crime drama

This morning, as I entered the gym ready to lift heavy objects lots and lots of times for no real reason, I noticed a sign that informed members that there would be no more towels provided starting a week from today.

Obviously this concerns me, because I’m already filling my quota of Naked Man Time in the locker room when there are towels, so god only knows what it’s going to be like when there aren’t towels.

But what really struck me was that the reason they’re taking away the towel service is that towels are being taken from the gym, and it is losing money because of it.

You know that saying “You learn something new every day?”  Well, today I learned that there is a man roaming this great city that apparently has a deep love for towels.  So much so that he steals them.

A Towel Bandit, if you will.

Somewhere in a tiny apartment – perhaps in Queens, maybe in Brooklyn, or maybe even in the city – thousands of extremely scratchy, white Bally Sports Club towels can be found.

The Towel Bandit, I imagine, must have been a Real Bandit at one time, and has since retired and moved on to heisting towels to fill the rush he used to get from robbing banks.

One day he was yelling “Just give me all the cash and no one gets hurt!” and the next day he was quietly slipping three towels into his gym bag, smiling to himself and thinking, “This will bring the entire system to a standstill!”

My only hope in this entire debacle is to somehow figure out who the Towel Bandit is and befriend him. Then hopefully, one day he will bring me to his towel hoarding center, and we can laugh and laugh at the sheer amount of towels before us.

I will declare, “That my friend, is a lot of towels!  A grand amount indeed!” and he will agree, bellowing, “Ha ha!  Oh the tales I could tell you of my towel thieving!”

Then I’d probably leave because, you know, it’s kind of weird to steal towels.


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65 responses to “crime drama

  1. See, I imagine it more a mistake…like they get mixed in with your gym clothes or some such. Because honestly, who WANTS those towels?

  2. Can’t they just attach the towels to cables so you can’t run off with them, kind of like pens at the bank?

    Although I guess that doesn’t solve the naked man problem.

  3. I have to admit that I have stolen towels from the gym at the resort I used to work at, but that was only to go skinning dipping in the lake.

  4. deutlich

    They should really get with the program. The only place worth stealing a towel from is a 5-star hotel.


  5. Matt

    Maybe he is stealing them so he can dye them yellow and turn them into “terrible towels”.

    Or not.

    Who knows.

  6. Ben

    Perhaps he’s stealing the towels to go on a mass-towel-snapping spree? What a dastardly human being he must be.

  7. deutlich

    ps: it intrigues me that my old user icon pops up when I don’t sign in.. more so that I have NO clue how to use the new one.

  8. i like to buy my towels out of the back of a van on a highway off ramp
    i think i know this guy

  9. you should probably do this:
    1) feel enraged at the towel stealer and begin to feel that vengeance will be yours.
    2) become a dark ninja that roams the street at night tracking him down.
    3) teach him a lesson.
    4) join gyms across the nation and dedicate your life to eradicating these thieves.
    5) watch news stories about the elusive “towel bandit hunter” and laugh maniacally in your lair
    6) write a movie about this quest and hire Mel Gibson to star in it.

  10. My mother in law steals ketchup packets.

    Her purse if loaded with them.

  11. Jo

    My gym used to have a free for all approach to towel giving, in that they’d be in stacks as you went into the changing room so you could use as many as you wanted.

    Now, however, because of a “problem” or some crap, you have to get one at reception when you walk in. Lord help you if you want two of the things. Or three! How dare you! I bet it was that rascal towel theif come to bring his theiving to London what did it.

  12. idontliketoread

    more naked old men, yes!

  13. I suspect his identity will soon be revealed when you are all forced to bring your own towel to the gym and his read “Bally.”

  14. I just got this vision of a bunch of South Park-style Towelies roaming NYC.

    No sir, you are a towel.

  15. I’m mainly concerned b/c someone is stealing gross sweaty gym towels. If you’re gonna yoink a towel, it should probably be from some cushy hotel, no?

  16. Who knew towels could be both criminal and hilarious, all wrapped up in one giant blog-urrito. Awesome.

  17. The thought of a man stealing thousands of gym towels made me throw up a bit. I don’t attend the gym because I fear the germs. On the towels most of all.

  18. And also the germs in the air.

  19. Far

    haha the things that go on in that head of yours!

  20. Dude, anyone stealing that many gym towels must live in the Jerz. One would need a lot of extra room to store such an amount of gross, stolen gym towels. Just saying, if you’re gonna find this guy, you got think logically.

  21. Eric

    I’ve stolen a few towels from the gym. Although I make it a point to never enter the locker room, thus avoiding naked old men, I grab a towel upon entering the gym to wipe sweat off of machines, because I’m courteous. Occassionally I’ll absentmindedly walk out with the towel and figure turning around and going back to the gym is more effort than a towel is worth. Had I known the damage I was causing I may have acted differently.

    Also your towel bandit sort of reminds me of the underpants gnomes in South Park.

    Step 1: Steal Towels
    Step 2:
    Step 3: Profit

  22. It takes just one to ruin it for everyone. I assume the naked towel-slapping festivities you typically enjoy following a workout will have to come to an end now, huh? That’s unfortunate.

  23. I agree with Ben. No more towel snapping fun in the shower for you.

  24. Towels?! I’d steal an eliptical instead!

  25. lemmonex – I know, but someone is doing it! It confuses me.

    mickey – I feel like nothing will ever solve that problem.

    dutchess – Scandalous!

    deutlich – Exactly! And I noticed that too. But you know me, I don’t have much understanding of the thing they call “Internets.”

    matt – He wishes.

    ben – Hahaha – so cunning!

    jenny – So you’re keeping him in business.

    beth – I love your plan, but can I sub Brad Pitt for Mel? I find that I look much more like Pitt than him. Right? Right????

    kristen – Well, that’s odd isn’t it?

    jo – I bet it was too, I’m sorry about that.

    idont – Men men men!

    gwen – You’re like some kind of detective!

    aine – I don’t watch South Park. Does that make you hate me?

    stealth – I agree.

    stacy – Thanks, and I like that term – “blogritto.”

    melissa – What about the germs on your keyboard?

    far – I know, it’s odd.

    uncle – Well, no way I’m going to Jersey, so he can have the towels then.

    eric – I need to watch more South Park.

    amind – No way – I’ll just have to be more selective about when I do it.

    dan – I will never stop!

    akilah – That would be hard to do, and I admire you for undertaking that task.

  26. Okay. Strange. But funny. lmao

  27. My theory? I think he just likes seeing naked men. Soon you will hear about towels and shower curtains being stolen…and a lot more mirrors being set up in the locker room.

  28. Wait. I wasn’t supposed to steal them?

    I have two of them at home I “accidentally” left in my backpack.

  29. I quit the free gym in my old office building and paid to go to the hilton across the street specifically because they provided towels. And soap. God I hate schlepping stuff like that. That doubles the size of your gym bag.

  30. jay grochalski

    this so-called “ban” on towels won’t stop him…it just won’t. sometimes people just steal towels, and the gym should’ve accounted for it in their budget, the way grocery stores account for stolen grapes and other such sundry items.

  31. Maybe the towel thief is planning some sort of world domination scheme, wherein he disables the President and entire secret service by scratching them with the towels until they beg for mercy.

  32. Interesting…I usually steal the soap but this guy is good.

  33. I need to accumulate lots of something so that my friends and I can chortle in such a manner about “a grand amount, indeed.” Unfortunately, hours wasted watching bad movies isn’t really a collection you can show off to others in such a fashion.

  34. Yes. Yes it does.

    No, not really.

  35. I used to steal stuff all the time.

    Especially when I was drinking.

    One time, I stole a stapler from my bank for no reason at all.

    Oh no wait, that was a friend of mine. Maybe I’m drunk right now.

  36. Maybe he is stealing towels because he is about to switch to a cheap, stingy gym – the YMCA, perhaps – that does not provide towels and he needs to accumulate a stash so he can bring his own.

    I stole a towel from Crunch today.

  37. Towels at the gym just don’t exist up here. And that’s too bad, because when I was going to my city gym, my goal was always to lose enough weight to be able to cover myself with just one teensy gym towel.

  38. Maybe he’s stealing them to give them out as Christmas gifts.

  39. I too love to “laugh and laugh” so please photograph the hoards of towels when you finally get to the towel hoarding center. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation of all the laughing to be done.

  40. You should demand a reduction in the rates you are paying for the gym!

    Or start stealing your own towels now.

  41. Why in the world??? People are weird. Who would want to steal a nasty gym towel? Then again you hear about those panty theives and those are strange too. Who would want to steal someone’s used panties? Gross.

  42. tia

    stealing gym towels is gross.

    i can’t believe your gym uses white ones. that just seems extra gross. mine are bright orange like construction worker vests.

    better to hide the germs, i guess.

  43. I know the Towel Bandit. He is my boyfriend. Except he steals from the Y.

    He has a whole linen closet filled with scratchy, used-by-who-knows-who towels.

    I use them as pot holders.

  44. duhn – That’s what I thought too.

    rachel – There aren’t even any curtains in our showers – it’s just angled walls. Good or no good?

    arjewtino – I’m calling the police.

    megan – I know! Really, I am so pissed about this.

    jay – Yes, I agree.

    abbersnail – We must protect the president!

    broke – A mastermind.

    pistols – No one wants to watch TMNT II?

    aine – I just don’t really like cartoons. I used to watch the simpsons, like 27 years ago when the episodes were still funny.

    kiala – I think you are and I like it.

    ari – Don’t think our love extends past the law.

    noelle – That’s a good plan. You should patent it and sell it.

    giggle – I hope he remembers how nice I’ve been to him.

    hbee – Hahaha – I don’t sense any sort of sarcasm there at all.

    jen – I am calling them right after this, actually.

    kellie – Well, sometimes they smell good, okay???

    tia – Yeah, white is kinda gross.

    sarah – Could you convince him to let me have some?

  45. S

    This is unacceptable.

    Santa ain’t gonna bring them NO PRESENTS this year. Bad boys. Bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Watcha gonna do when there’s no presents for you?

    Dry something, I imagine.
    (Like tears….the crybabies.)

  46. Toe

    Eww. Who would want to steal dirty ol’ gym towels anyways? You have no idea where those towels have been – imagine sweaty moldie oldie fat guy wiping his belly here- Yuck.

    Now Hotel towels that’s gold right there.

  47. I loathe the day when my gym adopts the no-towel policy. I use at least two, three if I’m taking one of those balls-out spin classes that make you sweat in places you didn’t know you could sweat. But really, stealing towels from the gym is just gross. I know they wash them, but who wants towels infested with someone else’s old sweat? Maybe this is some type of weird fetish.

  48. Eww. Naked Man Time in the locker room does not sound appealing at all. Unless the locker room was filled with Gerard Butlers. Then yum!

    Too far?

  49. Don’t they realize that there’s only so much “sweaty balls time” that a person can be subjected to? Ew ew ew! I feel your pain, but I’m glad I’m not a dude and I’d be going to a different locker room.

  50. Goose

    Hmm…I’m not even sure where to start, and not end where someone else already has. I guess…WHO THE EFF STEALS A TOWEL!?

  51. Learn to air dry, my friend. It takes a lot of wiggling but it feels oh so yummy.

  52. How much bleach would it take to make those towels even worthy of using? Just thinking about where they have been grosses me out.
    In other news, I laughed so hard tears came to my eyes.

  53. I wonder if this person just can’t control themself. Maybe they steal stuff from lots of places. Maybe they silverware at restaurants or shotglasses at bars or trays from fast food joints. Maybe they have a whole storage just stuffed with random shit.

  54. I took a towel from the Wynn hotel once.

    then they charged me 56 dollars for it.

    The lesson? Towels are expensive.

  55. I always (by accident) stash my gym towel in my gym bag. Of course, I bring it back the next day, but it happens. I don’t know who would want to keep a hard, ugly towel on purpose.

  56. I may start stealing towels from my gym.

  57. this reads like a seinfeld episode. which in turn is the best compliment i could ever give you.

  58. javajune

    I have a confession to make I have stolen towels from hotels more than once. Really nice towels mind you and no I am not a naked old man. We all have our dirty little secrets.

  59. this reminds me of that episode of ‘scrubs’ when everyone was stealing scrubs and jd’s shower curtains were made of them. i bet the guy is making towel shower curtains. makes sense right?

    oh and unrelated to towel stealing, my friend sent me this gym video and i just have to share since you are a fellow gym goer:

  60. I heard on the news (perezhilton) that Bally’s declared bankrupcy today. Probably due to the towels.

  61. Do you think he stole the towel from the infamous towel mix-up you had a few months ago?

  62. So this is what people are talking about when they say there is a lot of crime in NY?

  63. There’s always one that ruins it for everyone!

  64. But if you befriended him, you could build a towel fort, and any kind of fort = awesome.

  65. Pingback: more than you asked for « surviving myself

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