“Hi, and welcome to 365 FuckGym! As usual, you can just swipe your keycard here and—oh, whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!!!! You’re not a member here yet? Well, welcome to the family, girl! New member, yeeah yeeah! Well, have a good one and—oh, wait! Did you know that all new members get a free consultation that’s free? It’s like a free workout, babe!

“Woah, woah, you don’t have to refuse: it’s free. Frrreeeeeeeeeee!

“…free? Gratis? Yeah, that’s the word you know, isn’t it, Ms…Huitzilopochtli? Am I pronouncing that right? Okay, great! If you’ll just follow me, we can start with this free exercise session.”

I just referred to a five-foot-tall, four-foot-wide woman I don’t know as “babe”…it isn’t getting any easier.

“Now, before we begin, I must ask: what do you hope to accomplish here?

…Y’know, accomplish. Accomplish? Your, uh, goal. What do you want to do by coming here?”

Oh for…tu quieres hacer con migo a ese gimnasio? Oh, don’t look at me like that! I’m not just a muscular brute, I am a man of the mind as well, and I remember my high school level Spanish…er, I, uh…just answer the question, please.”

Suddenly, the door to Johnny’s office was thrown open, and enter Brandon—“Woho! Wiggity wiggity WHAT’S UP DUDEBRO? How’s that sale going?”

“It probably would be a bit better if you hadn’t knocked down the poster, Brandon.”

“Oh yeah, you’re into art and stuff!” he said, a smile spreading across his gloriously vacuous countenance as he draped an arm around the doughy shoulder of Johnny’s client-to-be. “Listen, lady, he’s a little weird, but a smart guy! Haw!”

You can pick up the stupid Frazetta poster later. Just focus on your breathing, Johnny thought, because the alternative was to put his coworker’s head through the wall. He was dimly aware that his slatternly client was, in fact, in the midst of answering the “goal” question.

“Yeah, this guy right here? He’s the best—THE BEST!”

And with an abrupt slamming of the door, the human tornado had left our young personal trainer in peace.

“…Jesus. So, uh…”

Just spitball here.

“So, in the midst of all that, I heard that you wanted to look like a Victoria’s Secret model?” Ms. Huitzilopochtli’s rotund face lit up at this, so naturally Johnny took this as a sign to go further. “Of coooouuuuurse we can do that for you, Ms. H! And for your sister Ahuizotl too!”

As he led her through the gym, the workout would likely begin immediately…as soon as he could decide whether she could perform even the preliminary steps of the exercises he typically did on a daily basis.

How the hell do you even GET to be a perfect sphere?

“Well, working up to bridging or twist stretching is probably not an option…at least for this decade…” Johnny muttered to himself, deciding that a much easier workout could be gussied up accordingly. Naturally, that led the duo to the lat pull down machine, as Johnny figured that, unlike with some other machines, he wouldn’t need to grease her up to get her into position; not too much, anyway.

The FUCKING lat pulldown. Forgive me, Eugen Sandow, for even considering giving SOMEONE ELSE a machine to work out on, Johnny thought, forlornly looking at the pull-up bar while his train of thought went from Mr. Sandow to Mr. Inch, both of whom were probably highly disappointed.

“Have you ever done this before? No? You just sit and pull. Nothing better to work the latissimus dorsi and the deltoids than this one!”

And she began to pull the bar to her corpulent chest, each pull lightly caroming off her tremulous girth.

Heh, maybe I could make her attempt pull-ups. Ha! That’d—


Son of a bitch!

“Yeah, what’s up man, I was just walking by and I wanted to see how things were going!”

Johnny nodded cordially and informed Brandon that things were, in fact, going great, as our Mesoamerican trainee had left the lat pulldown machine and had gone to a sit-up machine.

“Yeah, keep going, Ms. H! Spot reduction is totally possible; get that flat tummy!” Johnny said, successfully managing to subdue the grimace he wanted to put on his face for lying so brazenly.

“Well, you keep doing this workout, broheim, but, uh, sometime before she leaves, I want to talk to you about your performance.”


“Uh, yeah, sure, Brandon.” Johnny said, idly wondering how the hell a guy with way too much hair product could be in any position of authority over him. As he led Ms. H to the next machine, he forlornly looked over at the set of Atlas Stones he had made free of charge for the gym. Big, imposing concrete spheres ranging from 20 to 400 pounds, spheres that would provide a deliciously brutal workout for anybody who wanted one.

Oh look, nobody’s using them. As usual.

“So, Ms. H, I know we’ve been doing machines, but maybe you’d like to try the…and you’re walking away already. That’s…that’s wonderful!” Johnny resigned, giving a subtle shake of his head.

Alright, this pitch is going nowhere. Time to pull out the big guns!

“Yeah, these machines are cool and all, but I just want to convey to you just how much improvement you’ll get when you train with me,” Johnny said, with just the slightest twinge of desperation in his voice. “When I was starting out working out, I never would have imagined that I could do the stuff I’m doing now…” he intoned, walking over to the vertical supports of a pull-up bar. “And now I’m doing sh—er, stuff like THIS! Pow!”

In an uncharacteristic show of enthusiasm, Johnny tucked the bar into one armpit, gripped a lower part of the bar with his other hand, and hoisted himself up into a human flag. He hung perpendicularly to the bar, every fiber of his being focusing on keeping his body rigid and not at all focusing on the slightly pop-eyed expression of his client.

A flood of memories coursed through his mind. Memories of how fitness afforded him the first tepid droplets of respect from other people. Memories of how the sight of his shirtless visage made women grin from ear to ear, as would a child who was told that Santa Claus was real. And hope that in the future he could convey the bounty of fitness to—

“Haw, gaaaaaaaay!”

Johnny lowered himself and turned to see who that was: some member of the gym he hadn’t seen before, a portly gentleman who was nonetheless wearing a full array of workout gloves and straps. “HUHUHUHU, look at what that trainer is doing. What are you, working the stripper pole? You some kind of FAAAAAAG or something? Haw haw!”

“Okay, the workout’s done!” Johnny said, grabbing the pudgy arm of his client and bringing her back to the office. Fucking troglodytes!

“Woah there, Johnny, let’s talk!” Brandon exclaimed, popping up out of nowhere to accost Johnny. “Excuse us for a minute,” he said to Ms. H, closing the door behind him. “Look, John, I know you haven’t been getting much in the way of sales and—”

“Brandon, do you mind if I just stop you there? You do understand that 85 percent of the people that I make appointments with for consultations don’t even show up? I spend 15 hours a day here, and the overwhelming majority of my labor is inherently worthless: by definition I only have a faint hope of selling to 15 percent of the customers! Don’t you think I know that my salary relies on these pea—uh, people?”

“Yeah, I got you, dude. But if I may make a suggestion as to why you’re not selling as much as you’d like…”


“It’s your face!”

Johnny raised an eyebrow as Brandon mugged like he had told a really funny joke, and before the former could respond, the latter had ducked out of the room, leaving a sense of mild resentment, a feeling that was fairly common since he had started working at 365.

But, ah, there was still the sales pitch!

“Well, Ms. H, there it is. That’s what I can do for you: I’m not a natural athlete myself, but I was able to teach myself how to do the human flag, the one-handed pull-up, the back bridge, the one-handed pushup, deadlift almost 400 pounds, and turn myself into the physical specimen you see before you!” Johnny intoned, pulling out his phone and shuffling through photo after photo of his physical magnificence.

“You’ll get all that, plus dietary consultation: no more guesswork about what you need to eat! Still not enough for you? You get the app; it’s like having me even when you don’t have me! And let’s talk pricing! We can do it in one big unit of 1,000 dollars for the year, or split it into bimonthly, monthly, or weekly payments. Hell, we’ll subdivide it as much as you want: we work for you!” Johnny said ever-so-slightly manically.

Dull eyes looked back at him, eyes that were not particularly enthused. “Yeah, I’ll think about it.”

Johnny plastered the biggest smile he could onto his face and genially nodded as his rotund client turned on her stubby heels and walked out the door.

Maybe if I had offered to fuck her…