By Musclebuff

Heaving a sigh I started to tear open the envelopes. Bills. Friends: are you coming over for Christmas? Don’t know. Junk. Reminders about driving license renewal, more junk……

One from America. Who the hell……?

Invitational Superior Muscle Corporation. What the hell?

Dear Sir,

I spend a lot of money by sending my scouts around the world in search of Superior Muscle for me to exploit in my contests and other interests. You were much admired at your recent contest - in fact my scout thought you should without doubt have been declared the winner.

I understand from him that you were extremely disappointed. Also that you had found a picture of someone you regarded as having the ideal physique - one you felt you had no hope of attaining. In fact, he gave me the picture - rather crushed and stained to be sure, but still very impressive. [Shit! Had his scout been in the bar that night?] I am here to assure you that such a goal is attainable by someone like you and I would like you to help me prove it.

I am prepared to finance the complete expense of a stay here in America, including one or two first class round-trip air fares, in an effort to prove this to you. The Boss of your gym has all the details and he has engaged himself to see that you are in the prime conditioning I shall require of you by the time of your departure. That will be in three weeks time.

I sincerely hope - no, I expect that you will consider this offer seriously and convey your decision to your Gym Master. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

I am yours etc……….

Master of S.M.C.

Double shit! The Boss had been sitting on all this for how long? Shit and double shit again! My first inclination was to tear the letter up and go down to the gym to beat the daylights out of the Boss - but then I read it again: “such a goal is attainable…by someone like you….help me prove it……the complete expense…first class….promise you…not disappointed….”

Not disappointed. That’s what got me. I’d been disappointed for too darn long. I shoved the rest of the junk away, got my coat and raced to the gym. The Master was just closing up. He raised his eyebrows as I brandished the letter under his nose.

“How fuckin’ long have you known?”

“About as long as it took you to pull yourself together. Why d’you think I bothered with you, tramping through the snow, all those workouts….?

Yeah, when they couldn’t get through to you, they called me - the scout had already been nosing around here asking about you - and what could I tell him? You’re a bad loser? Shit, man - it’s the chance of your life!”

“And, Boss, I’m gonna take it! First class too! Who is this guy anyway? Found anything out about him?”

“Oh, sure. Rich as Croesus, holds these contests every year in defiance of Joe Weider and their gang - comes up with some very interesting decisions. He’s heavily into symmetry PLUS bulk - never one without the other.”

“OK, so when do we start? Now?”

We did - there and then. Three weeks to get into contest shape again. It was a fucking tough three weeks too - Boss had never pushed me so hard. Everyone in the gym chipped in with spotting, loading, yelling encouragements. Don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed pushing myself so much. Getting bigger, harder, more cut, more vascular. God knows what the Boss was feeding me - something the guy sent from the U.S. he said. Whatever it was, it worked. •

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