The first time I went, when I got back to the office I realized I left my combination lock hanging open on the locker because I'm an idiot. On a return visit, I asked the counter girl if she had any locks in the Lost & Found and she pulled out three. She looked at me and said, "I'm not sure how you'll know which one is yours." I looked up to see if she was kidding, but she wasn't, so I said, "Um, I'll open it?" She allowed that this was a good way to figure out which one was mine, and the second one I tried opened.
My combination is a pretty easy one, and I will tell it to you now since it's integral to this story. It's 1-3-17. There. Now you can steal all my shit while I'm working out. Take my blackberry, will you? I have pager duty this week.
So today, Yort and I headed to the gym around 12:30. We supposedly get an hour for lunch, but on most days we end up taking a ten minute break and eating at our desks, so we figure on the days we actually make it out of the building we can stretch it a bit. Normally we can work out, grab a shower and be back at the office in about 60 minutes.
The locker room is kind of cramped, and there are only a handful of long lockers. Most of them are more like cubbyholes with doors. The long lockers are popular, and the majority of the time when you open them, they are full of people's stuff. I guess those people are either more trusting than I am, or don't have anything worth stealing. After checking three, I get lucky and find an empty one near the corner. I change into my gym clothes, lock up all my stuff and get through a pretty good workout. After we're done, I decide I'm going to grab a quick shower. Yort didn't break a sweat because he is apparently more efficient than I am, so he just gets dressed and goes outside to wait.
I stuff my gym clothes in my bag, and because I'm not one of those free-dangle dudes who just walks around stark naked, I wrap my towel around me. I lock up my stuff and head for the shower. The thing about the towel is, the gym doesn't provide them so you have to bring your own. Last time, I brought a bath towel from home, but my wife buys these giant fluffy white things that you need a suitcase to carry around, and it didn't fit well in my small duffel. This time, I rooted around in the bottom of the closet and opted for a blue towel I found in the back that is closer in size to a large-ish hand towel. It barely covers my ass, in other words, and when I wrap it around me, it looks sorta like a mini skirt with a slit in it. It's very sexy.
After my shower, I dry off and wrap my towel back around my waist and go to my locker. Only problem is, the frigging lock won't open. I try it ten times. 1-3-17. Did I go past the three? Let me try again. 1-3-17. Wait, am I supposed to go past it twice? I forget. Or is it 3-1-17? No, I can't be that brain damaged. I just opened this fucking thing 5 minutes ago. I can feel it, and it wants to open. On the last number it drops down, but then won't disengage.
I look around to make sure I've got the right locker. I do. I open the lockers to either side, and they are both full of stuff. I wonder for a second if I've picked up someone else's lock that was sitting on the bench. Unlikely, but you never know. The place is crowded. I try it a few more times. I curse MasterLock and their shitty quality control.
Finally, after I'm standing there like an idiot in my terry cloth miniskirt for about ten minutes screwing with this lock, this nice old guy next to me says, "Do you want me to try?" I tell him the combination, feeling like a freshman on the first day of school, except it's more like one of those dreams where you show up for class and realize you're naked. He tries it and fails too. So now there's about three naked guys giving me suggestions. One guy who is just about dressed to leave says, "I'm on my way out -- you want me to tell the guy at the front desk? I don't think you want to go out there like that." I agree that it's probably not the best idea. So he leaves, and help is imminent.
Ten minutes later, I'm still standing there and there's exactly nobody from the front desk showing up. I'm getting tired of holding my towel closed with one hand, so I sit down on the bench. The towel is really short, so I sit with my legs pressed together like a grade school girl, trying to make sure my junk doesn't fall out. Another guy gets ready to leave, and as he passes me, I ask him to tell the front desk to send someone in.
This time it works, and they send in a kid with bolt cutters. I stand up. He comes over to the locker and says, "You the guy who needs the lock cut off?" I affirm that this is so, and he asks me for the combination. I tell him, and he tries it. "If it opens, I'll have to kill you," I say. Lucky for him, it didn't.
At this point, there doesn't seem to be any other recourse. Yort has been outside waiting by the car for at least twenty minutes, I'm late for work, and I have no dignity left. "You're sure you want me to cut the lock off?" the kid asks. "Yeah," I reply. "It won't be the first six bucks I've wasted."
He hits it with the bolt cutters, and it falls open, and I can finally get dressed and get to work.
Or I could have, if the locker hadn't been full of someone else's shit.
He looks at my confused expression, then says, "That's not your stuff, is it?" "Oh man," I say, feeling my face turn beet red. He just stares at me for a few seconds, and though I've never believed in telepathy until today, I clearly hear his thoughts. You are a fucking idiot, he thinks loudly. Oh yes, definitely, I think back, then look around.
My locker is on the exact opposite corner of the locker room. I slowly realize that the shower area has two entrances, and I walked into one, and after my shower, I walked out of the other. The identical lockers are on all four walls, and somehow I got turned around. Yes, I managed to get lost in a 15' x 15' room. I had simply walked out of the shower, and made a beeline for the first locked locker in the corner that I saw.
I get dressed, then I pay the counter guy six bucks to replace the lock of the poor unknown bastard who now needs to memorize a new combination.
As I am leaving, some guy says, "Hey, make sure you get into the right car!"
I think I'm going to work out at home from now on.