100 Hours of Humo(u)r – Hour 22: The Social Climber

By Jules Fredrik
Atlanta, Georgia

[The following is another story submitted earlier in our first flash humor contest. The next contest topic will be announced in four hours. You’ll then have three hours to blast out a story of 500 words or less.]


100hours-logo6I’m laid out on a concrete curb at the city park like a bag lady after a three-day drunk.

A couple of flawlessly-dressed speed walkers streak by, eying me with disgust and pity.

“Can’t. Move.”  I murmur to the perfectly toned butts now well out of hearing range.

I am the only one to blame for my predicament, although two days ago it seemed perfectly rational, admirable even, to sign on for the “Fight for Air Climb” in Atlanta.

My Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer this year. Feeling helpless, I came upon a flyer from the American Lung Association for a fundraiser.  Climb 52 flights of stairs to raise money? Cake. Hell, I consider myself pretty athletic for an “over-50” woman.  I walk my dogs every day, and on weekends my husband and I either hike in the mountains or ride our bikes to the local pub.  Why, I even have a treadmill and rowing machine in my attic!

So today I decide to check out the “training” class that the Lung Association has graciously offered all participants. Feeling smug, I decide to walk the mile to the train station where I’ll “be green” and commute to the gym to meet my competition.  It’s cold, so I wear my husband’s fleece sweatpants and my puffy down jacket. I don my purple “Life Is Good” cap over dirty hair.

After passing through the lobby of the Ritz Carlton, I am greeted by a perky brunette in leggings and a tank-top.

“Velcome!”  Sexy Trainer Girl greets me in an unknown but fetching accent. “Vou can change in zee Ladies locker-room!”


Humor writing online coursesStepping inside the most luxurious changing room I have ever witnessed (and that is exactly two), I am greeted by attractive young athletes in appropriate workout wear.

As we assemble in the gym, we are met by four muscular men in similar gear.

After two minutes on the treadmill at a 15-percent incline, I start to get concerned.  20 minutes later, I am glad I came to this challenging workout. Now for a hot bath.

“Now vee climb zee stairs!” STG proclaims. “To zee floor serty-five!”

“What was that?” I ask the jock beside me.

“Thirty five floors, then down backwards.”

Finishing last, I am corralled into the workout room to cool down with some yoga. I’ve lost my hat and am soaking wet.

Warning: Don’t use your Neti Pot prior to bending over.

When the class is over I notice that not only have I left a quart of salty snot on the floor, but also clumps of dirt from my sneakers.

“Ve’ll see vou next veek!”  STG quips while I try to clean up what is now just smeared mud.

“Yeah, great. Can’t wait.” I mumble with the enthusiasm of a sloth.

Following my “rest” at the park, I crawl in the front door, deflated, but not defeated. Tomorrow I go to Target for some cute workout wear.

Jules Fredrik blogs at and has survived several of Dave’s online writing workshops.

She entered this story in our first flash humor contest on stepping outside one’s comfort zone. We’ve got three more of these contests coming up during the 100 Hours of Humo(u)r and they’re open to anyone who wants to enter!

If you’d like to learn more about the art and science of humor writing, Dave Fox’s fun and informative online course is on sale at a big discount for the duration of this “100 Hours of humo(u)r” online party. Find out more here!

Published on Saturday, March 2, 2013

One Response to “100 Hours of Humo(u)r – Hour 22: The Social Climber”

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    March 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

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