Friday, August 19, 2005

Rescued by the Bible

This one happened at high school.

Perhaps you will recall freshman year Gym class. It was to be our last year of mandatory Gym class and for me it was one final year to compound all of the embarrassment that can be forced on me by my awkward juvenile body and an audience of my peers. I'm sure we both have embarrassing gym memories. Ripping one during sit-ups while someone held my ankles is one of mine, as well as trying to hide erections during the swimming unit; it's very difficult. Perhaps you won't understand how humiliating it is to stand on the diving board. . . with a diving board. Sometimes I wonder how I didn't go shrieking mad with the horror of every day.

At any rate, I was one of those students who took Spanish, tried out for plays and if I was on a football field, it was in the marching band. I have never been that coordinated and was not all that keen on showering with a bunch of guys. The verdict: I stank at sports, probably still do. We were in the football portion of the gym class. The entire class was split up into teams for co-ed, two-hand-touch football. I remember once this girl caught the ball. I have forgotten the name of the guy that was going to tag her. I remember he was the only freshman with a mustache. He reached, innocently enough, to tag her back with two hands and she spun. One of his hands landed on each breast. She was outraged and tried to start hitting him. His face turned red and he was talking too fast trying to apologize. Whatever his name was, after that we called him Jack the Gripper.

Well there was a certain classmate on my team who was very competitive. He was absolutely disgusted with my inability to play. If I was passed the football, I dropped it. If it got handed to me I would slowly run in the wrong direction. He would come to my locker and cuss me out and threaten to kill me. His face would get red and he would point his finger in my face and say that he was going to kick my f-ing a. He was big enough to do it too. This was when I was thin as an uncooked spaghetti. Every day he would return to my locker and tell me how much I sucked at football and what he was going to do to me if I lost another game for them. I came to expect the fear.
I was pretty discouraged. I was reading the book of Proverbs and I came across this statement:

A soft answer turns away wrath.

Okay God, I thought, it's time to put your Word to the test. If it is true it will work, I thought. So, nervous as I was, I awaited the onslaught with a slight smile. Again he came up to me and roared. I listened patiently and when he was finished I said, "That's nice, would you like a piece of gum?" He stared for a moment. I held up a stick of Freshmint and he took it out of the pack. "You still suck." he said or something like it. The next day we repeated the routine, him swearing, me smiling and finishing with the gum. The next week he was coming to my locker, but no longer yelling at me. I think he just wanted the gum. The week after that the gum ran out, but he was coming to my locker just to talk to me. Somewhere in there we became friends and to this day he high-fives me into a hug on site.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Deo for my BO

This one takes place while I was a sophomore at College. I was home for Christmas break. I was dating a girl that I was just wild for named Blythe. I was driving to her house and as I turned the wheel a puff of air came up through my winter coat from under my arm. It smelled like a hot beef sandwich. Oh no!! I can't have BO on my date!!!! Well I was in real trouble here because I was running about five minutes late and I was already halfway to her house.
There was no time to go home and deodorant up.

The only thing around was a gas station and I pulled into it, desperate. I remembered that some gas stations had little personal affects sections back by the sunglasses and whatnot. So I zoomed in and found the section. Combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste, individual travel soaps and mouthwash, condoms, but no deodorant! I checked twice. The closest thing I could find to deodorant was. . . a tube of menthol chapstick. I looked around nervous, but that was it. So I bought it and rushed out to the car.

I took my coat off and sat there looking at the tube. I looked around and noticed that there was a woman pumping gas into her car, staring straight through my windshield at me. I waited a moment for her to look away, but she did not. I gestured wildly for her to look in another direction, but that only concentrated her gaze upon me. Humiliated, but also frustrated I said aloud in my car, "Okay. If you want to see something, I'll show you something!" and furiously plunged the chapstick into the neck of my shirt and started vigorously rubbing it one armpit and then the other.

I don't know why I bothered to replace the cap as there was obviously no longer any question as to the chapstick's ability to remain fresh. Then I peeled out of the gas station with that goggle-eyed lookey-loo staring at me the whole time.

The chapstick deodorant was strange. Firstly it was very waxy and yet also greasy. I felt as if each armpit hair had become the wick of it's own candle. My arms slid over my sides as I turned the wheel. Secondly as I drove down the road, I felt the unusual sensation of my mentholated armpits tingling. And the third and most bizarre aspect of it is that it worked. My BO was gone and Blythe was never any the wiser.