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Opinion: Madera’s ‘growing pains’

I happened to find myself being self-assigned on Tuesday to deliver copies of The Madera Tribune to the coin racks we have around the city, and I discovered something unexpected:

The city is growing. It is spreading out. There is more traffic. There are more small businesses. There are more places where one can exercise.

These exercise parlors come in all sizes, as do their customers. Some of these gyms are big barn-like operations, and they are full of machines designed to wear you out and get rid of any extra fat you happen to be carrying around with you. Some of these exercise parlors have no machines at all, but merely owners who will shout at you if you if you get tired and slow down during the exercise he or she has determined you should engage in.

“Get going, lazy bones,” the proprietor might shout at you. “Don’t be such a wuss.”

If you are wondering what a wuss is, and assuming you are the person being shouted at, Merriam-Webster the dictionary people, offer this definition: “A weak, cowardly or ineffectual person. A wimp.”

If you don’t want to be known as a wimp or a wuss, these places will work you until you fall down with a heart attack, or at least a good case of the wheezes.

Or, you can always go find a comfortable chair and sit down and watch some of the younger people fight off the wheezes.

I used to belong to a gym here in town that had a nice rowing machine. You could sit down and pretend to be rowing, which is fun exercise, but you could be assured that you wouldn’t tip over and drown. And if you felt a case of the wheezes coming on, you could just stop rowing until the onset of the wheezes postponed itself.

Another thing about these exercise places is that you can be sure you always will be able to find special drinks to be purchased that are filled with vitamins, minerals and plenty of stuff that tastes like used dish water laced with plenty of sugar.

The sugar wasn’t especially good for you, but it kept you from feeling like you were ready to throw up.

Besides exercise shops, there are plenty of new Hispanic restaurants, and a lot of them are pretty good if you don’t mind food that tastes like it’s on fire. You can be fairly sure that if you grind yourself into powder at an exercise establishment, you will find the aromas from one of those restaurants very enticing, primarily because your body is crying for all the nice fat that you left on the gymnasium floor. You will find that the first thing they feed you in that lovely new restaurant is an order of chips and salsa that may surprise you with its ability to assault your taste buds so they seem as though they have been bullwhipped.

When the server comes by and offers you something to drink, it turns out to be a small water glass full of a clear but shimmering liquid and ice cubes that you are supposed to drink with a side of salt, lemon juice and Pepto Bismol. It turns out that Pepto Bismol is made by Proctor and Gamble, which also makes Tide and other “ingredients you can trust.”

Well, as I said, Madera certainly is growing. I think I would like the new Madera more, though, if I wasn’t such a wuss.

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