Does a man not have a right to shout “You go girl!” to psych himself up during spin class? Can he not holler, “Great song!” when Beyoncé’s dulcet vocals come over the Equinox sound system? Ladies and gentleman: Can a man not let out a “WOOT! WOOT!” without fear? These are the questions the American justice system is pondering today, as Stuart Sugarman, the 48-year-old manager of a boutique Manhattan investment firm and an unabashed whooper, comes face to face in a Manhattan courtroom with his gym nemesis: 44-year-old broker Christopher Carter. Ten days ago during a spinning class at an Upper East Side Equinox, Carter shoved Sugarman through a wall, with the force of “Leonard Marshall of the New York Giants hitting a practice sled,” according to Sugarman’s lawyer. Why? Because Sugarman would not shut the fuck up.
Doubtless, there are those of us who empathize with Carter. Who has not felt the searing irritation the overenthusiastic gymgoer inspires? Who has not wanted to punch the spandy-clad stranger on the adjacent elliptical when they brightly suggest, “another fifteen minutes?” right in the teeth? Who has not wanted to smack the whooper, to kick the guy who doesn’t wipe the machine, to subject the chronic yoga-farter to a public stoning? But there are laws in gym as there are laws in life, and it would behoove us all to remember these wise words from Mr. Sugarman’s lawyer: “Spin class is an environment where there is passion in their pedaling — but there shouldn’t be violence.”
Psycho Spin-Out [NYP]