Slightly Off Center

Slightly Off Center: Inside the Locker Room

By Dennis Hinkamp

I’ve stayed mainly silent on the bloviating of the two presidential candidates. Not until Mr. Trump blamed locker room talk for his vapid sexist dialogue did my temper snap like a wet towel.

I have been a frequent user of locker rooms since age 15, which was five decades ago. I have been in locker rooms in at least 10 different states representing nine different sports at all hours of the days and I can testify on a pile of Lycra that fewer than 1% of the locker room inhabitants talk like Mr. Trump suggests. Of the ones who do, 50% have tourette’s syndrome or steroid rage.

To the best of my knowledge and memory this is a compilation of my recent personal or overheard locker room talk.

“Is the pool still closed? What are they cleaning it with—a toothbrush?

The locker rental fees went up again?

That scale has got to be wrong.

Do you prefer Ibuprofen or Advil?

How many calories per mile again?

Yes, I hate BYU even though I went to BYU.

Why are all the running shoes day-glow colors now? Is that gay?

Which surgeon did you use for your hip replacement?

Is that Paleo?

Where did you get that tattoo? What does it mean? Did it hurt? Were you drunk at the time? Do you know a dermatologist who can remove it?

Why do my toenails look so weird?

Why didn’t I write my locker combination down?

Crossfit, Boot Camp or Zumba?

Do they make yoga pants for guys? Is that gay?

I don’t run fast enough to pull a muscle.

Where did I put my wallet?

How come the shoes wear out before the shoelaces now?

How much did your sports watch cost?

Kale shakes? Are you kidding me?

I think the chlorine in the pool is making my hair fall out.

Ultimate Frisbee is too a real sport.

Why are you still wearing a Speedo? Is that gay?

Running barefoot can’t be good for you.

I have socks older than you.

I kind of like that drug they give you for your colonoscopy.

What did we do before Gatorade?

Is that a lap or a length?

Who’s your favorite physical therapist?

How much can you bench?

How many miles a week?

How many laps did you do?

What’s your BMI?

What’s your percent body fat?

Is that scale broken?

I feel like 10 bucks.

I don’t remember this hurting this much.

I think I just need to warm up more.

I don’t run far but I run slow.

Aren’t you retired yet? I thought you were retired. What are you going to do when you retire?

Didn’t you used to be a really good runner?

Admittedly most of my compilation is culled from my Baby Boomer peer group, but that pretty much coincides with Mr. Trump’s age group.

My observation of the younger generation is that they don’t engage in much locker room talk of any kind. Most of the time when I see them they have their ear buds or blue tooth headphones on and are oblivious to their surroundings. Sometimes they take them off long enough to talk on their cell phones. I saw someone talking on their cell phone for two miles on the treadmill. I saw another millennial with a cell phone in a plastic bag in the steam room.

Tonight in the locker room I heard nothing that was remotely related to groping, kissing or shopping for furniture as a seduction technique. Mr. Trump, have you ever been to a locker room?

Dennis Hinkamp can be found in a locker room somewhere on average five days a week.

This article was originally published on November 1, 2016.