Publisher’s note: This column is what brought me in the door at this newspaper 20 years ago, when the owners at the time graciously offered me a humor column. I wrote about 150 of these, and as part of our celebration throughout this 25th anniversary year, we’re re-printing some of the favorites. This “SUWAT” was originally published in September 2007. It was a fan favorite and I later learned it was cut out and taped in at least two different locker rooms, including the one where this story was born.
By Greg A. Bruns
At the first of the year, I started an exercise regimen in order to prep for the cheerless 40th birthday that awaits me in September. I’m in pretty good shape after nearly nine months, but it has come at a high price: having to endure the men’s locker room at the gym.
I’m pretty sure it’s not just me – or just my gym for that matter – because I think these points of concern could apply to any men’s locker room anywhere. It’s not so much that the locker room smells – it does – it’s more the other dudes in there who do stuff that falls outside the realm of what I would call publicly acceptable behavior. I understand that it’s a dude’s place where we can do dude stuff, but somebody needs to bring this to your attention.
1. Dude doing the massive “farmer blow” in the shower. Even though I’m wearing shower shoes, being in a shower stall after someone did a power sinus purge is like sleeping in a room where someone was murdered. Use a tissue – or by the sound of it, a fistful of tissues.
2. Nude Dude who came dripping wet out of the shower and almost sat on the leather couch in the TV area – but then noticed the glaring shock in the eyes of those around him, so he opted to put down a hand towel so he wouldn’t stick to the cushion. Dude, this is not your home; it’s our home away from home. And I’d really rather not see some naked old man air-drying his junk on the couch in our home. Plus, you’re dripping all over the couch, man. And I know you leaned back and smothered that cushion with your wet back after we all left... you were getting too engrossed in the Golf Channel and you clearly had nothing else to do that day. Grab an extra towel or two – there’s plenty to go around.
3. Dude blow drying his pubic hair. C’mon, man. Seriously.
4. Dude who popped the cap off his hemorrhoid cream and then braced for application before I staggered out of there like a hammered Angus. I would think you’d want to be a bit more discreet, chief. Would you wear a tee shirt that reads “I HAVE A PROLAPSED RECTUM!” I didn’t think so. Use one of the bathroom stalls, please.
5. Completely Nude Dude who props one foot up on the bench in an awkward half “Thinker” pose while engaging others around him in light conversation. Yep – I see you are proud of your family-maker there. Good for you, man. It takes a special kind of person to ‘air dry’ in the locker room. But you knowingly hang one leg out while your fishing tackle dangles there, so we have to do this weird thing where you talk and I stare at your face until my eyes start to water. Can you go waggle that thing in front of someone else?
I understand it’s a men’s locker room and there will always be nakedness. But with nakedness comes responsibility – and some of you are owning this like a bunch of teenage girls with cell phones in a Hollister store. We’re all adults here, so let’s just write some anonymous, passive-aggressive notes (this column) and tape them to the shaving mirrors when no one is around. And if you do, let me know where so I can keep a tally.
— Greg can be reached: firstname.lastname@example.org.