Pretty Idle

man sitting in a chair

Photo courtesy of Gratisography

“Move! Move! Move!”

My so-called “fitness tracker” is telling me I need to move.

To get up.

To stop sitting around.

Congratulations, technology… you’ve just figured out how to recreate the nag.

A motivational coach?

A nag coach.

Whichever you like.

“Move! Move! Move!”

It lights up and at the same time, zaps me so I know it’s there. Kind of like having your mother, your spouse, and a few of your more annoying siblings strapped to your wrist… equipped with a mini taser.

The scientists tell us sitting around is bad for you.

I don’t quite understand how sitting around on the couch with a family-size bag of potato chips while watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy could ever be bad for you. And if you just happened to die while sitting on the couch, I mean hey… bag of chips in your hand. The guy seemed happy.

But in the end, the societal pressure was just too much to resist. I broke down and bought a fitness tracker.

Nowadays, you see people stand around in groups, looking at their ankle-monitors-turned-fitness trackers, shaking them like they had just touched a hot stove with their fingers.

“How many steps did you get?”

“I got 24,326 so far!”

The group stares at the braggart with looks of awe and wonderment, planning her untimely death for getting something so clearly unachievable by mere mortals.

‘You did not.”

“Did too. See?”

She flicks her wrist to show the unbelieving crowd. Sure enough, the lit-up display is spewing truth.

After they all grudgingly congratulate her, about her working towards her fitness goals, of actually achieving some measure of success, the real truth comes out:

She had strapped the tracker to her eight-month-old greyhound and let it have run of the yard.

She giggles.

“This is the number I got by ten in the morning. Can’t wait to see what number Skipper can get by afternoon.”

To the others, she is anathema… dead… a non-person.

She is not heard from ever again…

Who dares cheat the technology gods?

As for me, I am determined not to cheat.

One, because I want to get into better shape. And two… I don’t want to upset the technology gods.

Besides, my tracker won’t let me get away with such tomfoolery.

When I’m idle for too long — like when I’m writing a blog post about being idle and cheating on my fitness tracker — it tells me to:


I obey immediately. I move.

Walk around the living room?


Move away from my desk at work and walk around the office?


Get up during the sermon at church?

Not check.

The mini wrist taser doesn’t know what to do. I have not obeyed its command. It zaps harder.






One more time…



The smell of burning flesh permeates the space around me.

I remove the tracker and toss it over my shoulder. I hear a “ploop” noise followed by the sound of steaming water and the cries of countless screaming souls.

I win. I think I won, right?

I later discovered that the tracker had landed in the holy water font, lying in a drowned pile of 327 others. Still gurgling slightly, the display screen slowly fading…


The technology demons are not happy.

I shrug and walk away, pretty confident a bag of potato chips is waiting to greet me at home.

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