A Letter

Dear Stinky Man Next To Me On The Elliptical at Gold's Gym Tonight,

Mr. Stinky Man, I feel bad for you. You must not own a television set. For if you did, you would be like every other Washingtonian and have checked the weather forecast every 10 minutes on the morning news and known that the weather today was predicted to be in the low 90's and humid. And if you had seen this, you would have known to wear deodorant.

Perhaps you are an intern who had not yet figured out that it does in fact get very hot and very humid in DC during the summer months. Perhaps you just moved here and the moving men have not delivered your television. Perhaps you are blind and deaf and were unable to see or hear the weather forecast today. None of this, however, excuses the fact that you were not wearing deodorant.

The foul stench that emitted from your body the minute you stepped onto the elliptical machine right next to me - despite 4 others being open in the row - was enough to suffocate a small country. Since I was halfway into my workout, I told myself that I could ignore the smell and complete my last 20 minutes. Little did I know how much worse the odor would get as the minutes ticked by. On top of being a smelly man, you are also a sweaty man. Three minutes into your relatively easy workout (I know b/c I watched you enter the settings b/c I wanted to know how long I had to prepare myself to endure your offensive fumes), you looked like you had just taken a swim in the ocean and I think every drop of perspiration that covered your body must have contained millions and millions of cells of stink.

I could not breathe. I had to turn my head to the left and stare at the person across the row from me, who must have thought I was some sort of gym stalker and quickly became very uncomfortable with my head turned directly towards her as I breathed heavily through my workout and your odors. Eventually, I also noticed a different fragrance mixed in with your stink, and it closely resembled Glade Apple Cinnamon Air Freshener. Now, on top of being unable to breathe, all I could think about was where one would use that type of spray and the only reasonable answer I could come up with was a restroom, as most normal* people would not subject themselves to that horrible $4.99 spray unless absolutely necessary. This was too much! The abhorrent, heinous stench of body odor combined with wiffs of nasty bathroom air freshener had my head spinning. I had to get off the machine and run, run, run away.

Mr. Stinky Man, please go purchase some deodorant. There is a CVS on every corner and I am sure you can find something suitable. But for the love of Christ, please do not enter Gold's Gym - or any other place with people who have a sense of smell - until you do.

Kelly Taylor

*Normal, in this context, means people who own and use deodorant on a daily basis


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