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One thing leads to another

June 15, 2009

by Ivan Raconteur

Nothing is ever simple.

I was reminded of this one recent early morning. I had just finished my ablutions and was preparing to embark on another day of living the dream when I detected a certain snugness in the trouser department.

After some thought, I put this down to too much high living over the recent holiday weekend.

Regardless of the cause, I decided it was time to do something about it.

I contacted the local fitness center and arranged an appointment.

When it came time to sign the papers, I was informed that, in addition to the monthly fee, there was a one-time enrollment charge.

I didn’t recall any mention of this in the advertisement, but the fee was not exorbitant, just unexpected, so I ponied up the necessary funds and became a member.

The enrollment fee turned out to be just one of many unexpected costs I would encounter in the days ahead.

I should mention that I am not one of those people who enjoy exercise. You know the type – they parade around in form-fitting workout attire and the more gruelling the exercise, the happier they seem to be, although I am not sure happy is the word I want.

They seem to thrive on adverse conditions, such as going running when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees or riding their bicycles up mountains just for the fun of it. But, the look on their faces isn’t exactly happiness. It is more like agony, or at least extreme determination, and the fanatical gleam in their eyes is a bit unnerving.

I admire their commitment, but I still think they are crazy.

Anyway, I enjoy the way I feel after I have worked out, but as far as I am concerned, the exercise itself is a miserable way to spend time.

For me, working out is much more tolerable if I have some distraction, such as music, to take my mind off of it.

I already owned one of those sport radios that one wears on a cord around one’s neck. I soon discovered, however, that the reception in the fitness center is poor. The static, while providing a distraction from the exercise, was far from pleasant.

The answer seemed simple; I would get with the times and acquire an MP3 player.

I selected a spiffy new-generation iPod shuffle. It is so small I could lose it in the palm of my hand, yet it packs 4 GB of capacity; enough to hold more songs than I have in my library.

I brought the new toy (I mean tool) home with great enthusiasm, but my troubles were far from over.

I discovered that the version of iTunes on my laptop is too old to support the iPod.

The logical thing to do would be to download a newer version.

Unfortunately, I haven’t bothered to get Internet access at the new bachelor pad yet. My laptop is on its last legs, as it were, and I have been waiting until I have saved up enough shekels to buy a new laptop before worrying about Internet access.

That is the way things spiral out of control.

One starts out with a simple problem, and suddenly one thing leads to another, and the one problem leads to 27 new problems.

So, now I have to think about replacing my laptop and deciding what kind of Internet service I need.

I figure by the time it’s all said and done, that one pair of tight britches will have cost me about $3,700.

I worked that out by calculating the cost of the iPod and the fitness center membership, plus a new computer. Next, I added a figure for Internet access, and then doubled the total, on the grounds that things always cost twice as much as one originally expects.

I would have been better off buying a bigger set of britches for about $25, and ignoring the snugness problem altogether.

Unfortunately, things are never that simple.