the Change I Wish to See

...and whatever else it takes to find my pants

Welcomes, welcomes.  It is Thursday.  And thanks to LiLu, who has singlehandedly altered the modern calendar, it is TMI Thursdays.  Last week, I lassoed the hitch on that bandwagon and pulled myself onboard with a puddled tale from my adolescent past.  Today, you get another story that shares a couple of those key elements: a normally clothed tool and how it played a critical role in my childhood.*

Our story starts at the YMCA.  Yes that YMCA -

- but no, not this era:

(not that there was anything wrong with that).
Though I was just a young boy, in need of a place to go.  And since I was barely pre-pubescent, short on dough, there was really only one place to stay and be sure I'd find many ways to have a good time.

But I reminisce...

Mikey was my best friend back then.  He had a doberman pincher that scared the curdled goo out of me and that always seemed to be bleeding from the ass.  Mikey also had a mom.  I don't really remember anything about her, so for the rest of this story (and your life) just imagine her role in this as

One spring-like, Pennsylvania summer day, my then still-married parents dropped me off at Mikey's in an effort that then seemed like a favor to me, but am now sure was so that for one day their lives could go on as originally planned.  Mikey struggled convincing his mom that she should take us swimming.  He won her over when she caught Mikey attempting to induce his dog's bleedy bunghole to do our bidding and leave us a trail we could then play around: the hop-a-spot-from-Spot-or-go-lie-down-on-the-cot game.***  I was an agile youth, and was prepared to relegate Mikey to that cot in his basement, but c'mon: swimming.

Mikey's mom dropped us off and left.****  I had never been to a YMCA before.  I guess I've also never been back.  In that sense, the YMCA is a lot like Ruby Tuesday's for me: once, mortified and done.  Anyway, you were just supposed to leave your non-swimming clothes in a locker.  And since they offered no locks, and Mikey apparently never brought one, it was an honor system - which is odd, because if you ever went to a YMCA in the 80s, the character of the frequents was less that of King Arthur's roundtable than that of a disbanded gaggle of roaming thieves.

So yet another kudos to Gertrude Stein: a place that looks like a place where robbery is achieved is what it is.  While we were in the pool with middle-aged men with enough matted, wet hair to shame a monsooned Chewbacca and bellies that overwhelmed their wastes and bikinis, someone stole my vitals.

My.  Vitals.

This is important.  Not my pants.  Not my shoes.  Not my shirt.  My underwear and my belt.  A pair of Superman underoos and a nylon belt.

I tried to roll with the underoos-stealing-punches.  I put on everything left to my name and we headed out to meet Mikey's mom.  It was a dangerous game.  The only way to keep my pants up was with a hand in each pocket.  And so what happens next is my parents' fault for raising a flawless gentleman.

Mikey's mom had to stop at the store on the way home.  At some point, we got out of the car and dutifully followed her towards a storefront of some strip mall.  Without hesitation, I pulled my hands from their lawfully-mandated position and opened the door for her.  The image?

Yeah, sorta like that.

And it happened in front of a crowded parking lot and within feet of a toddler.  There was a little girl sitting in a shopping cart outside the A&P next door.  She pointed.  Her pointing was loud.  Because she screamed.

"Mommy!  Look!" she yelped, at the top of her developed-enough-to-catch-the-attention-of-dozens lungs.  She followed up her scream with a "Pee pee!" - displaying her unfortunately impressive object association skills.

Her mommy looked.  Mikey's mommy looked.  People looked through storefront windows.  People looked from their cars.  And as if it was a puddle of my own urine, I just waited, again, for way too many seconds.  And surprisingly, no one rushed to my aid.  I was standing pantsless on a strip mall sidewalk on a Saturday afternoon in daylight in a major metropolitan city.

And yes: I wasn't yet 10.  But all that means is that I was too young to be cited for indecent exposure.  I like to think I aged a lot that day.  I have a mature appreciation for this thing called "body."  How many times have your goods been on display in broad daylight for more than 30 people?  That shamery you haven't felt?  Yeah, that's called experience.  And I've got plenty.

*Yes, the childhood.  I'm new at this, and telling humiliating stories from yesteryear is a lot like making fun of a person none of us ever met (not even me).  Keep coming back and I promise the revelations will be modernized.**

**And I have to say thanks to a certain lacochran's bloggery.  I've used the asterisk approach a few times now, after being inspired by its usefulness on her blog.  Someone should give her a "Leader in Industry" award.

***I have great fact-checking abilities.  Be careful before you insist you never made child's play out of a mongrel's leaky hide.

****Now that I think about it: wtf?


LiLu said...

Oh, this is MARVELOUS. Well played, sir. And "vitals"? Never heard them described that way! I love it!

f.B said...

"vital" is exactly what they are. because as this story proves, without them, it's a slippery slope toward "why even bother trying?"

brookem said...

ah, i love it. i mean, im sorry that happened for you, but it's still a damn good TMI post.

and at least at the chipper age of 10, you didn't need to be concerned with the manscaping.

nowadays? one loses their vitals, and all bets are off. keep it in check!

Katie said...

Perhaps you remember your friend's mom as headless because she left you alone in a locker room where boy's underwear gets stolen? But your shame is both unfortunate and hilarious.

Nina said...

i dont think anyone can be on the underoo stealing train. lol

Arjewtino said...

Curled goo? Awesome.

I went to the YMCA once. I met Al from Married With Children, who was watching the UCS game and cursing.

He was so cool. Except for the USC part.

Sara said...

"Her pointing was loud. Because she screamed." Hilarious! Laugh out loud at my desk funny.

f.B said...

brookem: so glad the manscaping wasn't an issue yet...

katie: seriously, though. she just left us? i have no idea where she was. so she gets to be imagined like the muppet nanny

nina: the problem is there are too many people on the underoos-stealing train

arjewtino: you met ed o'neill?!

sara: it was like she was unaware of the menace in her little finger

lacochran said...

You really did have adventures as a tot, didn't you?

Thanks for the shout out but I totally stole the idea for asterisks.*

* You ever notice how hard it is to say asterisks?

f.B said...

it is hard to say "asterisks." i started typing it just now and wanted to clear my lingual palate with a glass of water and a synonym with less double consonant pairings