But the AM, the joint is hopping with old Chinese ladies, doing their OLD-CHINESE-LADY-ROBICS.
“But Greg, I’ve tried cardio-roller skating, I’ve tried Jazzerilates, I’ve even tried Supine Lymphatic Kneading from Sweden. What is it about Old-Chinese-Lady-robics that makes it such an appealing addition to Physical Culture?”
An excellent and well timed question, Senor Rhetorical Conceit! The attractions to this ancient technique are many, but the surface features that my feeble imagination is able craft for this crappy little feature are thus:
Simple. Lumpy. Comfortable. Obscure.
-- Off-brand lumpy black restaurant worker tennies
-- brown elastic band tube-trousers with cavernous middle seam. Should have that magic sheen that can only mean one thing: spun polyester (Eerie thought: as oil supplies dry up, will the price of these inexpensive pants sky-rocket? Is the Chinese Old Lady Community concerned? I must prepare Cantonese-language flyers immediately!)
-- Men’s dress socks, poly blend, grey
-- Quilted, shapeless cotton house coat with floral accents
-- Poly sport coat, in hallucinogenic black and yellow hounds-tooth pattern over a cotton poly blend navy sweatshirt.
-- Fishing hat
-- one of those special clearly store bought cotton bonnets that only Old Chinese Ladies seem to wear. Where do they buy these? I suspect there are special supplier that only furnish the Old Chinese Lady population, sort of like a mail order house for Masons.
Chinese Old Ladies also buy the mysterious off-brand sweatpants and rugby shirts they clothe their grandkids in.
So you got the gear. So stop dicking around and get down to the work-out, already.
You’re not here to sweat. If you perspire, you’re probably going to start producing too much yellow bile and your liver will cramp. Or some fucking thing. All I know is, Old Chinese Ladies take it mellow and that’s okay by me, a fat white man.
Also, the exercises listed below are merely the primary colors in a vast palate of pointless motion. Don’t be afraid to combine moves.
Head roll: Roll your head with your eye closed and your mouth gaping like a trout. Slowly, always slowly. Old Chinese Ladies are not there to show off.
Windmills: Rotate your arms. Imagine you’re a 2nd grader waiting for the bus. Look bored, like “this is nothing. I don’t even FEEL this, yo.”
Foot Stomping: One! Two! One! Two! It’s a Long March to health, only you’re not going anywhere. Swing your arms, too, if you can manage it.
Arm swing: Holding fast with one arm to a small cherry tree, swing the other arm gracefully. Smoke.
Walking backwards: Walking backwards exposes your back to all the benefits your front enjoys when you walk forward. Probably good for bile production and proper spleen sanitation. And if you’re not shuffling, you’re basically wasting everybody’s time.
Wiggling: Roll your hips like it’s your wedding night. Arms must be akimbo. Akimbo, goddamn it!
Now, Old Chinese Ladies are an insular group. They even have their own language, called Chinese. So don’t just jump in there and start doing the do. Get the principal moves down as listed above, work out your routine at home in the mirror.
And attitude is a HUGE part of Old-Chinese-Lady-Robics. You need to hit the right insouciant demeanor. You’ve seen it all, you’ve done it all, and while you could never be called a cynic, you do have a certain phenomenological ennui. The world is just you, your quilted jacket, and your swinging arm.
So once you got all that down, start at a distance from your target dojo. Let them see you, get used to you. Stick to the basics, then after a few weeks start with a few combos. Not flashy, just technically competent.
After a year or so, if one of the ladies offers you a piece of produce, you’ve cracked it, you’re in. You are now a full-fledged practitioner of Old-Chinese-Lady-Robics.
The URL where you can buy your quilted coat will be forwarded presently.