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Richard Simmons

My pal Daniel Paul knows a good time. If he suggests aerobics with Richard Simmons, you go. You just go. And you find out that Richard Simmons is COOL.

We met up with Daniel at Simmons's Beverly Hills studio, called—you will love this—Slimmons. (Simmons explains the name on his website: "In case you're wondering how I came up with the name, I took my own last name, 'Simmons,' and added the 'L' to make 'Slimmons.'" Now. You. Know.)

But what is so cool about Richard Simmons? For one thing, this: There is the Richard Simmons you know from television. But there is also a Richard Simmons who comments on the Richard Simmons that you know from television ("I'm TIRED of the RUMORS! Listen, I was IN THE MILITARY! I won the PINK HEART! Me and JOHN WAYNE!"), cracking you the hell up as he leads you through ass-kicking aerobics that you thought were going to last forty-five minutes, until you discover—just as you are preparing for the cool-down routine that you surmise must take place after about forty-five punishing minutes, though you have never in your life been to an aerobics class—that Richard Simmons SWEAT aerobics last for NINETY minutes. Holy totally soaked towel! Now I know why the class is called, simply, SWEAT. Afterward I told Richard Simmons that he ought to sell t-shirts that say: RICHARD SIMMONS KICKED MY ASS.

Lacking the ability to mimic physical actions by observation only, I was a complete spazz. Simmons kept looking into the mirror and helping us remedial cases, tipping us off as to which direction we would be going next. It felt like that time I visited a Catholic church, and everyone except me knew when to stand, when to sit, and when to dole out kisses of peace at random. Coincidentally, at one point he rushed up and kissed me on the top of the head, saying, "I LOVE this MAN!"
I love you, too, Richard Simmons.

He kissed me again afterward, on the cheek. Richard Simmons sure is a friendly kind of fitness guy. So I asked him whether we could get a photo of him. "Welllllll . . ." he said. [Pause] "Of COURSE you can!" My camera was inop, so these swell photos were kindly snapped by my friend and attorney, Joshua.

Here's Richard Simmons and Richard Wagner and Daniel Paul:

How 'bout those shorts, huh? (Wait—I'm talking about Daniel's.) Even Richard Simmons commented on them as he was cheerfully leading us into sweaty heart attacks.

Wagner's pal Heather even got Simmons to hold The Old Boy.
(NOTE: "Hold the Old Boy" is not a euphemism):

Until we saw the group shot, we hadn't realized that one of our party had seen The Ring. His fate remains uncertain, mainly because he refuses to answer the telephone.

Even though I didn't catch on to the slogan right away, I would GO TO HEALTH any day with Richard Simmons.

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