A Letter to the Old Man at the Gym Who Has the Same Underwear as Me

Dear Old Man at the Gym Who Has the Same Underwear as Me,

I’d like to sincerely apologize for the events that transpired today. I’m aware that my conduct was inappropriate and I feel like I probably had an adverse effect on your day.

Clearly, by pointing to the area near my penis, looking at you, and shouting, “Hey!” I have broken not only a number of general gym-etiquette rules, but also an unspoken understanding that you and I have always shared as we spend that little part of our daily routine together in various stages of undress.

Judging by your reaction, which would probably best be described as abject terror as you recoiled and shouted “What’s that?!” I feel like the act of breaking the notable silence this morning may have been itself enough to cause you alarm—which is to speak nothing of the obvious implication that my actions were clearly confusing and, in all honesty, probably not dissimilar to a ridiculously lazy sexual advance.

I’d like to take this opportunity to repeat what I stated in a red-faced monotone this morning: I was simply pointing out that we were wearing the same pair of Old Navy boxers.

Furthermore, I’d like to clarify that it was not my intention to frighten or discomfort you, and I am not now, nor have I ever been, a rapist who preys on older men.

I sincerely hope today’s events do not effect our established routine in the future and I would like to hereby commit to returning to a mutually understood definition of our relationship which has always been built on a solid foundation of polite smile-nods and barely audible “excuse mes” when the situation absolutely demands it.

Again, my apologies.


Ben Johnson

Addendum: Getting Rejected Because of an Old Man’s Balls
I recently submitted this to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, specifically to their regular feature Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond.
To my chagrin, however, my letter was rejected based on the grounds that they already ran “another old-guy-at-the-gym-themed letter a little while ago and it set a pretty high bar.”In the interest of being thorough, I therefore also present a link to that letter, entitled, An Open Letter to The Gentleman Blow-Drying His Balls in The Gym Locker Room, written by someone called Ross Beeley.

Kudos to you, Mr. Beeley.

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