Badminton. It is the noblest of games; and has been The Gentlemen’s sporting activity of choice for quite some time. For many a sweaty hour, The Councilman and I have spanked the shuttlecock back and forth, oblivious to the time, the temperature, and the lusty glances of passing ladies. Never is our fraternal bond stronger than when we are smacking the bird!
But the ‘minton is an unsteady friend. For the ‘cock is light, and even the slightest of winds can hurl it violently off course. The frustration this causes (and The Councilman’s accompanying ejaculations of rage) are simply too much to bear. Thus, The Gentlemen have of late been in the market for an alternate, windy-day activity.
During our most recent southern adventure, a candidate presented itself. It was a Tuesday and The Gentlemen’s able bodies were thirsty for sport. But, the winds were fierce and the rain was drenching. The bird shall not fly today, The Councilman declared. What were we Gentlemen to do?
How we made our next decision, I do not recall. But soon after our decree of no-minton, we were to be found dressed in our standard finery, splashing through the forming puddles in The Councilman’s ever reliable horseless carriage. In my hand I clutched two “good for one free session” coupons for Pinnacle Bikram Yoga of Boca Raton. Surely, we thought, the eastern man’s exercise of choice must hold some value for The Gentlemen.
Have you been to one of these studios of yoga, dear reader? They are dank, putrid places, bursting at their seems with strange perspirations. Immediately upon entering, The Councilman grasped at his nostrils with both hands, leaving me to transact our business.
The proprietor accepted our coupons but seemed quite befuddled by our choice of attire. Have you no sweat pants, he asked? I need no special pants for sweating, replied The Councilman. And quite right he was! For even before our complimentary session began, while we stood in the ever warming yoga room, chatting with our fellow practitioners, The Councilman called my attention to the developing circles of moisture on the knees of his trousers. This has long been his way of saying, Bean, I am hot, look how slimy my legs have become.
But it seems that sweating is most all we did. Soon after our class began, after we’d spent a relaxing few moments standing and breathing, our yoga master begin calling most wildly for a series of most unreasonable bodily positions. Some of these were a recipe for a guaranteed pants splitting. Others simply violated our rich sense of manly dignity. I am a gentlemen, I thought, not some downward facing dog. In all, we partook in only a small fraction of the exercises (though The Councilman did enjoy pretending to be a tree). Instead, we passed the time mopping our brows and sipping our flasks.
As we departed, yoga master asked us never to return. We countered that he ought not to publish “good for one free session” coupons in the newspaper. We then returned home for some badminton in the pouring rain.
S. Andy Bean