A short time ago I was watching a TV newscast in Chicago, which took a short break from politics, sports, and mayhem, to report on a breathtaking new phenomenon: there is actually a place in Chicago now where you can work out outdoors! My God! What a concept! The place in question is some outdoor gym by Lake Michigan, doubtless founded by a bunch of yuppies who wanted to flash their perfectly toned midriffs at a wider audience. But what I want to know is when did exercise become an activity that could only be pursued indoors? I’m so confused. Haven’t these people ever heard of going for a walk? It’s a surprisingly effective mode of transportation, I think they’d find. For all our talk about multi-tasking and parallel processing, the world is actually becoming more and more compartmental. Eat only at the Food Court. Exercise only at the gym. Next thing you know they’ll be telling me I can’t read while waiting for the bus.

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