Jamie walked into the house and found me and Erin slumped in the living area.
“How’s it going, team?” he asked, with the cheerfulness of someone who has just had a great workout at the gym.
“Mission failed,” I announced. Erin and I, too, had visited the gym. Erin was up in Shepparton until the end of September. I had taken Erin to the gym this evening, hoping to get her on the ‘No worries, no commitments’ deal Jamie and I were on. If anyone could do this, it was me, champion negotiator, super mediator.
“Failed?” Jamie said, surprised.
“Yeah,” said Erin. “The reception lady said that deal was only for people who did the ‘$40 for 40 days’ special. She said I could get a 12 visit pass. It costs $116!” Jamie and I were paying $51 per month.
“We didn’t even take it lying down,” I added glumly. “I asked her if there was anything she could do. ‘We’re only here for a month,’ I told her. ‘It’s join or not join.’ “
“What did she say?” Jamie asked.
“She said that she couldn’t do anything. The prices are set by the council and she’ll get in trouble if they see she’s changed the prices,” Erin said. “I guess she can’t help it. It’s not her fault. Oh, well. I’ll just jog around the lake or something.”
“Yeah, that’s a shame…” Jamie said absently. “Maybe I’ll try talking to Mel when we next see her.” Mel was a friendly receptionist that Jamie and I sometimes chatted to in the evenings.
The following night, I had just finished washing the dishes and had wandered to the living room to see what was on TV. The front door opened.
“Hi guys.” Jamie was back from his evening gym workout.
“How’d it go?”
“Yeah, okay,” Jamie looked vaguely dissatisfied. “I’m keeping off the legs a little. They’re still feeling a bit tight.” He peered around to see what TV show was on.
“Did you get to talk to Mel?” I said idly.
He brightened. “Girls, our troubles are over.”
Erin sat up “I can join?”
“Here are your free gym passes for the next weekâ€¦” Jamie slapped down four or five bright blue squares of paper. “…and Erin can take over Joan’s gym membership when Joan leaves after next week.”
We gaped at him.
“And, if we show up on the right night, you won’t even need to pay the transfer fee!”
Erin and I started laughing. “What?! How — ?”
“Cheerio,” Jamie said as he bounced out of the room.