Bryan’s Official Locker Room Rules

lockers1.jpgThat’s it. I’ve had enough.

So, I’ve joined enough fitness clubs to know that I just shouldn’t join any more fitness clubs. So, what did I go and do? I joined a fitness club last month. And I already regret it.

Okay, I don’t really regret it. It’s good for… well… fitness. But the one hesitation I had in joining a club was that too many people who belong to fitness clubs do not know and abide by the Locker Room Rules, and it drives me CRAZY.

Now, I know that probably only 3 or 4 people who belong to the club I belong to will read these rules, so this will probably have minimal benefit and will amount to little more than a means of catharsis for me. That’s fine. I also already know that I’m going to be too hard on some anonymous people who are probably really fine folks in real life (i.e. non-fitness club life). Well, sorry.

So, just read these, picture smoke coming out of my ears, don’t take me too seriously, have a laugh, and for crying out loud follow the rules.

Rule #1A: Don’t be naked for longer than you need to be.

For the love of all things that are holy, would you please put some freakin’ clothes on, you nasty, dirty old man?! I cannot stress this enough. I don’t want to see you combing your hair with nothing on but your black socks. Who the heck puts their socks on first when they get dressed anyway?! Those come at least after underwear, if not after t-shirt and pants too. I mean, are you serious?! Is this a joke? Or some sort of experiment in social perversion? Does something happen when you turn 70? Does all modesty go right out the window? Do you just figure that everyone’s got more or less the same stuff, and you’ve seen it all in your seven decades, so no one’s going to mind?! Have you given up on life? I really want to know. I don’t hang out that naked in the privacy of my own home. Why in God’s name would you just mosey around completely naked (except for your dress socks) in the locker room—combing your hair, shaving, brushing your teeth, talking to your other old, nasty naked buddies, as well as some younger strangers who are awkwardly trying to be polite and frantically trying to escape from you even though they’re not fully dressed yet?

Please. Please. Get undressed, walk to the shower, towel off, walk (promptly) back to your locker, at least get some underwear on, then (and only then) take care of any other business you have in the locker room. This one is common sense, people.

Rule #1B: If you’re naked, don’t sit on anything.

The other day I was getting ready to set my book, iPod, and water bottle down on the bench by my locker so that I could lock my locker and head out to the gym. Suddenly, nasty old naked guy (see Rule #1A) sat down butt-naked on the bench right where I was going to set my stuff. First of all, don’t ever get that close to me when you’re naked unless you’re my wife. Ever. Ever. Second of all, if I had gotten to the locker room 10 minutes later, I would unknowingly have had nasty old naked guy butt residue on my book, iPod, and water bottle. I’ll never set those things there again. But, where am I supposed to set them?! For the love of God, can’t you put a towel down?! Can’t you just get dressed?! Do you sit down on stuff while you’re naked at home? No way, your wife would go ape! Just have some dignity and get some underwear on, man! Please!

Rule #2: Don’t strut, because we’re not impressed.

The only thing that drives me more crazy than nasty old naked guy is “I’m-on-a-beach-pickin’-up-chicks-in-my-mind” guy. Fellas, this is just a bad practice inside or outside the locker room. Outside the locker room, it’s a little more understandable, I suppose. If my head were as empty as yours and I had nothing else to offer a woman but big muscles, I might do the same thing. But in the locker room? Really?! You’re strutting in the locker room? For whom? Do you think I’m going to reconsider my sexual orientation? Do you think I’m going to tell all my female friends about you? Do you think I’m going to drive as fast as I can to work and tell all my single female coworkers that there’s a handsome, strutting young buck with extremely low self-esteem in the locker room at the gym where I work out and that they should get over there immediately? Dude, you need a role model.

Rule #3: No talking on the cell phone.

Nobody is interested in hearing you make an appointment for your next colonic, and we’re not impressed hearing you make deals with your stock broker. You are a legend in your own mind and you’re not impressing anyone. In fact, it demonstrates that you are an idiot. At the very least, please don’t talk on your phone while you’re standing next to me at the urinal or sitting in the stall next to me. I mean, who are you talking to?! Would they even want to talk to you if they knew what was going on on the other end of the line? Unless you’re trying to talk someone through how to diffuse an atomic bomb, it can wait. Okay, rock star?

Rule #4: Give some serious thought to your choice of locker.

A general rule of thumb is that everyone enjoys a space of at least two to three open lockers on either side of their locker. If the locker room is as empty as it typically is at my gym, and you pick the locker right next to mine (especially if I’m standing right there and am not fully clothed), there’s something wrong with your head. I’m immediately in defensive mode. I’m assuming that you’re not right and I’m either about to be mugged or… worse (let your mind wander). You make one wrong move toward me and you’re getting kung fu-ed right in the grill. Just leave me at least 2-3 locker’s worth of space, best buddy. It’ll be much safer for both of us.

Rule #5: There’s a time and a place for making new friends.

The workout area is a great place to make friends, friend. The locker room isn’t. If you don’t know me, don’t talk to me there, unless (and only under these conditions) we are both more or less fully dressed and I am not in some compromising position. If I’m in my boxers and I had to bend over to put my socks on (which come AFTER boxers [see Rule #1A]), don’t come up behind me and talk to me. Just don’t ever do that, pal. Whatever you have to say can wait. Seriously, putting on socks only takes like 5-10 seconds. Don’t people know this? Is this not common knowledge? Am I doing it wrong? Is there some nuance I’m missing? Here’s some hints: if I’m avoiding eye contact, giving short answers, moving away from you, putting chairs or other furniture between me and you, or calling for security, it’s probably because I’m not dressed yet and I’m not quite ready to make friends just yet. Nothing personal.

Rule #6A: Clean up after yourself.

Seriously, I thought we all learned this one in preschool. Didn’t we? Was I at some advanced preschool for the highly gifted where they taught advanced subjects like “Throw your used band-aids in the trash – 101”? Or, “Don’t leave your underwear on the floor when you go play – 101”? I really don’t think I’m asking too much, here, fellas. Why in the world would you leave your bandages in the shower area? Am I supposed to use the shower now and have whatever affliction ails you now oozing down between my toes? Razors, soap wrappers, soap… are you leaving them for me? Are you trying to be thoughtful? Like I’m going to pick that up and gratefully use it after it’s been exposed to your (unmentionables). Take it away with you. Your mother does not live at the gym and is not going to come in and clean up after you. YOU NEED TO PICK IT UP.

Rule #6B: Put your towels… geeeeeeez, I mean c’mon this is so obvious!!!

See that bin that says “TOWELS” on it? It’s not an advertisement. It’s not some metaphysical statement about the existence of towels. It’s not where you get them either, smart guy. It says that because that’s where the gym staff would like you to put your towels when you’re finished with them. Notice there are no “TOWELS” signs on the floor, on the lockers or on the hooks outside of the shower stall. That’s because the towels don’t belong there. And if you say anything to me about “that’s what the janitors get paid for,” I will kung fu your face and then tell old nasty naked guy to come see if you’re okay and if you need a hand.

Am I being unreasonable? Seriously, I just want the regular, accepted rules of society to apply to locker rooms too. That’s all. In civilized society, most people behave like civilized human beings. Until they get into a locker room. Then all of a sudden they’re 2 year-olds who just found out that it’s fun to run around without a diaper on and talk to people while they pee on the floor and play with their toy cell phone.

Get it together folks. B out.

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34 thoughts on “Bryan’s Official Locker Room Rules”

  1. I have to say, it’s been years since I was in a locker room. However, what you just described sounds eerily similar to my college dorm, complete with the NC-17 nudity.

  2. Agreed. In the past week I have encountered violators of #1A, #4 and #6A.

    One nasty old naked guy (NONG) is often guilty of breaking #1A. He is also very fond of his cowboy hat and I have seen him on occasion walking around the locker room wearing nothing but that hat. Seriously.

    Add on to #6A – wipe down the machines when you are done.

  3. By the way – I hope you didn’t take that picture of the lockers in the locker room. That would be an even bigger breach of etiquette.

  4. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!! ALL SOOO TRUE. Best laugh I’ve had all week.

    Every single last one of these also need apply to the ladies locker room. It’s exactly the same in there. Although I’ve yet to see rule #2 be broken in the ladies room, I’m sure it’s happened somehow, somewhere.

    One question, though…don’t they have those nifty personal dressing stalls in the mens locker room too, or is that only a womens locker room thing? These provide a most convenient barrier between me and everyone else for the duration of my locker room visit. You should look for one of those. I would simply refuse to go to the gym at all were it not for those. 🙂

    And might I add a rule #7 – please wear flip flops around the locker room, ESPECIALLY if you’re the one who has the nasty warts and corns all over your feet. Band-Aids just arent enough, as they obviously fall off in the shower. If only you would wear flip flops on your warted feet, the rest of us wouldn’t have to.

  5. The worst is what I call old man hiding behind the corner. It’s the worst when you walk into the locker room turn the corner and bam dirty naked old man bent over right in front of you or in the Captain Morgan pose with one foot up on the bench letting himself air dry. On a few occasions I have almost ran into a naked man. I would like to add a rule: if you’re going to be naked you cannot take a prime locker space near the isle.

    Bryan I think that you have to adjust the time you go to the gym. If you do the early bird special or after water aerobics you’re just asking for dirty old naked man fun. I like to go at night when the gym isn’t as packed and the elderly are in bed.

  6. Darius – you gotta quit posting my thoughts at the same second as me. Last time I dropped in to ask why the weight of bryan was late, you had just done it. This is strike two. Now we have two rule #7’s and complete chaos has been unleashed in the numbering system.

    One more strike, and I may be forced declare you my arch TWOG-blog-copy-cat nemesis. 😉 Or I suppose we could just shake hands and agree that we think alike. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. 😉

  7. Steve,

    I gave some serious thought to working in “WIPE OF YOUR FREAKIN’ MACHINE – THE WIPES ARE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU AND THEY’RE FREE!,” but alas, the post was about locker room etiquette, not health club ettiquette in general.
    And no, I found this photo on the web and it sort of looked similar to Limetime’s lockers.

    Justin,

    Good tips, for sure. Yeah, what in the world are men thinking who pull a naked Cap’n Morgan in the locker room? Is this something they do at home at well? I would think Marge, his wife, would yak if she saw that.

    By the way, a tip of the hat to you, Justin, since you’re really the one who got me signed up at Lifetime. You could have told me about “old naked guy hiding around corner” before you convinced me, you know.

  8. Ah yes, I suppose the machines aren’t in the locker room. In another month you can post the rules for the rest of the club. This has been a great laugh for my day.

    Tiffany – I’m glad you posted. Glad (sad) to hear things aren’t much different in the women’s locker room. When I was a kid, the local pool had a couple privacy stalls in the locker room, but almost nobody used them and those who did were mocked. Maybe that’s where some guys learned to embrace their nakedidity a little too much.

    Justin – I have seen the Cap’n Morgan in another form as well – the naked guy standing up on the bench doing his best impression of Michelangelo’s David, afraid to let his non flip flop wearing feet touch the floor, but obviously forgetting that is where a different naked guy previously sat (probably while carrying on a conversation with Bryan).

  9. Come on over to the Middle East. Nudity in the locker room is not allowed. You are expected to change in the stall or in shower stall. Other than the normal greeting, no one speaks in the locker room. The only downside, the old men tend to swim or sit in the jacuzzi/sauna in tighty whities. Those swimsuits are expensive (I guess).

  10. I did wonder if those stalls might not be a very “manly” place to go…Yay for being a girl. 🙂

    Also, yay that I don’t have any idea what a Cap’n Morgan pose is. *shudder* I think I could go a whole lifetime without knowing that. I’m sure whatever it is, my response is “ick.”

    Ick.

  11. let’s not leave out the additional sensory experience that is the locker room SMELL, a wonderful potpourri that is a distinct blend of cheap aftershave, burnt blow dried hair, followed up with a hint of stinky shoe, chrlorine, and the bouquet of a sauna (a unique hybrid of body odors and steam).

    thanks for the visual image of the captain morgan pose….I am now mentally scarred.

  12. I’ve actually seen the Cap’n stance with a blow dryer also involved. And it was not being used to dry nasty old naked guy’s combover either. I almost vomited my kidneys out.

    You might need therapy to get over that image.

  13. OK my hubby just showed me a bottle of Captain Morgan… *shiver*

    Thanks for scarring me for life guys. I can’t believe this is a Pastors blog. 😉

  14. By the way, I don’t know if this is a hard rule for both sexes of locker room, but I’ve noticed in the ladies room that the NONL tend to hang out more toward the back of the locker room, or toward the pool area.

    Try sticking toward the front and see how it goes.

  15. Tiffany,

    Nope, that’s not going to work. Unfortunately, NONG tends to roam freely all around the locker room. Even performing Cap’n poses on benches that aren’t even in his aisle of lockers.

    Nasty, nasty, dirty old naked guy… How I loathe thee…

  16. Too bad I have a broken back right now and laughing hurts because this was hilarious. It has been awhile since I have been in a locker room, but this brought me right back to Friday Night Open Swim at the Duluth YMCA when I was in grade school. There was this extremely LARGE naked woman who I swear was in the shower for at least an hour every Friday night. I have another rule to add: young children of the opposite sex shouldn’t be allowed in the locker room…as a woman, there are few things more awkward than having a six year old boy watch you change…unless you are into that sort of thing, I guess…which I’m not.

  17. I know I said I would go back to being too cool to comment on this blog, but this post is amazing!! And even though I got a preview of this blog post last week, I literally laughed out loud several times.

    Now my husband is waiting to read it…

  18. I’ve mostly been content to lurk here, but this was too good not to comment. If it makes you feel any better, the ladies locker room at my community center is replete with the kinds of situations you list. The only saving grace for me is the adult only room. No cubicles, but a higher degree of privacy and no teens trying out for Playboy. *sigh*

  19. B, I was at a club in Chicago where NONG emerged FROM THE HOT TUB! What would possess a grown man to sit naked in a public hot tub?
    Also, and ladies perhaps you can let me know how common this is, my wife regaled me with the story of the woman who felt she could not leave her son, her 10-year-old son, out in the waiting room, so she brought him into the locker room with her!! My wife was thankfully not fully unclothed, but was horrified. This has got to be the worst breach of etiquette I have heard of.

  20. Two comments.

    First, I have been tracking your weight loss progress and I am impressed. I have been working out regularly and have been losing 2-3 lbs. a week. I also hit a plateau recently. I just returned to the gym today from taking a week off due to illness. To my delight I lost three pounds during my off week. Go figure. Maybe an occasional week off is good?

    Second, one of the things that disturbs me about some of the NONG’s at my gym is that they will stand face to face in the buck having a conversation. These guys are standing pretty close together! One slip and they will be sword fighting.

    Here’s an idea. Put on your clothes before having a conversation with someone. It is just plain weird having a conversation with a NONG!

  21. For some reason I can’t get the cockpit scene from Airplane! out of my head.

    Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?
    Do you ever hang around the gymnasium?
    Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?
    Do you like movies about gladiators?

  22. Hey Bryan! Your parents keep my updated on all the EC gossip! And they gave me this address to find out all about the nong, thanks for a good laugh and a bad memory. . . I worked at the Eau Claire Golf and Country Club in college as a bartender. . .some bright person had the bright idea to put our ice machine in the men’s locker room. . . I knocked and hollered in that a girl was coming in. . .well, I saw more than I ever dreamed of of probably one of the richest, oldest men in Eau Claire. . . nice. . . Glad to hear everything is going great for you, your wife is beautiful, your son precious and your pup is super cute! Back to work. . .

  23. Yikes. Whoever had the idea to put the ice machine in that mens room should be sacked. If I’ve gotten to know the NONG species, I’d guess they’d act deaf and deliberately allow a woman to walk in on them, as Kate’s story proves.

    We should all boycott Eau Claire Golf and CC. I’m canceling my membership immediately.

    I declare a revolution – we must band together and demand separate locker rooms just for NONGs. Men, Women, and NONGs.

  24. Imagine how College andProfessional MALE athletes feel when there naked… and Female and Male reporters surround there locker while they change from towel to street clothes after a long game. I played sports in college Women really dont think twice or care about mens privacy. On a daily basis if im at a place where the womens like is real long …. most women feel they can just go in the mens room with there son, while men wouldnt dare bring there daughter into the womens room. Just alot of double standards

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  26. I arrived at this post via a link, and had I first read what your blog is about, (Biblical and theological thoughts…) I would have just closed the window and moved on. But I jumped right in and started reading, to my regret. I am not here to make trouble, but I will suggest that you at least try hanging out naked in the privacy of your own home. You shouldn’t be that ashamed of being naked.

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