There are three topics that attract reader to my blog like ants to a barbecue. The third is anything to do with whatever Armageddon is happening to my car in the course of the week. I think this is because most people can identify with car ownership, and there is always something one can say that strikes a chord of familiarity. For example, “… I released my parking brake and watched the hood pop up.”

The second one is any bit of clumsiness that can help an intimate moment along. “Then my foot hit something wet and slimy, and all I could think was that she had a miscarriage. Then I learned it was a slug that crawled into the hallway via the patio.” No matter how bazaar the situation, people can identify with anything that happens during sex.

By far the most popular topic I measured by number of hits per day is anything that has to do with my tail – an appendage that nobody has but everyone fantasizes about. The topic of shaving my tail beats sex and cars every time

This is why I was so happy this morning when an incident at my step class at Kerrisdale Community Centre in Vancouver had me slamming my tail in the doorway. I predict my blog will go viral.

I teach the class in a large room called the auditorium, and between 15 and 30 people regularly show up to see what trouble I can stir up on a Sunday morning. The room is used for a children’s program the evening before, and there is a lingering smell of popcorn and farts that I evacuate by opening the doors so it can be replaced by the smell of expensive cologne.

Besides smell, most of my participants think it is a temperature issue, and I open the door because the temperature on the outside is cooler than the temperature inside. This morning marked one of those days where, for the first time since April, the temperature inside was a full five degrees C warmer than outside. Most of my participants were wearing sweaters, sweat pants and were otherwise dressed in layers.

As the class started one shut the door and resumed her position next to the door. A minute into the warm-up, another opened the door and resumed her position on the other side of the room. The door opened again, then closed again, then opened, then closed. Then two factions started yelling at each other and making comments on their respective ancestries in circus families. There was a veritable battle between self-identified fresh air fiends and the stuffyists – the age-old analogue to the Hatfields and the Mccoys. As the instructor I was asked to intervene by holding a vote.

“No way,” I said. I told them that there is no room for democracy in a fitness class, but we would continue for 15 minutes and open the doors when body heat and Oxygen depletion would demand it. I would then close the doors when we begin floor exercises because I don’t want anyone to get a chill. All this was going on as I was leading the class through some complicated and frisky manoeuvres. The situation would have caused a less experienced instructor to cry. As an experience instructor, I knew what would happen next. People would complain and I would lose my job.

This is why democracy doesn’t work. “Detente Schmetante,” is my motto. You have to lay it out to them as if you have control even though they’ve slammed your tail in the door. Anything less and they won’t come back.

At the end of the class, I was putting some Bactine and a band aid on my tail. One of the Fresh Air Fiends told me that I have to do something about the door issue. “There is no door issue,” I told her. “The solution I offered is the way it will be.” She looked shocked.

“The centre has a rule about this.” I said. “You have a car, don’t you?”

She said she did.

“Does your car have air conditioning?” I asked.

“Of course,” she said.

“When you have the air conditioning on, do you open the windows as well?”

“Of course not,” she said.

“This room is air conditioned.” I said. “The air conditioning is set to go off about the time the class starts. That’s why I come 15 minutes early to air the place out. At that time the door should be closed so we aren’t paying for cooling off the out-of-doors.”

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a  fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at   or at

If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates




  1. Sharon Says:

    OMG! You are a tough guy. Lead on, fearless leader.

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