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"Like all men, I secretly want breasts."

How The Terminator Taught Me to Knit

Like all men, I secretly want breasts. Due to societal norms, I refer to them as pectoral muscles, and have spent no small amount of time in the gym in the search for an ever-more impressive pair.

Just over two years ago, it occurred to me that my existing methods for pectoral enhancement were, quite possibly, not as efficient as they could be. Spending anything more than thirty minutes a week in the gym is embarrassing enough, but to do it for no benefit at all was indeed a sobering thought.

After asking around my steroid-addled early morning lifting companions, I learned two things:

  1. It's almost impossible to strike up a conversation with anyone at the gym without having it appear that you are hitting on them;
  2. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding holds only mythical status among weight-room junkies the world over.
That very weekend I visited a book sale. Rummaging under a rather impressive pile, I found the very book I searched for: The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Modern being somewhere in the late 1970's, mind you, but I'm sure it's been an uneventful two decades since. I grabbed the book and quickly headed for the door. That I was stopped on the way by no fewer than two people who wanted to know where I had gotten it led me to believe that this was a good score indeed.

But then lingering doubt settled in. What if, after reading this book, my physical development were to become so perfect, and my dimensions so enormous, that I would be reduced to nothing more than a testosterone fueled rage monkey? What if the sheer power of my masculinity alone would drive away those I held dear? Holding the 10 pounds of Arnold's wisdom made this feel like a very real possibility.

It became clear that I would need balance. Thankfully, the "crafts" section was nearby, and the "Woman's Day Complete Guide to Knitting" gleefully jumped into my hands. I took both volumes to the checkout, and as I gossiped with the gray-haired ladies about good yarn stores in the area, I knew that I'd feel much better about doing my squat thrusts the next day.

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