1. A wild exercise machine that was never intended for domestication
  2. A misery machine

Usage Example: “What is your return policy on treadmills?”

Background: Paper mills manufacture paper. Sawmills manufacture lumber. Treadmills manufacture misery.

Running is a great way to enjoy fresh air, natural scenery, and actually going somewhere. Treadmills are specially designed to ensure that users will never experience any of those benefits. The only benefits that a treadmill can provide are excessive sweating, the opportunity to stare at walls for long periods of time, and the aromas of an indoor fitness center.

The treadmill’s native habitat is the urban or suburban fitness center. It is a social machine. The treadmill is rarely found alone in the wild. Treadmills will naturally form long rows with other treadmills and surround themselves with similar machines.

On rare occasions, a human will attempt to domesticate a treadmill by buying one and placing it in his or her home. This arrangement rarely ends well. Owners initially have excellent intentions of walking (or running) their new treadmills on a regular basis. However, after a period of approximately two days, the newly neglected treadmill morphs into a piece of modern art. At this point, the treadmill only exists as a sculpture: taking up space, mocking its owners, and occasionally being used to hang clothes that wouldn’t fit in the owners’ closets.