This is a true story. Scout’s honor. It’s isn’t my story, but no one who lived it has a blog, and it needs to be heard. Richard Simmons’ reign of dental terror must end.
Many years ago, my husband’s grandparents decided that Chicago winters are far too cold for reasonable humans, and they purchased a condo in Florida. They became fully committed snow birds, migrating with the seasons to spend half the year in each location. As they settled into the laid back Floridian lifestyle, my grandfather (in-law) devoted himself to golf and boating, like any Southern gentleman. And, in the time-honored tradition of Southern women, my grandmother (in-law) devoted herself to drinking cocktails and learning all kinds of details about the lives of her neighbors.
After a few months of this, without the subtle calorie burn caused by constantly shivering in Chicago, my grandmother had grown pleasantly plump. My grandfather, meanwhile, stayed trim. Around this time, the two of them headed to the mall for a day of Christmas shopping. As they wandered the tiled floors, thinking of family, they were unexpectedly halted by a high-pitched shout from across the promenade.
“Hey there! I think you need what I’ve got!” …and there was Richard Simmons, in a fluorescent tank top and legwarmers, barreling towards them.
He looked my grandmother up and down. “Oh yes, oh yes, you’re simply amazing. But you’re not moving your body enough, are you? *tsk tsk tsk* …How can you be your brilliant self if you don’t treat your body like something sacred?!”
At this point, my grandfather – who built a hugely successful advertising firm from nothing and was used to people abiding by his wishes – sternly said, “Sir, I’ll have to ask you to leave my wife alone. We are not interested.”
At that, Richard Simmons only became more animated, driven by his primal need to help my grandmother find herself through the power of Jazzercise. “Oh, but don’t you see you’re holding her back?! She has to re-discover her own amazing self! We’ll have so! Much! Fun!” At this, my grandfather shook his index finger in Richard Simmon’s face, then turned to walk away. Except…
His finger was gently trapped between the pearly white incisors of the Workout King. Richard Simmons growled, very softly, and then released my grandfather’s hand so he could admonish him: “You’re being a very bad husband! You’re not letting your wife decide what she wants, so I didn’t let you decide whether I should bite you! How does that feel, huh?!”
After this point, the story becomes unclear. Some versions state that mall security appeared and escorted Richard Simmons away; others tell us that my grandfather attempted to end Richard Simmons right there outside The Gap. What is certain, amidst the swirling mists of legend, is that Richard Simmons is not fucking kidding about fitness.