People at my work go to gyms to get their bodies shapely and fit after the long hours they spend in front of their computers. How did the upper bourgeoisie, usually so good at looking after their own interests, find themselves in a position where they work nineteenth century factory hours, though for twenty first century money?
Anyway, I find these hours expended on crunches and exercise machines absurdly wasteful of energy and thought of a new kind of health club. It would be out in the country; the electricity would be generated from human-operated treadmills and stationary bicycles, while the food would be supplied by gardens which the residents dug themselves, planted, harvested, cleaned, chopped and stirred (nothing like that for the forearms). The gardens would be walled with dry stone dykes built of course by the residents and there would always be outbuildings that needed bricks heaved to them and laid. Our satisfied guests would pump water from wells, carry it on their heads to swimming pools (excellent for the posture) and then chop the wood that would heat the contents of the pools as well as the closed stoves that warm the house. Those on a lighter regime would be sweeping, dusting and scrubbing.
The charge would be £250 per day for the facilities, or £1200 per week discount. You would only need supervisory staff, so receptionists who doubled as dominatrixes with whips would keep the men in order with a slight edge of erotic excitement while a few bouncers dressed in appropriate gear – Southern plantation squires? warriors? firemen? Mr Darcies – would supervise the women.
Welcome to Pain & Gain Health Farm for Hard Handed Men and Madonna Armed Women.