Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Richard Simmons visits Life by Chocolate: IWSG

First Wed of Every Month
Happy December! It's that time again, time to reveal our writerly insecurities and encourage each other to keep at it. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, we can glean high volumes of sage advice from our peers. As you know by now, I just spew weirdness. But it's always fun. So jump aboard the IWSG train, if you haven't already. All you need is an insecurity or 200.
Robyn:  I'm facing your generic writing angst these days: What am I doing? I suck at this and yada yada blah blah blah, whine, whine, wine! Thus I knew I needed a guest who's motivational. Since it's December, I also wanted someone warmhearted. Flamboyancy and eccentricity are pluses. Santa didn't return my calls, so I found someone else. He took a break from AlPenwasser's hysterical blog to visit Life by Chocolate.
      As a kid, today's guest was beaten (with a baseball bat) by a peer because he was obese. Thirty years later they ran into, and recognized, each other. The former bully asked his former victim for help; his wife had become morbidly obese. Today's guest sent the man workout videos. Talk about love and  forgiveness! He oozes it. It's Richard Simmons, folks!
Nobody cheers. Stagehand, Macauley Culkin (he needed the work - holiday season, wife and coke habits), cranks up the applause meter. The one audience member, Miley Cyrus, sticks out her tongue, while humping a blow-up doll of herself.  Eww! So sorry. She must've thought we were featuring Gene Simmons. Macauley, don't give that troubled girl any camera time. He nods and shifts the camera back towards the stage.

Robyn:  Now, come on out here, Richard Simmons! Richard runs onto the stage wearing a red tank top, and blue and silver striped Dolphin shorts. He jogs in figure eights, flailing his arms with wild abandon. Richard then runs up to Robyn and kisses her on the right cheek, then on the left, then the right again. 

Richard: Let's go!! Richard starts doing jumping jacks. One, two, three! Move it! Own it! Tone it!

Robyn: Really? Cuz I was just gonna talk. I ran a 5K last week. That's enough for the year, right?
Richard pauses and races over to Robyn. With his hands cupped over his mouth, he shouts in her ear: No excuses! Excuses make for fat cabooses! Move it!

Robyn: Okay. Robyn does a few jumping jacks.

Richard puts his hands on his hips and thrusts his pelvis back and forth. Come on, girlfriend. Up and back! Work it and twerk it, baby!

Robyn thrusts her pelvis forward and back, awkwardly at first. After a few reps, she grins blissfully. I haven't done this in a while. It feels good.

Richard: That's what I'm saying! Love yourself! Work it! Now down, and up. He does squats.Robyn slowing mimics him. So --huff--- Richard ---puff--- you've written lots of books, and did a bunch of videos and you're like 65 now. You're amazing.
 Richard: Now, lunge. Lunge. Get down, baby! YEAH! Keep working it. Robyn, sweating, does half-lunges, while attempting to continue the interview. How do you keep up--exhale--at such a pace?
 Richard: It's like this. He darts towards the camera, and places his hands on his heart. Number one, love yourself! Number two, get off those buns! Number three, love yourself! He blows a kiss and screeches his way off the stage, shouting ecstatically.

The camera zooms in on Robyn. Minus the buns part - we gotta sit a lot to write a lot - it really does come down to that. As corny as it sounds, self love and acceptance is where it's at. So keep going. Make mistakes and flounder, even when you think you suck. Because you don't. Love takes us to places we never thought we'd discover. Stay clean and  humble, though. Miley unleashes a beastly sigh. Robyn and Macauley look towards the audience, but Miley and her blow-up doll have sunk beneath the first row of chairs. Here, look at my stagehand. As a distraction, Robyn flashes pictures of Macauley Culkin, then and now:

the young star of Home Alone            Now, age 33, Robyn's stagehand

 If you don't know who Richard Simmons is, watch this. You'll be ecstatic that you did.


  1. It was nice of Al to lend you Richard! This was lots of fun! I especially enjoyed your "Excuses make for fat cabooses" line! Poor Macauley Culkin. Maybe Al could give him some more work to do.


  2. That man is an awesome bundle of energy... while today I'm avoiding the gym... Don't I feel bad now????

  3. Gene Simmons - funny! Maybe you should have him as a guest?
    Great attitude Robyn. Especially when you're surrounded by the likes of Culkin and Cyrus.

  4. I didn't know who Richard Simmons was but now I do I'm glad I read this haha, poor Culkin though, I don't know how you'd cope with him around!

  5. That was hysterical! Holy Hell, that pic of Macauley smoking is downright scary!!! I saw Richard up close and personal in the Macy's Day parade this year and he was simply amazing and looked fabulous!

  6. Everyone needs to go to their happy place occasionally if they can find it. Apparently Richard Simmons found his a long time ago and set up shop.

  7. This made me laugh so hard I almost spit my coffee out! My mom used to have his tape "Sweatin' to the Oldies" LOL

  8. I remember when Richard Simmons was on 'General Hospital' in the late 70s. I love him, he makes me laugh.

  9. Well, I've had my pep talk for the day!

  10. WHO doesn't know who Richard Simmons is? I can't imagine!

  11. Richard is cheating on Al, say it ain`t so lol he has energy up the ying yang though

  12. Thank you, everyone. I used to watch Richard Simmons when he was a youngin' just getting started too. He's still the same. Gotta love him.

    Alex, maybe I'll get the courage to offer Gene Simmons a gig in 2014.

    Be well, friends.

  13. I love Richard Simmons! He is so joyful and optimistic. I never knew the story about the bully. He really is a forgiving man. What a great, inspirational post. Thanks for giving me a morning boost.

  14. I actually thought Macauley was Miley in that last picture.

    Oh, Richard. He was always a little too loud for me. I'll sweat to the newies and leave the oldies to others.

    Great post. I always love your interviews!

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  15. Ha-- making me laugh again. You really do have to be of ...ahem...a certain age to appreciate your interview with Richard. You nailed his trademark persona very well. I think what I'll take with me from this post-- my little take-away heart moment is: no excuse, get off my caboose. ;)

  16. Thanks! I needed this reminder to love myself and get off my buns.

  17. Hahahaha. Richard Simmons cracks me up. Believe it or not, I used to exercise with him when he had his TV show back in the 80s. That seems like FOREVER ago.

    Poor McCauley and Miley. It's tragic. That wasn't very loving, was it? Kinda missed this post by a country mile. Maybe they just need to love themselves a bit more and it will all straighten out.

  18. I'd love to meet the woman that Richard Simmons is impersonating. I'm sure she'd ask me to feel how firm her buns were. And how could I refuse?

  19. "No excuses! Excuses make for fat cabooses!"
    That is so funny! (And so true 'cause I've a bunch of excuses and one heck of a caboose to show for it.) Loved your post, Robyn - I always love your posts and end up with such a big smile. :-D

  20. Not sure which is more disturbing. Richard Simons or McCauly Caulkin.

    Either way, I lose. Can't unsee that.

  21. OMIGOD! OMIGOD! OMIGOD! Did someone say "Ying Yang"!?

  22. Unique presentation of an excellent message.

  23. i'm regretting the peanut butter cups I ate for breakfast...not really... ;)

    Robyn, have you ever done stand-up comedy?

    Bless you!!

  24. I like a little perky. However, I think I might have to smack him if I saw him in real life.

  25. Robyn, you are a saint among women. Not just for putting up with Richard Simmons' high energy antics, but for giving Macauley Culkin work when no one else will. Your charity knows no bounds.

  26. Richard Simmons is just so motivating!

  27. OMG this was an entertaining post. My sister ran into Richard Simmons in an airport. She was traveling with her dog and he ran up and snatched it away from her. Doesn't that sound just like him?

  28. Just imagine how awesome those Home Alone movies would have been if they had had Richard Simmons in them instead of Macauley Culkin.

  29. It would never have occurred to me to have Richard Simmons as my guest. I'm so glad you did.

  30. We just saw Richard Simmons on the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. My husband and I both said at the same time "I thought he died!" Seriously, we had no idea the guy was still bee bopping around!

  31. Ah I love Richard - I remember him well from the 80's.
    I'm pretty certain we won't see Miley and Macauley around at 65 - then again, I wont be here anyway.. !

    Nice post, combining humor and the important stuff.


  32. OK, now I'm ready to dance! Great post, Robyn. Made me smile. :)

  33. Many years ago, I was hiking in Arizona, climbing Camelback Mountain when I stopped to rest, and looked over at the guy next to me resting, and it was Richard Simmons. Of course he is funnier as your guest :)

  34. I think you portray Richard well. Strange little man.... but ya gotta love his passion for being a "fit" strange little man.

    Darn, I didn't recognize the picture of Mccauley at first. I am so out of the loop of "where are they now?"

  35. Figures Miley would bring a blow up of herself to keep her company since no one but Beiber could probably stand her at this point and I'm sure he's busy being a douche somewhere.

    I didn't know that bit about Richard being made fun of/being a bigger person. That's cool.

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