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Sunday, 30 September 2007

Why LA Fitness is unfit, some thanks - and a few other reflections

Dr. Johnson, as you know if you read this, is perhaps my favourite person to crib from, though he made quite a few pretty sweeping and highly dubious statements.

One of his best lines came when he was asked to coin a good insult. His suggestion was: "Sir, your mother, under pretence of keeping a bawdy house, is a receiver of stolen goods."

Another I like was, "I do not wish to speak ill of any man , but I believe the gentleman is an attorney."

This strikes a chord with me right now, even though one of my best friends is a lawyer.

I am going through my third and, I devoutly pray, last divorce. A sad business. My lawyers are good - perhaps the best around - but seem unable to restrain their rapacity. Maybe it comes with the training. Not content with charging perhaps the highest fees in London, they insisted that I deposit a tidy sum with them in advance.

I can understand that, just, though I am hardly a likely defaulter; but to add injury to insult they charge me as we go along. So my money sits in their bank earning interest.

Let's moan about something else.

My partner and her sister are taking free trials of various gyms, while I stay home and do my usual set of exercises: three deep breaths, two twitches and a majestic fart.

Yesterday they went to LA Fitness in Fulham. The instructor was wonderful they said - he struck some impressive, near impossible poses of a highly contortionate nature, with the intention, I greatly fear, of conveying his abilities in closer contact with someone of either sex later.

They arrived to be greeted with far less than total apathy. Nobody told them where the changing rooms - or anything else - might be; they were expected to buy a lock to put on their locker; and they left just as ignored as they came.

What the hell is the point of offering a free trial if you ignore the people who accept it? When you're in a booming industry like health-freakery you can get away with this level of incompetence - but not forever, believe me.

You know, quite a few people suggested I write this blog but I always refused as it seemed grossly narcissistic and, again to quote Dr.J, "Sir, no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money."

However, I greatly appreciate the comments I get - especially the last two. To give you another little gem I love, James Thurber wrote a very funny book about the great New Yorker editor Harold Ross, who was a very lugubrious soul and sparing with praise. Whenever he saw something he liked he would say, "I am encouraged to go on."

You comments ancourage me to go on, except one that I removed last week, because it was a) untrue in three important respects and b)it named names, which I try to avoid so as to and c) the writer (like many of this type) did not identify himself.

If he does I'll put him right - though I have a suspicion as to who he is. I do plan to write about all those things eventually - and accurately

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