I admit first that my nature is to not exercise except as an incidental part of achieving some specific goal; for example, I'll spend a half-hour walking if that's the only way to get home because I missed the last bus. Since I'm living with my parents again and get places by car, bus-missing doesn't motivate me much anymore. And I admit second that my usual style when telling a joke is to tell it as deadpan as I say everything else, since I've found that insisting I have a joke to tell is an efficient way to draw disagreement. And despite my long-standing fascination with Plastic Man, in real life I have the sort of flexibility and grace usually attributed to cinder blocks.
So I knew I was in danger when I decided to accept a suggestion of my mother's and take a yoga class. My mother's been taking these for a couple years now, and is delighted with how she feels more flexible, more relaxed, and more generally fit. I could certainly use any of these traits, plus, it's something which clearly and unmistakably gets me out of the house for a couple hours to something stimulating, so I said I wanted to take the course. My mother accepts this. My father thought I was joking. So did my brother, his wife, a couple friends of my parents, one aunt, and my sister.
Starting the course proved to be a bit rocky; I had thought it would begin the last Thursday in March, and was sitting ready with a reasonable outfit (light sweatpants and shirt, basically), waiting for my mother to say let's go, when we never did go. It turned out it was supposed to start the second week in April. As we got closer to that, the class was postponed for a couple of weeks. We never heard why. Last week the class was supposed to start, and I waited patiently for my mother to come home from work, pick me up, and take us to a yoga place with a name I never heard of in a town never told to me in a building never identified to me for the class. She went to the class right from work and was baffled why I didn't show up. It turns out my father knew just where it was, but he assumed I knew, too, so didn't tell me until he asked, about two hours after the start of class, when I was going to head out for it. He drew me a nicely detailed map as my mother was on her way home from it.
I still don't know why people assume I was kidding about wanting to go to a yoga class.
Trivia: Bob Clampett's first animation direction for Leon Schlesinger was an animated segment for When's Your Birthday?, a 1937 Joe E Brown comedy for RKO. Source: That's All Folks, Steve Schneider.
Currently Reading: The Men Who Stare At Goats, Jon Ronson. It's about United States intelligence agencies and their projects to explore the, well, lunatic fringe of ideas, from paranormal walking-through-walls to a person who insists he can by force of mind alone drive hamsters suicidal. (The practical application of this is to cause goats to spontaneously die.) It's fascinating, but it's also completely lacking citations other than interviews conducted with people who, obviously, couldn't provide documentation other than videotapes in which they claimed to have forced hamsters to act unnaturally. I don't doubt that intelligence agencies occasionally follow any idea that's sufficiently stupid (see the alleged plot to use hormone-laden vegetables to change Adolph Hitler's sex), but I don't feel comfortable with this.