Klaus Hnilica
Thursday February 24th, 2011

Why Would Anybody Exercise?

Carl and Gerlinde (IV)

„Now, Carl, do not let the corners of your mouth droop so much. You are not our Federal Chancellor”, said Gerlinde for the third time on this Sunday morning. After all, at long last it was again a sunny day and she had taken such pains with preparing a nice breakfast …

But, regardless of all the sunshine, Carl was in a miserable mood! One look at the Sunday paper had been enough. The fuss they were making about the Olympic Games of 2018 in Garmisch was just ever so sad! How dilapidated can a country be? This entire “To hell with…” mentality not only made Carl let the corners of his mouth droop. It also took away all his own motivation to exercise.
What was the point of doing anything physical in this society, anyway? Is there anybody who can give a good reason? Wasn’t it better to put an extra layer of chocolate spread onto his breakfast toast? And yet another one on the bottom side of the toast! It might not be very healthy, but it is certainly deliciously comforting…
„What do you mean no longer any motivation to exercise…?” Gerlinde asks pointedly while doing a mole-like reading session through the regional news, “it has been a long time since you last gave your body anything like physical exercise. You never even manage to go down to the letter box and get the newspaper in the morning…“
Ha – ha, like that was anything like relevant exercise! Wasn’t it much more important and heroic that he drew up his own athletic program of daily jogging! Mind you, we are talking all the year round! At all weathers. Not to mention the dumbbell exercises he always plans on a Saturday while watching the soccer league games. And what about all those weekly Sunday strolls with her and their friends …

Incidentally, Kurt was quite impressed when – over a shared glass of beer – he explained his workout program to him. After all, Kurt really never did anything. Even less than nothing, says his Hannelore…

„Sorry, my dear Carl, but if you really mean what you are saying, then something must be wrong with my eyes. All I ever see you with, both on weekends and weekdays, is the beer bottle – and that is not restricted to sports programs”, while saying so, Gerlinde pulled the glass of chocolate spread so far towards herself that, to his annoyance, he could definitely no longer reach it…

„Great, Gerlinde! You manage to spoil my Sunday every week! Today, I get pulled down with the first rays of the sun! Are you really going to hold it against me that, once in a while, I drink a little beer and that, as an exception from the rule, I also sometimes watch the sports program? After a strenuous work day? After all, there is never any Sunday when you do not totally immerse yourself in your Rosamunde Pilcher while I never got to see a “Tatort” in weeks, even months”?

„But Carl, that is not what this is all about”, countered Gerlinde with an air of exasperation. “What we were talking about is exercise and your super workout program. You always tell everybody how you run through the forests for hours every evening, regardless of wind and weather …“
„Well, that is what I do, whenever possible…“

„… but you use dumbbells that, strangely enough, look a lot like beer bottles!“

„Won’t you stop it, Gerlinde” grumbles Carl. „If I may remind you: all I did was take the liberty to be annoyed about the Olympics they plan in Garmisch! And the reason is that, here in Germany, nobody can put to practice what he had planned without everybody going crazy day and night. No matter what you plan to do, there is always someone who is against it! And if someone supports a plan, like that former ice-skater from Eastern Germany, then they are beaten down and called ‚Eastern Outcrop”.

“My dear Gerlinde, that is what I am talking, not your small-minded concepts! This is about principles and about athletes not getting bad-mouthed and defamed. Even if what they do and say might not always be what you would like best…”

„Now, Carl, isn’t that an interesting statement of yours?“

„Indeed. This is about principles, Gerlinde. This is not about if I actually perspire like crazy every evening when jogging through the forest! But you women were never too keen on principles, were you? You always prefer to make a fuss about unimportant issues …“

„Okay- okay, Carl, now let us not get upset about it. Otherwise this Sunday will really go down the drains”, Gerlinde said while giving her principle-oriented Carl a sugar-sweet smile. In fact, it motivated him to get up and press a conciliatory kiss onto her forehead, taking the opportunity to push the chocolate spread back towards his own place…

When he offered to celebrate the re-conciliation with two cups of Espresso, Gerlinde did not want to prevent him. Yet she also wanted to know if it would not be a good idea to take advantage of this wonderful weather and go for a nice stroll with her after breakfast.

„Now, Gerlinde, that would be my true delight” said he. Any time! Except that today of all days, it cannot happen. They are broadcasting a really very, very important sports event which he definitely had to see! The magic word is “ski-flying on the big jump at O.’!” It is an absolute “must”. After all, at long last there is again a real chance that a German might win, instead of one of those “East-Mark-Blokes” who are always carried beyond the hundred-metres by nothing but the wind, yet who always stick their noses high up in the air after having won!

Insisting he was sure she understood, Carl pushed the chocolate spread glass far away with a huge gesture, even though he had opened it already …

(Translated by EG)

1 Kommentar zu “Why Would Anybody Exercise?”

  1. Chris Wood (Thursday February 24th, 2011)


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