Part of my exercise warm-up is my brief run from my flat to the gym. A short distance from the front door of the club I begin walking cautiously to avoid being run over by a Mercedes or Jaguar whizzing down the drive.

We are currently in the season of the resolutionists so, even during my discount off-peak membership hours, I have to weave my way between the shiny cars parked outside (and fight for a place on a rowing machine once I’m inside). Every time I do this I think to myself that if their owners didn’t spend so much money driving everywhere they might not have to spend even more money trying to remove the lard that accumulated while they were behind the wheel, but if that line were followed by too many others it would bring an end to Britain’s epic Clarke-Brown boom and cause the global collapse of the capitalist system as we know it.

Anyway, today as I arrive at the entrance I hold the door open for a woman coming out of the building with transparent plastic bags on her otherwise unshod feet. I assume that it is some wacky new aerobics fad, but she feels she has to explain the truth to me: “I’m not mad,” she begins—not, in my experience, a good start to any explanation of unusual behaviour—“some nasty person stole my trainers.”

I mean, WTF? Unless you buy a whole year’s non-evening, non-weekend subscription up front for cash, this is not a cheap place to shed non-financial pounds. Every single vehicle outside that building cost more than I’ll earn this year and, from what I’ve overheard of their gossip, even the staff are raking it in from their private work. And who wants to put their feet in someone else’s whiffy sports shoes? In case you haven’t been following, people, I ain’t living in no ghetto. What a weird world.