Note: I dispense, for now, with the “aside” nonsense. Fiction is difficult. Inane observations which spill over from a semi-odd brain are somewhat easier. And if I ever resume posting “fictional” chapters, then the “asides” will cease to be nonsense, and will be once again be high art indeed! (Or something.)
I don’t necessarily believe in aliens. But if they did exist, I imagine one of the hardest things to explain to them would be the health club (which, naturally, I would be called upon to do).
Me: Well, what I do in this big air-conditioned building is run in place with a bunch of strangers.”
Alien: Run . . . in place?
Me: Occasionally, I’ll lift heavy things over my head, or climb on stairs that go nowhere.
Alien: Stairs to nowhere?
Me: Nowhere at all.
Alien: And what is that small chamber?
Me: A tiny room that’s really hot. We sit in there on wooden benches as long as we can without dying.
Alien: A hot ‘room’ inside of a cold ‘building’?
Me: That’s right.
Alien: Is it not already ‘hot’ OUTSIDE of the building?
Alien: Could you not ‘sit’ there in your strange attempt to prevent your life force from being extinguished?
Alien: And can you not run or even lift heavy objects anywhere, and perhaps actually accomplish productive tasks?
Alien: And are there not actual stairs that lead to actual places, outside of this building?
Alien: I assume you are compensated for this odd human experiment?
Me: Oh, no. I pay for the privilege.
Alien: I see. Prepare to be destroyed.