Jessica Gross

Newspaper Moochers

In people watching on September 24, 2008 at 5:51 pm

I have an old-fashioned subscription to The New York Times, and I read it at the gym. Sometimes, as I’m tossing my just-read paper, a sweaty stranger asks for it. This morning, a chunky guy huffing away on the Stairmaster yelled out.

Stairmaster man: [unintelligible garble]!

Me: What?

Stairmaster man: [unintelligible garble]!

Me: What?

Stairmaster man (annoyed): I was asking if you could save your paper.

Me: Oh. (I place the newspaper on a bike seat and scurry away.)

Newspaper hand-offs should please me: my garbage is being recycled. I’m an environmentalist! Truly, though, it angers me. I do not like when strangers speak to me at the gym. It’s not a hatred-of-socialization thing — it’s just a gym thing. The gym is a place for being smelly, looking ugly and thinking about life, not for conversing. If you really want my paper, get it out of the trash.

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