the hotel gym – hong kong
The room itself was reasonably large, well equipped, clean and mirrored all around with a Sony 14 inch colour HDTV set suspended above every exercise station. A sour reek of old sweat prevailed and small dank patches of a moss spread like a green blush on the ceiling tiles.
Perfectly agreeable thought Scoresby, who had spent some substantial time as a youth in surf club gyms in his native city.
Unfortunately a small, comfortably rotund Japanese gentleman was apparently over-exerting himself on one of the heavier Nautilus apparatuses, wherefrom he uttered an involuntary and loud fart at the zenith of what must have been his lifting limit.
Scoresby unhesitatingly moved to the far end of the room where he confidentially mounted an unused Series 5 Hyper-vent Marathon RunMaster, where he keyed in the specific instructions that governed speed, angle of incline and exercise duration, then after giving himself a quick and approving glance in the mirror, punched the GO button.
Some short time later, and as Scoresby felt himself settle into a comfortable working routine with .5 kilometers recorded on the Runmasters’ distance display; the portly Japanese gentleman mounted a similar machine on his right, and an extremely lithesome young lady commenced a disconcerting series of exercises in the center of the room upon a cotton mat placed there for that purpose.
Scoresby was convinced that she was the same lady whose attractive likeness adorned one of the entertainment bills posted around the door of the Hotel’s ‘ Kowloon Moon ’ nightclub. Ms Candied Minx.
The Japanese gentleman, no doubt noticing the smoothly running Scoresby, immediately set his machine at a higher incline and a quicker velocity, and despite the apparent unsuitableness of his physique for such exertion, he immediately fell into a relaxed and graceful lope.
Scoresby notched his speed up from the modest 2.5 kph to a cruising 2.75 kph.
The young lady began to divest herself of her outer clothing.
The arrival of another guest at the treadmill on his left distracted Scoresby from his glazed stare into the wall mirror.
Obviously an American, the newcomer tuned his television set to CNN and set the volume to loud, he then commenced to run so vigorously that the musky cologne that he apparently bathed in prior to leaving his room thoroughly penetrated the room with it’s heavy sweetness.
Scoresby’s gaze again traversed to the young woman, who had turned away from him and was showing her ability to grasp both her slim ankles with both her slim hands without the assistance of bending her slim knees.
The Japanese started to hum a song traditionally sung before battle and a small dark wetness appeared on the back of his T-shirt, obliterating part of the Nike icon.
Scoresby notched his speed up from an easy 2.7 kph to a nonchalant 2.95 kph as the young lady slipped off her satin tracksuit bottoms in order to better massage her upper thigh muscle sheath, which did not look to be in any way damaged, according to Scoresby’s expert eye.
– and as the CNN announcer described a dramatic overnight fall in the Chicago wheat future’s index, the American took a mobile phone out from a pocket and commenced some type of negotiations with a colleague without interrupting his aromatic stride.
Scoresby notched his speed up from 2.95 kph to casual 3.25 kph as the young lady slipped off her satin tracksuit top and then tucked a delightful ankle into the equally delightful small of her groin whilst remaining in a standing position.
And so did the mornings’ pursuits continue.
Until six street-hired Chinese gentlemen showed up to assist the management in the shifting of a row of older treadmills in order to install new rubber mats beneath them.
These men, wise and wrinkled with hard burnt faces and hands all buckled with ropey sinew, shuffled self-consciously into the gymnasium and stood narrow eyed and unbelieving as they observed the meaningless fripperies of the leisured, foreign and capitalist classes in the room.
Though they did take admirable notice of the young lady as she slowly folded and unfolded her trim ankles from behind her flawless ears. Seated now.
The Japanese meanwhile moved to 4.5 kph. despite being blinded by the flood of perspiration rolling down his forehead.
Scoresby moved to a measured 3.50 kph.
The American ordered 300,000 AD Corn Futures @ $US110.225.
As the workmen congregated around a vacant machine adjacent to Scoresby and commenced to disconnect the wiring, the oldest of them removed the vestige of a burning cigarette from his mouth and uttered an astute observation in classical Mandarin that reduced all of his companions to tearful mirth. The Chinese are big laughers.
Scoresby, not wishing betray his working knowledge of the language, felt more than a little foolish when he heard himself and the other treadmillers being described as ‘ Old men running nowhere.’
The Japanese moved into kamikaze mode and went to 4.75, his breath whistling, his eyes bulging.
Scoresby clicked up to an economic 3.75.
The American hedged his 2009 maize futures @ $US 125.226 and asked to be transferred to his NASDQ broker in New York.
And the young lady rolled onto her stomach and then very slowly raised a provocative and shapely part of herself tautly upright – by inching her fingers and toes together on the mat.
The Japanese, now almost in a runner’s hysteria, downgraded to 4.25,
– and Scoresby moved smoothly to punishing 3.95, breathing steadily and with the deep conviction of imminent victory.
It was precisely at the moment that both he and the Japanese were jockeying competitively at 4.05 kph, and as the young lady had satisfactorily achieved an inverted split position despite the restrictions of her red satin shorts, that the fire alarm sounded and the roof sprinklers were activated.
The sprinkler activation was later adjudged to be the result of the Japanese unwisely over-exerting himself as he strove to keep ahead of the inexorable progress of Scoresby, and thereby having his sphincter control fail him yet again.
This physical disability then resulted in the issuance of several further, involuntary and highly noxious emissions. All that Miso soup for breakfast.
The physical properties of these discharges, together with the cloying miasma of the American’s cologne had then combined to disguise the smell of fumes rising from one of the soiled towel baskets wherein one of the labouring Chinese ancients had earlier spat his cigarette butt. A basket now ablaze.
Fortunately, the young lady was rescued by everybody.