Brett Buckner: Locker room etiquette — after 40, keep it covered
by Brett Buckner
Special to The Star
Jun 30, 2013 | 3166 views |  0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’m not offended by nudity. Heck, I’ve seen “Porky’s” at least a dozen times. But there’s a time and place … a physique to which being nekked is acceptable. There are more times — and physiques — to which public nudity should never be an available option.

To quote Mark Twain, “Man is the only animal that can blush … or that needs to.” While the dude standing next to me in the locker room appeared to be blushing from head to toe, I fear it was his being a ginger that turned him pink rather than any bashfulness because he sure didn’t seem to mind leavin’ his twigs and berries dangling out to dry.

When I think of full frontal it generally involves Tawny Kitaen circa 1988 (“Witchboard” anyone?), not Ron Howard. I mean God invented towels, and the YMCA where I’m currently changing clothes while staring at the ceiling, offers towels for a dollar. I’d happily start a fundraiser for a year’s worth if Howdy Doody would cover up.

Keep in mind, I’m no Brutus Beefcake (more like George “the Animal” Steele) but this ain’t show ‘n’ tell, so I’m keepin’ myself to myself.

I suppose I had it coming. This is what I get for trying to get in shape. Standing on the cusp of 40, I’m starting to feel my age. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t still try to eat like I was in college. Back then, my buddy and I would eat 10 tacos for lunch, a sackful of Krystals for dinner and wash it all down with a 12-pack of the Beast and I could still fit into my ninth-grade basketball uniform (and those shorts were so short they’d work perfectly for a Nair commercial … a nasty commercial, but a commercial just the same).

Today, Taco Bell’s hot sauce makes me fat.

So I decided to do something about it. I joined the Y and got an anatomy lesson.

Once in the actual work-out area, things didn’t get any less awkward. I don’t know if it was the time of day, but I swear everyone in there either looked like Tim Tebow or Chief from “Gimme a Break.” Amid such company, I could easily blend and make some observations between embarrassingly low-weight reps.

For example:

• I felt like I needed to wear a T-shirt that exclaimed, “No. I’m not staring at your girlfriend. I just forgot my glasses. You both look like blurry blobs to me.”

• Why do gym always have their TVs tuned to Fox News? Why promote Anne Coulter’s hatemongering when a picture of Rush Limbaugh underneath the banner with “This could happen to you,” would do the trick … like those billboards with pictures of meth addicts.

• Calf tattoos are never a good idea. When you do leg presses, that great white shark looks like it has the hiccups.

• Stationary bikes are a contradiction in terms. By staying still and inside I miss the joy of swallowing a cloud of gnats while lip-synching to a Ozzy/Lita Ford power ballad on the bike trail. Plus, on the stationary bike I learned that Desitin wasn’t just for baby bottoms.

I need a regimen that allows me to lose weight without actually working out. I could get someone to punch me in the face every time I order a meal that automatically came with fries. That’s how I quit smoking … at least until my roommate graduated.

But I guess being punched in the face wouldn’t exactly be considered low impact.

Contact Brett Buckner at
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