By Ross Kelly, @stupidrosskelly on Twitter
Destin, FL — Meet Markus Ruhl. He is, as you can probably see, a bodybuilder. And, Markus has a problem that may seem funny to you and me. About two years ago, he began to have problems not breaking things that he handled. I spent the day with Markus, as he guided me through a day in his life, being too strong for almost everything.
I arrive at Markus’ house around 8am, just as he is getting out of the shower. His caretaker greets me at the front door. You are probably wondering why someone supposedly in peak physical health would have a caretaker. “Well, there are many tasks that Markus simply cannot handle,” she explains just as we hear a crash come from the bathroom. As it turns out Markus has just pulled his towel off of the shower curtain rod, which yanked the newly-riveted bar out of the wall. We can hear Markus swearing in German from the living room, and the caretaker gives a sympathetic look.
A few minutes later, Markus emerges from the hallway in a T-shirt that appears to be five sizes too small and a pair of cargo shorts that cling to his calves like a snake swallowing a rat. In his hands, he has three more T-shirts and a broken cellphone. He stuffs the shirts into his cargo pockets and hands the phone to the caretaker, to which she replies, “An early one today, huh?” Markus timidly looks at his belt buckle and says quietly, “Yeah.”
Markus has some errands to run and I see this as a good opportunity to get an idea of what everyday life is like for him. So, I offer to take him in my car. When he opens the door, the handle comes off with little, or no, effort. “Eureka!” I say to myself. My immediate goal is now to get him to break as many things as possible in the day; for the sake of journalism. After all, it is The Whiskey Journal’s car, and I don’t have to pay for anything.
I encourage Markus to get behind the wheel, something he hasn’t done in over a year. I can tell he is embarrassed, and I can barely contain my elation. After twenty minutes of convincing, Markus opens the passenger door to exit the vehicle. The handle breaks right off in his seemingly tiny fingers, compared to the rest of his arms. I mask my laughter as a series of sneezes. I decide, then and there, that this will be my M.O.
Markus gets into the driver’s seat, the door to which I left open. I am giddy, sitting next to him, for disaster is surely eminent. And, like a promised and delivered birthday blowjob, he reaches for the rear-view mirror. Not only does it melt off of the windshield, it does so in three pieces. I cannot hide my laughter, so I fake a sneeze into my arm. I ask him about the shirts in his pocket. He starts to answer as he reaches for the seat belt, but is interrupted by a long ripping noise, which leaves the entire right side of his torso bare. It is as though the Incredible Hulk is getting even angrier and turning into the Ridiculously Incredibler Hulk. We briefly make eye contact before I have to excuse myself from the car as I am attacked by the longest sneeze attack of my life.
As I pull myself together, and get up from his lawn, I have never been so happy that a day was just beginning. I get back in the car and apologize for my weak state. Markus seems concerned, and I assure him I am ready for the rest of the day. Luckily, the ignition was still on from when I was in the driver’s seat. So, Markus signals to pull out into traffic, and breaks the turn signal lever clean off. I ask him if he has any cats, I am allergic.
In one fell swoop, Markus dismantles the steering wheel, like a judo champion disarming an attacker, and mis-steps on the brake, which deploys the airbags. And, in turn, Northstar deploys the paramedics. Just like in The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock, Markus tries to push me out of the way of the airbag. I end up with two broken bones in my arm, a fractured rib and whiplash.
That would be the end of my day with Markus. I had to spend the rest of the day in the hospital, and both of us had previous engagements that wouldn’t match up for the rest of the week. But, Markus invited me to spend another day with him the first week of November, when he will be making appearances at a GNC and a petting zoo. Look for part II of this article then.
Ross Kelly has been considering getting back into competitive bodybuilding.