I am lying there in the sauna, drifting off as I watch some tubby old guy do inclined pushups in the buff. He does twenty, stands back up, claps his hands, jumps around, everything jiggles. Then, he turns to me and bellows something. I sit up and stare at him through the mist. He's pointing at a spot on the floor and bellowing, cackling and bellowing. He is challenging me to an inclined pushups in the buff duel. I am wearing nothing but sauna steam.
I get in the wheelbarrow position with my legs propped up on a two-foot-high stone bench. The man bellows again, indicating that my toes need to be pressing against the front of the bench, not perched on top of it. I reposition myself accordingly. Then, while this nude Korean man looks on, I start doing pushups. He claps and bellows and cackles. I get to ten and can probably do more, but the tediousness of doing pushups - even naked, even with a nude Korean man watching me - entices me to quit out of sheer boredom.
The nude Korean man cackles, squeezes my bicep, bellows that I am strong. I say, bashfully, no, no, no, you are strong, though he is almost all gut. We talk briefly about his family, about his wife's cooking, about his daughter who is studying something in college, but I don't know the Korean word for her major. He asks if I am coming back to the sauna tomorrow. I nod noncommittally. He squeezes my bicep, cackles, turns and disappears into the mist.
On the flatscreen in front of the hottub is a Bob Saget Era episode of America's Funniest Videos. Seated around the hottub is a ring of naked Korean men, watching Bob Saget. It's one of the $100,000 Contest episodes, so I take a seat. The grand prize winner is someone dropping a toilet down the stairs. Nobody laughs.