the tape

confessions and a new start

It started as a good feeling.

I came home Thursday to a pile of mail. On top was a box. It was shaped like a videotape. “Ooh!” I squealed. “What is this?” I didn’t remember ordering anything. Perhaps it was a gift from someone.

I opened it and found Billy’s eyes staring at me. It was Advanced Live #4. And as I stared at the sweaty eyes on the cover, it started talking.

“That’s right, Pam. You thought I forgot about your ass. You thought I forgot all about your starting-to-tone-up ass. You thought since I cancelled my Austin tour and was so busy opening my gym in Houston that I was gonna hang up my wrist tape and stop ordering you to round house kick, didn’t you?”

[scripty]
PAMIE
Well, Billy, I–

BILLY
Shutup. You just shutup. I can’t believe you thought I was going to leave you.

PAMIE
I just thought–

BILLY
Remember all those good times we had? Remember you and me and Jasmine and Kristen and Shelly? We all remember you. Remember all the sweating and the screaming? Remember that time you called me an evil bastard? Remember how I just smiled at you when you said it? I love you, Pamie, I wasn’t going to leave you.

PAMIE
I’m sorry, Billy.

BILLY
Sorry ain’t gonna cut it, young lady. Now look over on that bookcase. What the fuck is that?

PAMIE
It’s Advanced Live #3.

BILLY
It sure the fuck is. Now why am I making you look at Advanced Live #3?

PAMIE
Because it’s still in the plastic wrap?

BILLY
You think? You think maybe that’s why I’m asking you to look at it? You haven’t even touched it yet. That means it’s been over five weeks since you’ve done Tae-Bo, and I’m thinking it’s probably been even more.

PAMIE
I was in a play.

BILLY
Oh! “I was in a play!” Oh, “I’m weak and not a conqueror anymore, Billy, because I do these pussy plays!”

PAMIE
It had a lot of movement in it.

BILLY
Oh, don’t give me that shit.

PAMIE
And I was doing two other shows at the time and one of them had me running around a lot.

BILLY
I’m playing my tiny, tiny violin for you.

PAMIE
No, hear me out. I was at work all day and then I’d go straight to rehearsal, get home, eat and then go to sleep. I never had time for an hour, man.

BILLY
I guess I never gave you an eight-minute workout, then did I?

PAMIE
No, you did.

BILLY
You bet your ass I did. And what the hell is in your right hand?

PAMIE
Potato chips.

BILLY
Put that shit down. You make me sick. Look at you. I had you leaner and harder and I had fixed that stupid self-esteem problem you had and now you go and stuff your face with Lays. You know why they call them “Lays,” Pamie? Because once you start eating them, they’re the only Lay you’re getting.

PAMIE
My cat died.

BILLY
Shut up. Don’t play that card with me. I’m very sorry about your cat. But I’m looking around and I’m still seeing two cats, am I right?

PAMIE
Yeah, but it took a week for them to like each other.

BILLY
Nothing brings a family together like Tae-Bo, pamie. You know that.

PAMIE
Well,

BILLY
Your mama still does Tae-Bo. I got her up bright and early every morning kicking and punching. She did it while your dog was in the hospital with a torn ligament. You know she loves that dog more than anything. You know she gives that dog more toys than she ever gave you.

PAMIE
I know.

BILLY
She worked through her pain. She didn’t give some candy-ass excuse.

PAMIE
I’m sorry, Billy.

BILLY
I don’t believe you.

PAMIE
I’M SORRY, BILLY!

BILLY
Ow. Now, you don’t need to be screaming all in my sweaty ear. Just put the tape on and do it.

PAMIE
Right now?

BILLY
I’m getting pretty pissed at you, girlie. Look. Don’t be putting in this big ol’ advanced tape when you haven’t been to my World Famous Billy Blanks Training Center in a couple of months. Go put in some wussy basic tape and start small.

PAMIE
You’re right.

BILLY
Of course I am.

PAMIE
I’ll do better.

BILLY
I’ll believe it when I see it.
[/scripty]

And this morning I set the alarm for extra-early. Eric had his doubts, assuming he’d just hear the alarm go off every ten minutes for an hour. But you know what? I did it. I got up this morning and did the Basic Live 3 tape my mom gave me. I did the whole thing. And I got to work and I wasn’t tired like I usually am, and I’m not smoking as much as I usually do, and I’m drinking lots of water.

Okay, and my thighs are kind of quivering in post-exercise exertion. But that’s all okay. I took the first step in getting back on the Tae-Bo wagon. And I’m sure that some of you have slacked off as well. Just try it again. Put in the tape again and see if you can still do it. I never had to stop, I still had all of the moves. I’m gonna be doing the advanced soon. I know I am. I just have to figure out what my new schedule will be and how to work around Tae-Bo and Yoga. I’m ready to start my home training again.

Who’s with me?

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