Sunday, January 21, 2007

My mentor is a hack.

Okay, this is just plain bizarre.

Saturday night we went to dinner with my friend...we'll call him Jim...and his wife. Jim is a great friend of mine, someone I really love and respect. But in the course of our dinner conversation, I discovered something about him that I think qualifies him as stone cold nuts. Tell me if I'm way off base here.

First, a bit of background. Jim is a clean-cut white dude in his early 30s, a fine, upstanding, church-going citizen with a Master's degree in business, and a wife and 2 children. Another friend of mine jokes that Jim is my mentor (inspiring him to repeatedly say, "Your mentor is a hack!") because Jim is the person I call when I have a question about...anything. A cooking question, a math question, a geographical question, a question regarding the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, etc. I would argue that Jim is perhaps one of the smartest people I know, if you guys wouldn't immediately begin screaming that that's no compliment considering the boobs and morons that I associate with it. So let's just leave it at this: Jim is a smart guy. Which is why what I'm about to tell you is particularly mystifying.

Every morning Jim works out, either by running outside or by using a rowing machine in his house. He gets very sweaty and disgusting, as is appropriate for such a situation. But then! For reasons I can't fathom, no matter how many times I turn it over and over in my brain, this supposedly brainy fellow sheds his sweaty clothes and hangs them up to reuse again the next day. No, not just the shorts, but the whole ensemble, right down to the socks. In fact, in spite of his wife's strenuous objections, he'll wear them for 2 or 3 days in a row. Now, originally he was hanging his filthy, sopping shirt on the bedpost in the master bedroom of his nice, clean, attractive suburban home, but his very normal, sweet, schoolteacher wife put a stop to that on the grounds that it was stinking up the entire bedroom. So now he hangs them up in the garage.

Let me remind you, I love Jim, and my instinct is to always be on his side. I immediately struggled to find a way to jump to his defense here, so I quickly ran down a list of clarifying questions:

1) Did their washer and dryer break long ago, and thanks to a series of bad investments or possibly a chronic, expensive illness in one or both of the children, they couldn't afford to fix or replace it?

Nope. Both washer and dryer are relatively new, and in good working condition.

2) Does Jim suffer from some kind of strange skin condition, in which freshly washed clothing irritates his skin and causes him great discomfort and an unsightly rash?

Nope. His skin has no adverse reactions to common detergents and/or water additives.

3) Is their laundry room a prohibitive distance from the main part of the house--perhaps in a shed at the far end of an enormous backyard, or up 3 flights of stairs in a cramped attic crawlspace?

Nope. Their washer and dryer is in an incredibly handy, central location.

4) Does Jim only have an unusually limited workout wardrobe--say, 1 shirt, 1 pair of shorts, and 2 pairs of socks--making it difficult or impossible to wear a fresh outfit every day, and, thanks to a well-hidden gambling problem or burgeoning methamphetamine addiction, find himself without sufficient funding to expand his inadequate wardrobe?

Nope. He has plenty of clothes, and has enough money to buy more, if needed.

When I pressed him with the most distressing question, in my opinion: "Why not wash your clothes every day? What's the point of wearing dirty ones?" his reaction could best be described as bafflement. He seemed to feel that it just didn't make sense not to wear the clothes two or three days in a row, since he works out alone and therefore no one is around to be offended by the smell. We sort of stared blankly at each other for a moment before I sputtered, " have clean clothes nearby! Wouldn't you rather put on clean ones than dirty ones?" Again he seemed baffled by this. He felt that, logically, there was just no need to wear clean clothes if he was just going to get sweaty again anyway. How do you explain the value of hygiene to a grown man?

The whole thing is made even more vexing in light of a confession Jim made to me a few years ago. He told me that he has an odd fear of running out of deodorant, and that because of that, he keeps not just one can of deodorant at his house at all times, but several. He doesn't feel protected unless he knows he has two or three backups in place. At the time, this seemed odd and obsessive-compulsive to me, but also made me think Jim was just a clean guy who was paranoid about being seen as anything less than clean by others. Now that I know he not only wears filthy, stinking clothes to exercise in every morning, but more importantly, is wholly unashamed of this and is genuinely mystified as to why it might be seen as objectionable to anyone, I realize that Jim is, above all else, stone cold nuts. And a hack as a mentor.

Which brings me to the next issue: The position of mentor is now open. If there's anyone out there who feels suited to the task, please submit your qualifications and experience. Applicants must be intelligent, well-versed in a variety of common subjects as well as in useless trivia, and have a normal, healthy appreciation for hygiene.


Mighty Dyckerson said...

Look no further, you crazy babbler!! Your new mentor is right here!!!

I too am a clean-cut white dude in my early 30s. While I don't attend church, I once donated 50 cents to the Salvation Army. I possess a G.E.D. and am currently stalking a wife and 2 children. And as for smarts...well, let's just say I have my own blog and I know how to use Google.

I'm not a big believer in socks and underwear, but I do wipe myself after almost every bowel movement.

So when do I start mentoring???

Anonymous said...

I'm a non-applicant. Don't wanna be a meateor, as I don't like flyin. I did want ya to know I wish you luck in your search for a meateor.


Anonymous said...

i nominate john of weenjammer.blogspot. i like to think he's my mentor due to his level of personal hygiene and vast intelligence regarding tens of subjects.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how good of a mentor I could be for you.

I CAN emphatically state that hygiene is important to me, and you need look* (* I'm having a webcam installed!) no further than my shower. For it is in there that you will frequently find me taking a cold one** (** a shower, and sometimes a beer as well, but never a corpse ... I just want to be clear on that rumor) after yet another compulsive visit to your blog.

It goes without saying that I am obsessed with wearing clean clothing for every activity, even "doin' the nasty".

And I would encourage the same attention to detail in my submissive. Oops, I meant "student".

This is why at the end of each day I will expect to receive all soiled undergarments in order to ensure that every new day truly involves a fresh start.

Oh, I know what you're thinking: he's a perv who wants to add them to his disgusting collection. I can assure that no mostly untrue accusation is further from the truth.

I plan instead to sell them on eBay and donate 50% of the profits to responsible drinking establishments that provide public female bathing facilities.

Oh, and here's the "capper" in the form of a testimonial from a former student:

""Because of You" was inspired by the Pug's mentoring"

- Kelly Clarkeson

trinity67 said...

That's like, so weird - I cannot relate as once a week I wash everything washable - clothes, towels, washclothes, toilet covers, area carpets, bedding, scarves, couch blankets and even my tea cozy.

Oh and I'd like to nominate my high school guidance counselor, Bob Boisvert.

trinity67 said...

Being that I'm a perfectionist and a control freak I must mention that in my most recent comment to this post I said "washclothes" when it should've been "washcloths". What a nit I am. I have no idea what washclothes are as when I wash I do not wear any clothes as that would greatly hinder the purpose of washing.

Oh and Zazzafooky is marvelous.

trinity67 said...

I'm done now.

Jen said...

Ick. I cannot understand why your so-called mentor would want to wear smelly clothes. It must be a "man thing."

Anonymous said...

He's just using and re-using the sweaty, stinky clothes for working out, right? Then he showers and puts on clean clothes for work?

Jim's fine - You're a fucking looney.

I see no problem at all with putting on some already stinky clothes to engage in an activity that will only stink them up further. Especially if he's doing this activity alone, and therefore offending no one. Jim is okay in my book.

You, on the other hand, were so astounded by this behavior that you had to run home and blog about it? I think you are the nutso here, madame Babble.

And furthermore, I do NOT want the position of mentor. No way do I want to be held responsible for your looniness.

Anonymous said...

As far as a mentor goes, I have no idea. My protege course is all full right now. As for the far more serious question of the working out in previously-worn clothing, let me offer two explanations:

Silly explanation: I could explain it to you, but it would involve several things I currently do not possess, such as a weather balloon, a stuffed armadillo, and a cassette single of the Pointer Sisters performing "Fire".

Not-so-silly explanation: Workout clothes are expensive. Not only that, but they retain "the smell". I'm speaking of the polyester, moisture-wicking clothing. $40 for a simple t-shirt. And, when laundered "regularly", a "workout" shirt is never ever fit for "public" wear. Those workout-type clothes do not shed their "workout smell" with regular washing. Special chemicals are neccessary to remove said smell, and they are usually sold at high prices, through specialty shops, and make clothes smell alot like bleach. For workout clothing, you may as well save a washing and re-wear it, because when you put it on again, even after washing, you have the distinct smell of the local gym hanging around with ya. Of course, if "Jim" is wearing cotton, then this doesn't really explain anything. That, and the re-wearing of sweaty socks is gross regardless.

Anonymous said...

Applicants must be intelligent, well-versed in a variety of common subjects as well as in useless trivia, and have a normal, healthy appreciation for hygiene.

Well that counts me out.

Anonymous said...

You forgot the obvious question, Karla.

Is there some kind of superstition associated with not cleaning his gym clothes?

I beleive that is where you will find the real answer.

BTW - I'd make a great mentor. I am educated, spiritual, and have just enough useless knowledge in my head to offset the really important things in life.

Jack Steiner said...

At least he changes his clothes. I know some people who think that it is optional.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't he just exercise naked like a normal person.

Also, I'd be happy to be your mentor, but I couldn't afford the bail money.

Anonymous said...

Well, I do know SOME usless trivia and I do shower every day at least once, sometimes twice, because I cut hair for a living and I like to shower the hair from my body after a long day.
I know that Joey on Friends counted 97 steps from his appartment to the coffee house!

Anonymous said...

When I was in high school, we used to do the same with our practice uniforms (basketball).

Thing is, instead of every 2-3 days, we'd go weeks at a time. Some of the guys never washed theirs all season.

You could literally take the shirt out of your locker and stand it upright on the floor. You had to get a pretty good sweat going to loosen it up on you. :)

Antonio said...

I love that episode of Seinfeld.

Jerry:"I can tell you what to do!"
girl:"I need more than that."
Jerry:"I can tell you what to think!"
girl:"I need someone I can trust."
Jerry (defeated):"Oh."

I agree with wombat. My shorts smell rank yet I use the same pair each of the four days I visit the gym. Fortunately the gym offers free shirts for exchanging, so fellow gym rats are spared the funky stench of my pitsweat.

dizzy von damn! said...

i think i would make an excellent mentor.

after years of extensive tutelage, i believe you might be ready to know the secrets of my cookie smell.

Anonymous said...

OOH OOH I wanna be your mentor. I know all sorts of stupid shit that would only help me on Jeopardy! What better qualification is there than THAT?

I shower daily and do laundry nearly every day. I have a three year old and am divorced from the three year old's sperm donor.

I have a twisted sense of humor and purple hair. What more could you want in a mentor????

PICK ME!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My husband does the same thing as Jim, minus the socks part. It's still gross, though. To make matters worse, he knows nothing about the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. Geez.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't he just turn the dirty clothes inside out and maximize the available clean surface area? It certainly works with Depends.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! You can't fire Jim as your mentor! What if one day your are on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and you are at the final question, just as the balloons and the streamers and the million dollar check all fall into your lap, but you don't know the answer! And so you decide to phone of friend, and the friend is CLEARLY Jim since he knows the swallow thing. But he's still bitter over being replaced and he intentionally gives you the wrong answer, and then you are left with a measly $750,000?? It just wouldn't be prudent...

I've just found you by recommendation of Steph from I'll definitely be back!

Lil Kate said...

How much do you want to bet that Jim's got himself a bad case of bacne? Or maybe even full body acne. Gross!

I'm on board with just exercising nekkid if nobody is around to care in your own house.

Arctic Skipper said...

I'm betting that Jim was a hockey player. Hockey players, as you may know, rarely ever wash their actual hockey gear; hence, they spend the majority of their careers smelling like nasty, stinky gerbils. (Seriously - ever smell hockey gear? Stick your nose inside of a gerbil cage - it's the exact same smell!)

Some of them go so far as to infrequently wash the garments they wear UNDER their odiferous pads. And this, as any hockey fan knows, kills any sense of smell they may have developed.

So, if Jim played hockey, he might be used to working out in nasty, sweaty, reeking clothes and might not even be aware that they smell horrible.

On the other hand, if Jim wasn't a hockey player, then you can accurately conclude that he's stone cold nuts.

Anonymous said...

Can I have your used, smelly mentor? I do the same thing with my workout clothes, and let's not even talk about my yoga mat. I bet I grossed you out even by mentioning my yoga mat. That's why Jim and I would get along.
(By the by, and I won't obsess over this forever, my hoo-ha is called a "wedjacku" today. Kind of Australian.)

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything wrong with it either, especially since he works out alone and now leaves his clothes where they don't bother anyone, it shouldn't be anyone else's business to tell him what he should do.

When I was a teenage girl, I used to go through my closet to find something to wear, try it on, change my mind, and throw it in the hamper. I cannot imagine how much money my family wasted on water, electricity, and new clothes (when the old ones wore out from overwashing). Until I went to live in Germany and was told point blank by my host mother that clothes were PERFECTLY GOOD to be worn for two or three days before they needed washing. Then I began to look around and saw the kids whose moms said five or six, with "in a row" implied, and by the time school let out on Saturday afternoon I was about to hurl, hoping they'd show up in something different for the next week.

I had to laugh when I read this to think what my German host mother and all her friends would think about this debate.

Anonymous said...

You get my vote:

Jess Riley said...

Wow. Jim is one complex guy. Good luck finding a new mentor.

I want to know how tfg knows that tidbit about the Depends.

Anonymous said...

What I have done, is using the shirt I used the previous day to next morning's working out . Ok, I've used more than just the shirt.

Why? Well, let's just... if you know you're gonna wash those clothes after working out (I do THAT!!!), and unless they have some potentially dangerous bactery or something of the kind, I'd say it's no harm in using them for sweating a bit (mine do not stink, thank you).

I couldn't use them again if I wanted to, they are too wet after I finish (yep). Now, if they were dry, and not stinking... although we know they are not clean, but using them for working out again... that's a thought. Except for socks. Unless they'd rest dry and white...

Well. Not suitable to be your mentor then, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Ho, ho hoooold the phone here a goddamn minute.

You want to ditch someone who's good enough for his wife, two kids, suburban tract home and megachurch because he has icky workout clothes?

Ohhh you poor delicate little princess.

Do you even realize how normal that is? With his MO (a clean-cut white dude in his early 30s, a fine, upstanding, church-going citizen with a Master's degree in business, a wife and 2 children.) he should be a gas huffing serial killer with body parts stashed in the freezer and a torture room.

Sheeeeit lady, you want a mentor? Get a dog. And the next time you need to know the population of Luxemburg, crinkle up your nose and google it.

Anonymous said...

I would volunteer, but I'm currently too busy mentoring several other people...
These particular people don't wipe, wash their hands, change their clothes, put their clothes in the laundry basket, make their beds, take off their shoes upon entering the house, put their dirty dishes in the sink/dishwasher, pick up their toys, close the doors upon entering or exiting the house, or wipe their runny noses unless asked repeatedly by yours truly. Oh, I should mention these people are progeny of mine. Since I know I do all of the above things, I have surmised they got the lazy tendencies from their mother...who also happens to have a problem with tidiness and cleanliness.
Me? I'm perfect in every way.
And Jim?
He's a certified nut job.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Hi. I just found you from 2,000 bloggers. I have to say this is not that odd.

Stop throwing cyber tomatoes at me!

Like it matters--the clothes are dirty, he's going to wear them again for one hour so he can work out and get more sweaty. Why waste the time doing more laundry than necessary. I wear the same workout clothes a couple of times in a row, (minus underwear--I won't put on dirty underwear to work out in)... but this does not seem that out of line or odd to me... so, I guess since I can't be your new mentor maybe Jim can be mine!

PS--My husband will save a dirty tshirt to wear the next day when he knows he's going to work out again.

I really don't think it's that odd.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

OMG Jess Riley is on here commenting! What a small blog world!

I meant to ask you, do you think it's weird for a woman to wear the same bra two days in a row? Or five days in a row?

Jessica said...

I don't know what you're complaining about, Karla, based on all we know about you, this guy seems right up your alley.

karla said...

When I made the switch to the new version of Blogger, I noticed that several of the comments on this post went from being linked to someone's profile to being marked as "anonymous." WTF?

karla said...

In fact, one of Dyckerson's comments here is linked to his profile...but then later when he leaves another comment, it's now suddently marked as anonymous. (The one that ends with "but first, I must masturbate.) Granted, if he had any sense he'd leave all his comments anonymously, but then he wouldn't be Dyckerson.

Jenni said...


There is NO WAY I would wear my workout clothes twice without washing them.

Not only for me, but for those around me.


Anonymous said...

One question. Is that Jim's face in the sock?

Anonymous said...

Alright, "Jim" is here to defend himself. I just came back from dinner at Karla and Brian's favorite restaurant, and she told me she posted a blog on my workout habits. I felt I had to respond.

Here's all I'll say: I get up at 4:55 am to work out. No one, other than the guy throwing the newspaper, is up that early (I sometimes have to dodge the newspaper being thrown if I'm running). I'm not a cheapskate, but those workout clothes cost money! I'd say a new pair of mesh shorts along with a new Nike running shirt would cost me about $75. Multiply that times 5 (the number of times I work out per week, and that adds up to... a whole crapload of money) when no one, and I mean no one, is up to even smell me. Why do I care if all I'm going to do is sweat in the same clothes again and no one will be there to smell me?

Let me hear from my supporters! Viva la Jim!

karla said...

Jim: Scram. You're stinking up my blog.