"Is Trudy the name of your wife, or your car?" I asked.
"I named my car after my wife, Trudy," he said.
"Oh, I see. I run into the same problem with my wife, Oldsmobile," I said. That was a lie. I was trying to fit in.
I was not making any friends at this YMCA. I try too hard. Every time I tried to strike up small talk I ended up telling a bald-faced lie like, "my wife's name is Oldsmobile." That one actually comes up a lot.
My wife's name is Chevrolet.
"You keep up with the Sox?"
"Sure do," I said. "I am a sock." That was the wrong thing to say. I was speaking to the coach of the Sox. Ricky Sox, I think his name was. Apparently it's a sports team.
When I try too hard I end up lying to impress people.
I tried to cover my tracks by showing up to the dugout for a few games, but my RBIs were average at best. I was worried they'd start to catch on.
I felt I stole too many bases too. I should've earned them, the honest way.
"Your wife's name is Oldsmobile?" asked Ricky Sox, incredulously, weeks later, after a game where I'd only hit one or two homers. I thought it was time to come clean.
"Alright," I said,"that was a lie." It felt good to be honest. Now we were off to the start of a great, honest friendship, I thought.
"Because I don't even believe you could ever have a wife," he continued. "And some really awful, maladjusted people have wives. John Wayne Gacy did, I think. That guy without a face, his wife still stuck with him. But you - no," he kept continuing, "You're worse than all of them."
"Thanks for the tip, friend," I said. That caught him by surprise.
If I hadn't had my hands around his neck, choking him, he probably would've responded. Probably with something like, "No problem, buddy." But with my hands around his neck choking him that hard he really couldn't say anything. I guess I'm not a Sox fan. And I'm not good at making friends at the YMCA.
So that's how I finally lost my YMCA membership.
"Geez, you don't have to file assault charges on me," I said to guy who runs it, Ricky YMCA.
"Stop saying that so much. That's practically your catchphrase," he countered.
"Sorry," I said while assaulting him. It's habit I'm into that's hard to break.
I gave him some free tickets to the next Sox games to show my gratitude for all he'd put up with from me and whole organization.
Since I couldn't go to the Y anymore, there was no point in me keeping up the charade with Ricky Sox. I lead the team up to the playoffs and then gave it up. I couldn't live a lie anymore.
More about my wife, Chevrolet, later.