Armed and Dangerous

Until recently, the only thing I ever did at the gym was run on the treadmill. Then, about three weeks ago, I started using the elliptical trainer — that’s the doohummer where you push and pull the handles that are connected to the pedals. Working out my arms is a new thing for me. The last time I did upper-body work was pushing bowls of oatmeal off my high-chair tray.

So yesterday I’m admiring myself in the mirror, as I do every day from 7:00 – 8:15 PM, and notice what appears to be a boil on my upper arm. Upon closer inspection, however, it turns out to be an honest-to-god muscle — not a gargantuan Basedow-league muscle or anything, but more like a training muscle, like a Fisher Price “My First Muscle™”. Not that this comes as a total surprise. Just the other day I noticed that I could pick up the cat for three, sometimes four, minutes in a stretch before getting winded. Also, I’ve been able to press the buttons on my Playstation controller a lot harder.

Anyhow, now I’m trying to figure out what to do with this thing. Lift some heavy stuff, I guess, or go to the carnival and play Hit-the-Lever-With-the-Sledgehammer. One thing’s for sure, though: no one is going to fuck with Matthew Baldwin now that he has a muscle. People will say to me “It’s cool that you have so much self-confidence that you don’t even try to brush your hair in the morning,” and I’ll be all like “That’s a good one … but not as good as this!” and roll up my sleeve and they’ll get all quiet and respectful and run off to fetch me root beer. And when my boss calls me up and says “Matthew, your failure to come in to work for the last four days is unacceptable!” I’ll say “don’t you mean un-biceps-able?!” and hold my muscle up to the phone and then he’ll promote me. Everything’s going to change now that I have a muscle. I’m like a nuclearized North Korea.

* * *