Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum Dept.

When Richie and I joined the "Open All Day and All Night Be Fit Gym," (not its real name) of Hermosa Beach , we were given membership cards in a small plastic sleeve. They xeroxed our driver's licenses, cut them to fit and put them in the sleeve with the membership card. Thence forth, every time we used the gym, we pulled them out; the desk clerks swiped them and away we went.

Next they installed four or five do-it-yourself ID machines. You stick your index finger in a hole, tap out your phone number on the little keyboard and that gets you in. We were asked if we'd prefer to do this and we both said, "No, thank you" and that was that.

Or rather it was until this morning... on entering, I had my plastic sleeve out with the membership card and xeroxed driver's license. The clerk shook her head and said, I need to see your real driver's license, we don't swipe any more." Puzzled, I pulled out my billfold, flipped it open and showed her my "real" driver's liense. She nodded and said, "Next" to the woman behind me.

To make sure I understood, I stopped at the desk on my way out. Saying that I wanted to do it right tomorrow morning, I asked if all I had to do was show my driver's license?
"Yes," she said.
"No membership card?"
"Thanks!" and out the door I went.

Why am I blathering on about this? I'll tell you why. You, too, can now routinely use the "Open All Day and All Night Be Fit Gym" FOR FREE. All you have to do is wear appropriate gym clothing, carry a hand towel and flash your driver's license! In like Flynn, baby.

I would counsel speed though if you're going to try this. Right now the gym is packed with the New-Year's-resolution-to-loose 50 lbs.-and-get fit! crowd. The gym is so busy -- it's now routine to see 10 to 12 cars snaking around the parking lot at any time, looking for a space -- that you could probably get in even if you were a Kodiak bear. Just wear the appropriate clothing, bears, and no one will ever know...

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