Meet Us on Alameda

From Red Rocks to the big white balls of Buckley Air Force Base, Alameda Avenue runs through Lakewood, Denver and Aurora, collecting a series of religious, cultural and ethnic hubs along the way.

Westword drove Alameda from one end to another for the fifth in our occasional profiles of metro Denver roads. Our feature story can be found on our home page. (Our previous journeys took on Broadway, Colfax, Federal and Sheridan.) The following is a Web-only extra.

At least five more Internet installments over the next week will have you going our way.

24 Hour Fitness Alameda and Colorado 12:30 p.m.

“So what brings you into 24 Hour Fitness?” the recruitment rep asks me after being summoned by one of two nine-foot tall blond dudes working the front desk.

What I want to say is that I’ve been given an assignment on the eclectic thoroughfare that is Alameda by my paper, and that I chose to pop in because I heard a rumor that a lot of the strippers from Shotgun Willie’s work out here and I would like to talk to a few of them, perhaps even ogle.

“Uh, I just moved here,” I stammer. “I’m looking to join a new gym and was just checking out a few in the area.”

“Of course,” the rep tells me, all smiles, all smiles, a snake licking the air. “Just fill out this form so we can get you in the database.”

A form, eh? Database, eh? Well, I do love random phone calls and e-mails from corporate call-center hawks. Mind if I put down my social security number, too? I decide to write all of my roommate’s information down, burdening him with the inevitable onslaught of calls, e-mails and limited-time offers.

“So, Matt,” the rep asks me. “New to the area?”

“Actually,” I correct him. “I prefer Monty.”

This makes the rest of our exchange hilarious – for me, anyway – because the guy has obviously been sales-trained to drop a potential customer’s first name as much as possible.

These are the elliptical machines, Monty.

Monty, do you like basketball? Because we have courts.

Are you a free-weights kind of guy, Monty?

I answer with the utmost enthusiasm, smiling and thanking him for the thorough explanation. I can just see the wheels turning in this guy’s head, and they’re chugging straight toward sale. This Monty bitch is going to earn him his commission.

24 Hour Fitness is exactly how you would imagine it would be: nice, state-of-the-art, soulless, a mega-corporate gym. But at the end of our tour, the rep is pressing Monty to sign up. Because, of course, the offer that he’s got for Monty is only good for a few days more, Monty, and Monty would be foolish not to take this offer now, while the getting’s good, don’t you think, Monty? But Monty doesn’t like that there are no strippers working out. And Monty would like a little more time to think it over.

“Well, Monty, is it cool if I give you a call in a few days to see where you’re at?" the rep asks.

Is it cool? It’s more than cool, I say. Monty’s actually pretty forgetful. The more you get in contact with him, the better. No, no, anytime’s fine. Call morning, noon or night.

And definitely e-mail Monty, too. -- Adam Cayton-Holland

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