Monday, July 7, 2008

Nick Hornby, Marc Summers, and the Wink

I felt a little mean and bitter for publicly chastising two whole demographics in Austin last week - douche bags and Hobby Lobby employees - so I wanted to tell you guys about someone I do like, for a change.

I've read most of Nick Hornby's books, although this is one is a little obscure. Doesn't it look like it came out in the 70s? (Try 2006. The publisher is hip little McSweeney's, headquartered in San Francisco, hence the coolly retro cover design). Anyway, it's a series of columns he wrote for the Believer about books and reading, all the while mocking the uber-pretentious staff at the Believer, but the subject matter's not important. Nick Hornby can write about pretty much anything as long as I get to hang out for a while, because he's so damn funny. Love you, Nick.

I was at the gym tonight reading Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt, laughing in such a way as to incur the envious sideways glances of my fellow elliptical exercisers, when someone flipped the overhead television channel to the Food Network.

Guys, do you remember Marc Summers? Double Dare? I remember when R. once told me Mark Summers had obsessive compulsive disorder, thinking, "cool. When's dinner?" Because the irony of Marc Summers' plight never struck me until tonight. Imagine: it's your job to work with cascading buckets of slime, and you have OCD. Does God hate you? When I saw his face forcibly grinning back at me from Food Network's Unwrapped - the show about candy factories, not as exciting as you'd think, not nearly as awesome as Double Dare - I saw, well maybe I'm imagining it. But I think I saw a little bit of Marc Summers' despair. "Help! I am obsessed with order and cleanliness, and someone's forcing me to host shows about slime and molten chocolate!!" Seriously, who's doing this to Marc?

Also at the gym - 24 Fitness at Hancock Center, by the way - there's a dude working the front desk who looks exactly like my sweet gay friend Jeff. His face and demeanor remind me so much of Jeff, in fact, that I've been pretending he is, sort of - exchanging little banter while he scans my card, waving goodbye when I leave the gym. But I think he's straight, not gay as I had hoped, because he's taken to flirting a bit (and R. - hi! - note the "he," not "we" in that sentence).

How do I know? I got a wink tonight. Jeff would never wink. Jeff's way too cool to wink, and besides, he would only do it to pretty boys if he was forced to.

This changes everything about Guy at Gym. Namely, his sexuality.

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