There's a War Criminal at My Gym

Our advice columnist to the rescue

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Q: Last weekend I was in the locker room of my D.C. fitness club, watching a football game while getting dressed after a workout, when a man I consider to be a war criminal, responsible for horrible foreign-policy decisions and the deaths of American soldiers, ambled up beside me, naked, to ask what the score of the game was. What’s the etiquette here? Am I obligated by my conscience to berate him? Or compelled, by the rules of the locker room or by our nudity, to refrain?

—D.T.
Washington, D.C.


Dear D.T.,

You could easily have avoided this situation by doing what I do: never work out and never be naked. Since it’s too late for that, the most graceful way for you to satisfy the demands of your conscience and of locker-room decorum is to politely tell him the wrong score and then walk away. (After first glancing disdainfully at his private parts with shock and a distinct lack of awe.)


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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/04/whats-your-problem/309253/