It’s Goin’ Down At Panera

I’ve been working out with a friend’s P90X video for several months now.  It was a sequel to curling cans of baked beans.

I promised my buddy that I’d return her videos in May, but I really like them and it cost $130 for a new set!  I was heading back toward the vegetable cans last week when Jesse drove up in new wheels.

“Where’d you get it?” I asked.

“Craig’s list.”

“You bought a truck on Craig’s list?”


He said it as if my question was stupid.  Although, come to think of it, I asked it as if he were stupid.

I thought it absurd to make a significant purchase from a stranger on-line, until I started talking to other people in my life.  Many of them had made significant purchases with Craig.

So I figured what the heck, if Jesse can buy an automobile on Craig’s list, certainly I can find my video set there too.

It felt sort of creepy, like the clearance rack at K-Mart.  But when I searched for my prerecorded calisthenics routine, I found that A LOT of people in the Triangle region either aren’t meeting their health and wellness goals or got a little tipsy and made a bad decision on QVC.  The prices varied – usually cheaper in the outlying towns – $55 in Fuquay Varina (probably don’t have a DVD player); $50 in Knightdale (may not have a TV).  I found one in Raleigh for $60, brand new, an unopened package.  The seller only accepted inquiry calls – no emails.

I felt like I was doing a drug deal. 

My palms became sweaty as I punched in his number.  A Jersey shore accent answered, “Yo.”

“Do you still have the goods?”




‘Your house?”

“No bro!  Panera, North Hills, Wednesday, 4:45. I’ll be wearing a black shirt.”


“I’ll be in a bow tie…”


“Nothin’… ah, dude.”

Panera?  Clearly he was trying to take advantage of me.  He didn’t want me to know where he lived.  I knew he was a scam artist.  All of the on-line wheeler dealers are.

I got there early, the cash in my front pocket.  I was tired.  I’d tossed and turned the night before.  What if he dupes me?  What if I get home and the “brand new, unopened P90X package” is really a Richard Simmons’ Party Off The Pounds VCR tape? 

Would it be insulting if I asked him to open the box before I gave him the money?  Would he pull a switch blade if I offended him?  Wasn’t there a Craig’s List killer?  What if this dude had some crazy infatuation with men who wear bow ties? 

I wiped my brow with my M & M cookie napkin. 

Now I smell sweet.  This is bad.  I’m leaving.

As I stood to move toward the door, my phone rang. 

“I’m by the counter,” he quietly offered.

I could see him.  He looked normal, and small.  He clearly hadn’t removed the contents and used them.

“I see you.”

“Well OK.  Are you going to come up here?”

“Oh, yea.”

I hung up and headed toward a table in the front of the resturant. 

He handed me the package.   It looked legit.

I pulled the money out of my pocket and sat it on the table in front of us, tucking the edge under the salt shaker.

“Can I open it?”

“Go ahead.  It’s all there.”

I didn’t remove each CD, but I did dig down deep enough to see the case and a nifty nutritional pamphlet I hadn’t even expected.

“You should have used these,” I suggested, “It’s a great workout.”

“I don’t exercise.  Kills my back.”

He sifted through the wad of cash.

“All three Jacksons – right there like I promised.”  I can’t believe he didn’t trust me. 

I picked up my box, crinkling up the plastic wrapping in my other hand.  “I guess we both got what we wanted.”

“Yeah.”  He nodded an grab the door handle.

And with that, my dealer disappeared into the maze of cars in the parking lot. 

I headed home – and inserted three of the CD’s to make sure they weren’t home videos of Jersey boy’s family.


Posted by DJ

Recently my Dad has been on this workout rant. I mean, he is always doing something to try and get rid of his flabbyness. Once he lifted cans of baked beans, other times he has come up with his own lifting patterns which I swear he just made up to embarrass me.

I wonder when he will realize there is just no use. He is a forty-six year old man, if he wanted to be big and buff he should have figured that out in high school.

But lately, he has discovered P90X. He borrowed it from one of his friends (I’m not sure which one, but when I find out they will pay, big time).

Here is the basic gist of this daily workout.  It is about an hour-long and consists of:

Some man named Tony Horton, who is ripped and has gorgeous abs, yelling at you through the television. Half the time you cannot even understand what he is saying.

Now when Tony gets tired, he stops exercising and just walks around and tells everyone else working out in the room with him what they are doing wrong. So helpful.

In this multi-disk program, you use weights and huge rubber bands, and occasionally a chair or two.

The point of this blog post is to let you know how embarrassing it is when I have friends over and your dad walks out into the kitchen (where our food is prepared) all sweaty and smelly and he starts having a conversation with your guest who is obviously disgusted. The worst part is his outfit. He either wears gym shorts or his underwear and a t-shirt with holes in it (which my mother tried to get rid of on multiple occasions, guess I should take that responsibility over).

I am not saying that it is bad that he is working out and keeping himself in shape. I’m just saying that he did not “go up a size in sports coats, because my arms are getting too buff.” You think he was kidding, or I made that quote up? Nope, dead serious this came out of his mouth with a straight face.

Exercise? Really?

Posted by DJ

My dad is “lifting weights” with cans of baked beans.  He is a dork.

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