This is the saga of Hedger Corp, told in weekly installments. (More here.)
When we last left off, an exercise guru had appeared in the office. His name was Vince, and he loved fitness and self-tanning.
Vince immediately ordered everyone to give him 50 push-ups. Bob collapsed halfway through the first one, while Derek tried to stay hidden behind the water cooler.
Then Vince took out a strange contraption and told employees it was time to test their overall health. Ann went first.
She didn’t score too high. Her health was equal to that of a mound of pudding.
Ted’s rating was also low.
Bob’s, perhaps, was the worst.
Once everyone’s extreme lack of health was confirmed, Vince took the employees across the street to a building they had seen, but never visited.
It was a gym.
Vince introduced his assistant, a tall, strange young man dressed like a fancy leprechaun.
It seemed an odd choice for an exercise assistant, but the employees didn’t have time to question it because Vince forced them through a series of exercise stations.
After about an hour of this, Vince decided to demonstrate some cool-down moves. At one point he balanced on his head for 45 minutes while humming the song “Let It Go” from Frozen.
Then he told the employees to try a yoga pose. Most chose “Downward-facing Dog.” Bob chose “Pathetic Attempt to Touch Feet,” which I’m not sure is a real pose.
And that’s when the employees found out why the leprechaun assistant was there. As Vince explained to Bob, anyone who was too weak would need to go to the snack bar and have a “time out” with the leprechaun.
At first Bob welcomed this news, as it would give him a much-needed break, as well as a much-needed snack. But once he got to the snack bar, Bob began noticing strange things about the leprechaun. For instance, the leprechaun had NO respect for personal space.
And he would do weird things. Like set out two pairs of scissors, with the pointy ends facing Bob’s chair.
He later unveiled a huge, demented-looking saw.
And what was with all the staring? The leprechaun would stare intently at Bob and not move at all. He wouldn’t even blink. Just stare…
Bob vowed to redouble his efforts in the gym.
By the time he joined the crew again, Vince had taken them outside for a “running in sand” exercise.
Then it was time for some climbing challenges.
Vince announced the final workout for the day would be stairs. The employees had to climb up and down 45 times. It would not be easy.
Ted, Ann, Sue and Derek only did one loop, then they snuck back to the gym to see what Vince was up to — and determine if they could somehow escape.
Lo and behold, they saw the nutritionist! She had been playing Space Invaders with Grandma Bernice, but then the computer froze. Our computers are from 1996, so it takes them a while to reboot. The nutritionist figured she had a good 90 minutes, and decided to track down the employees.
She entered the gym and was surprised to see Vince hanging a poster of fitness celebrity Richard Simmons.
Vince explained that Richard was his idol.
It was Vince’s life-long dream to co-produce an exercise video with Richard… perhaps an updated version of “Disco Sweat.”
The nutritionist couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Not only did she know Richard, she had co-written a moderately successful book with him in the 1980s.
Then she remembered something important: Richard still owed her $17. She told Vince of the book, and the money owed — and they vowed to track Richard down. First they would demand the $17. If needed, they would pin him to the ground and wrestle it out of his wallet. Then they would sit down with him and pitch the idea of “Disco Sweat 2.”
It was a solid plan. They shook on it.
And with that, they were off.
The employees, relieved but very sore, hobbled back to the office to gather their things and go home.
Meanwhile, Bob was still doing the stairs, unaware that the Get Fit or ELSE initiative had all but imploded. He was on loop number 5, with 40 to go.
Next week: Back to the office! While the employees settle in to normal work, Bob becomes haunted by something he never thought he’d see…