I have a guest membership at the local Baptist mega-church’s gym. Before you get scandalized, a “guest” membership means you are not a member of the church. It lets you use the gym, walking track, and exercise classes, and lets your child attend certain activities that require a gym membership. It costs $10 the first year and $5 thereafter.
The extra $5 the first year is because you receive a bar code membership tag to put on your key chain, which you check in with when you arrive. The YMCA has a similar system. So do grocery stories: You use the loyalty-program membership card to earn rewards either for yourself or the school of your choice, depending on the grocery store.
Last week when I handed over my keys to the oil change guys, there flashed Local Mega Baptist Church.
My gym membership card doesn’t specify what kind of member I am — I suppose if I became a proper member of the congregation, I’d keep my card and just upgrade my status. (I won’t though — not going to forsake my birthright for unlimited access to the weight room.)
Today when I stopped at the downtown specialty grocery store after dropping off the 5th grader at St. Urban’s, I again handed over my keys in order get my store loyalty-points. Once again: LM Baptist.
I feel a little bad about this, because sometime I am impatient and cranky at the oil change place. Sometimes I am not the picture of extroverted cheerfulness at the grocery store. It makes the Baptists look bad. I’m sorry, Baptists. Thank you for letting me use your gym anyway.
Photo: By Taxiarchos228 (Own work) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons. I don’t know if I belong to this church or not. I was unable to easily get hold of the particulars. But I might. I belong to this giant mega church with all these locations spread around the world, nearly every one of them containing people as cranky as I am.