I’ve been a doofus pretty much my entire life. It should come as no surprise that I was pulling boneheaded moves as a lad too. It’s not like I grew some short curlies, developed an adam’s apple and all my childhood grace and charm suddenly melted away. Cary Grant of the He-Man set I was not.
This particular bit of awesomeness happened at swim team practice some time when I was about nine or 10. I don’t really remember how old I was, but I’m pretty sure I was sporting a mullet of some sort. That mullet was almost certainly baked into a shade of blonde that I can only find in my beard* these days. I’m sure my skin was bronzed from endless hours spent in the pool, on a bike or stomping around in a creek somewhere.
So there I am, this tanned up and mulleted redneck, milling around in the morning, crusty-eyed and half asleep, before swim team practice. Summer swim team was a big deal in my town. Pretty much every kid within 25 miles was on that stupid team and for most of us it was the first sport we played. We ranged in age from us youngsters all the way up to high school seniors. Simply put, there were, what I considered at the time, a shit ton of people wandering around the pool deck, limbering up and getting ready for practice that morning.
And there was me, wearing a pair of sweats having just pulled off whatever t-shirt I was wearing. I had no desire to swim that morning, but practice was practice and I couldn’t swim in my sweats. I kicked off my Chucks, and got ready to drop trow, down to the maroon speedos we all wore. My sweats made it to about mid-thigh when I realized I saw white where I should have seen maroon. I’d forgotten to put my goddamn swim suit on. Somehow, in my half-awake preparation, I’d managed to get completely dressed, for swim practice, while forgetting the most important element of such a practice: something appropriate to swim in.
I wrenched my sweats back up as fast as I could. Thankfully, no one saw me standing there half-clothed in sweats with my tighty whities hanging out. I did have to suffer the humiliation, though, of informing my coach that I wouldn’t be able to practice that morning because I’d forgotten my suit.
In the long run, it didn’t really matter as I was a terrible swimmer. For me the team was something I was kinda forced to do, something I sorta enjoyed and mostly a great fucking excuse to eat raw jello mix using my finger as a spoon.
*my beard is fucking weird. I’m pretty sure you can find every color that occurs in nature in it if you look hard enough. But, more on that later.