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Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Introducing Biff and Bodger (or Gym Caricatures Part One)

I am never one to judge or pass comment on anyone who exercises - usually. My feelings regarding exercise are that no matter how slow you are going, you are still running rings round those who are sat on the couch watching TV and eating; so keep going, you're doing grand! However (you knew it was coming, didn't you?) I felt I couldn't let another day go without telling you about my new gym 'companions'. I use the term because they seem to be in the gym quite often and usually at the same time as I'm partaking in my PT session.


Let me introduce Biff and Bodger, as I like to call them. I'm not entirely sure what their real names are, but that wouldn't be fair anyway. Nor would any of the other names be that I like to call them when working out. To a certain extent, they remind me somewhat of Roald Dahl characters, and I dare say Dahl would have had great fun with these two, if he had ever written a novel about the inner workings of a gym. Hence their nicknames - I'm reminded of the likes of Boggis, Bunce and Bean from Fantastic Mr Fox and Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker from James and the Giant Peach. Definite caricatures if ever you were to meet them! Perhaps I'll write to David Walliams instead, as he seems to have taken over, very successfully, where Dahl has left off (and I'm sure it is no coincidence at all that Quentin Blake illustrates his books, but I'm digressing here...).


Biff is definitely the more dominant of the pair - he corrects form (consistently incorrectly); he cajoles and encourages (often quite harshly, but always consistently); he poses in the mirror flexing his pectoral muscles (in ways I should never have to see) and he has been known - apparently - to go the whole hog and remove his shirt on the gym floor in order to show everyone his 'gains'. (Lots of gym-folk use this word: I know I haven't joined their ranks fully and officially yet as I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about - it seems to have different meanings and connotations depending on who you're talking to. For some, muscle definition; for others, growth; and for others size-diminishing.) But what Biff does more than anything is talk. Incessantly. Total and utter shite.


Bodger is the silent type. He has odd facial hair, and a strange sort of comb over / long Mohican on top of his head. He looks like he should be a biker, yet wears fluorescent green vests. He doesn't speak, but he grunts - a lot! His grunts remind me of the noises Little Legs (child number 1) used to make as a baby when trying to fill his nappy. He doesn't speak, I'm guessing, because he can't get a word in edgeways due to Biff's excessive and incessant ramblings. And his form... Oh dear. I'm no expert but I spend my time in the free weights area terrified that this man is going to do himself some sort of horrific injury while his mate cheers (or rather berates) him on! For example, Bodger was performing weighted squats on Sunday but rather than just using a bar and weights, he had also draped two large chains over the ends of the bar. I watched, horrified, as he squatted to Biff's shouts of, "Lower!" With every squat I found myself holding my breath, waiting in anticipation to see if he would actually make it back up to a standing position or if he would spontaneously combust. It was like car-crash telly; like watching puppies in a blender...
And then, just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, Biff decided to tell the gym about his parenting skills and just what a wonderful job he was doing. Now, again, I do not claim to be an expert, but I've got mine to the ripe old ages of six and nine without too many disasters and more or less, they're fairly well-rounded individuals but admitting loudly for all to hear that you let your child watch Peppa Pig for a straight nine hours a day, in my book, is as far removed from good parenting as it is possible to get! Have they even made nine hours' worth of Peppa Pig episodes? Er, no, I don't believe they have. Poor Little Biff. His brain will be mush! (Oh my God. the Dahlian images are back! It's a scene from Matilda. Biff is Mr Wormwood!)
Eventually, they moved on so I could complete my own workout.
But it's ok. If you think I'm being unreasonable here or, dare I say it, a bit of a bitch, karma kicked in just after and I dropped a bar on my foot. 

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