This taskmaster, found at the local St. Vincent de Paul, made me think of stocky Germanic women in surgical white gowns, patients screaming on the tables as they expertly unkinked vertebrae and battered quadriceps. The inventors of breakfast cereals and Pilates--machine love affairs, strange newfangled things with springs, levers and chutes. Slender, unmuscled weaklings would shed their carapaces and burst forth, shining beacons of modernity.
A guy saw me with my camera aimed and said, “This is really something, isn’t it?” Me: “Yeah, that’s why I had to come back and take a picture of it.” The guy: “I wonder if you could run your whole house on this. Or at least your TV. There’s gotta be some way to reverse it.” Me: "Why don't you go ahead and ride it?" He tries to plug it in, but the woman behind the cash register tells him she thinks it’s broken. He tries to take a picture, but he forgot to recharge the battery on his camera. We go our separate ways, inspired, perhaps, to slow down, take it easy.