an alien from another planet where when they sweat they actually sweat various seasonings. Garlic, Paprika, Thyme, etc.

So yeah, that was pretty much my workout yesterday morning. Maybe later I will tell you about the Spin class with my boss this morning and how I totally Lance Armstronged him for an entire hour. A wise career move? Who knows.

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

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