Saturday, March 25, 2006

Home Fitness

Given the extremely high cost of living up here in the Arctic, we take in boarders from time to time to supplement our meager income.

One of our regulars is a guy named Yuri, who works at a mine about 100 miles away and won't spend his off-rotation in Montreal or Toronto because of some unpleasant business with the Hell's Angels or similar criminal elements. He comes from a large city in Russia the name of which escapes me at present, but if I find my Risk board I'm sure it will come back to me.

Despite being a chain smoker, Yuri is obsessed with physical fitness, and since our village has no public gymansium or exercise club, he has quite creatively adapted our household furniture and appliances for his fitness routine. So for two weeks out of every six our house becomes Yuri's gym.

Now I don't mind his coffee table leg curls as long as he doesn't spill the drinks or the ashtray. And it's somewhat surreal to watch him doing chin-ups on the kitchen door frame wearing a Rammstein sweatshirt with blue jeans and counting out the repetitions in Russian.

But it was the bed press which really got to me. He started crawling underneath the twin bed in his room late at night, and lying flat on his back pushed the bed frame up, and down, then up, and down. Through the walls I could hear him pant "shestdesyat shest, shestdesyat sem', shestdesyat vosem', shestdesyat devyat' . . . " until I finally yelled "Yuri, knock it off - the kids have school in the morning". "Pros'tite, sorry Nanuk", he replied, "I find sponge tomorrow. White noise. Will be better".

I still have no idea what the fuck he was talking about. But he has switched to a more aerobic approach to fitness with my children's Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix. Like some weird sort of pantomime, Yuri plugs a set of headphones into the television, fires up the Nintendo Game Cube, lights up a cigarette and dances in smoke-hazed silence with Mario, Bowser and Mushroom as they cross their cartoon landscape in quest of keys.

It must be increasing his lung capacity, because he has now gone from two up to three packs of smokes a day.


Blogger merlinprincesse said...

OMG! What a life you have!!!!!

11:53 AM  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

PS: I would buy you a nice bottle of Champagne! Love the bubbles... Or a Diet Coke....

11:54 AM  
Blogger nanuk said...

Ma chère princesse: I must have done something awfully wrong in my previous existences to warrant this existence;-)

Anything alcoholic greatly appreciated, though.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Belle said...

C'mon! This post HAS to be a joke! LOL!

4:28 PM  
Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

A smoker yet an exercise freak... seems a bit contradictory, especially if he's now up to 3 packs/day.

2:13 PM  
Blogger nanuk said...

T&B,etc: All I can say is that he's Russian, and I think they're born with cigarettes in their mouths (Balkan Sobranies, not doubt).

2:46 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

What does he mine? Ice cubes??

11:28 PM  
Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

Ugh, ashtray babies. That image is now seared in my mind, Nanuk, lol.

4:50 PM  
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