So, because I’m almost as close to weighing 300 pounds as I am to weighing 200 pounds, I figured now would be as good a time as any to prevent death by cheese fry. In doing so, I’ve not only taken to consuming enough vegetables to make a hippie shit, but I’ve also decided to physically exert myself in a vertical fashion at the nearby Second Largest Gym In The World.

Upon finishing my pool workout (to say “swim” would be to imply that I could. It’s probably more accurate to say, “I would not drown quickly if surrounded by water that is deeper than I am tall.”), I went to the locker room to sit in the Hot Russkie Crate (or “sauna,” as the tsarists call it).

I used to think elevators were some of the most awkward places on planet Earth. Well, that title was incontrovertibly stolen by saunas. Saunas are like hot elevators, except that guy you don’t talk to from Accounts Manageable has his balls out. For real, I didn’t see the guy from the outside, so I walked into the thing and found myself across from the Venus de Milo, and by “Venus” I mean “Balding White Guy With His Balls On A Bench.”

I swear, saunas are some of the undercover worst places ever. I mean, unless you know the person you’re in there with, you cannot strike up a conversation. Since you can’t do that, you’re pretty much sitting in a room with hot rocks acting as if the guy three feet behind you has more than sandals on (By the way, Guy Code Rule 36: If you’re, for whatever reason, in the company of dudes and don’t have drawers on, remember that no one, fruit cup and dudely dude alike, wants to see your nut sack. Guy Code Amendment 36-1: Though we understand that adult libations impair such things as balance or bed buddy judgment, there is still not one person, duck or Joshua tree that wants to see your kid holder, and the effort to prevent that flower from blossoming is appreciated). Still, I thought about being a young Denmark Vesey, revolting against the shackles of sauna etiquette by striking up conversation with this pasty fellow. I decided against it, because the only thing worse than not talking to someone while acting like their balls aren’t out is talking to someone while acting like you and their nut sack aren’t sharing the same air.

When I imparted this tale to a buddy of mine, she immediately asked the age of the bloke, and I guessed that he was around 40. Upon receiving this information, she promptly reminded me that at least he didn’t predate the Korean War, which I agreed with.

If saunas are awkward, all-ages locker rooms are like perpetually walking in on your parents doing the grown-up. On one hand, I’m of the belief that if you’re lucky enough to reach a certain age, you have the right to strut about wearing your nuts like a tie on the outside of your trousers, and you certainly can parade about a hall of lockers in your birthday suit. You’ve earned the frequent lifer miles at that point.

On the other hand, I have as much interest in seeing old man balls as I do in watching babies being born. (Frankly, I like seeing only my own balls, but I’d like to keep my foreign ball sightings on the younger side of things — no Capote.) Walking the rows of lockers can be like running the gauntlet; for every row you pass safely, there’s one with an old white man, low locker and all, squatting in wait. If you ask me, gyms need to stop wasting money on aquasize for mom and baby and invest in mirrors that see around corners, thus allowing you to prepare yourself for what lurks in the row lest you turn headlong into an eyeful of testicle. And if you’re a perverted social climber who likes balls that could have made your parents, the mirrors are like a movie trailer. Everybody wins. Peace to bath sheets.

Penultimate Thought: The Magic Bullet Blender infomercial is mesmerizing.

Final Thought: Perfectly well-adjusted girls from the Northeast are often single because they are not nice.

Jon Pitts-Wiley wasn’t that kid in middle school who wore his swimsuit in the showers, but he’d appreciate it if you’d wear a towel (tightly-wrapped) next time you’re in the sweat box.