Thursday, February 9, 2012

Drowning in a Wet Suit

Bob and Cathie are growing ever more concerned as the days go on and the May 5th doomsday approaches (Ironman). Typically beacons of hope and encouragement, they took on a new role when they discovered that I committed to attempt to swim in a lake with 2,000 of my closest friends in a save-yourself battle-to-the-death competition. Suddenly having vivid flashbacks of swimming lessons in 1994 when I never quite mastered the "don't sink" technique (I don't remember its official name), they both began, and have continued to, point out as often as possible how terrified they are about my lack of abilities.

In recent weeks Cathie has been heard to say such things as, "How will the boats spot you when you start drowning?" "Your father and I are trying to stay on God's good side right now to improve your chances of survival" and my personal favorite, "Have you made a list of account numbers and other information we'll need if something happens to you in that lake?"

Bob usually just shakes his head whenever the subject is mentioned. I recognize this fervently-confused head-shaking because it's the same reaction I get whenever I accidentally share too much information about risks I take while traveling, like sleeping in the homes of strangers I met the day before online or climbing into unmarked vehicles after getting stranded in the middle of a large city at 3:00 in the morning hoping for a ride home (I should not be free or alive).

But Bob and Cathie are not alone in their fears. Uncle Will recently suggested that I may end up being the Ironman lake ghost after drowning on May 5th, and for years people will swear they can hear underwater screams throughout the month of May. For the record, Uncle Will recently saw that horrid movie, Harry Potter 8 The Woman in Black and seems to relate most of life to it now. But also my now-married EX-roommate Matt gave me a body bag for Christmas. To be fair, he never explained what it was for, exactly. But I assumed it's because he thinks I'm going to die during the swimming portion of the Ironman, and not because he thinks I have plans to kill anyone and hide their body.

I did get a wet suit recently so I'm feeling a lot more "athletic" lately. When I got it, I walked right up to wet suit man at the store and forcefully said, "I need the thickest, warmest, floatiest, wet suit you have and I need it now." He showed me one that was about as thick as a person but then started the following conversation:

Wet suit Man: But this one is so thick you probably won't be able to move at all in it.
Eli: But is it warm?
Wet suit Man: Well yeah. It's very warm. But you understand that it's really hard to move your arms in it.
Eli: But is it really warm?
Wet suit Man: Again, yes. But you should be thinking about things other than warmth.
Eli: Like what?
Wet suit Man: . . . mobility.
Eli: Right. But I don't really move forward in water without a wet suit so mobility isn't really my priority with one.
Wet suit Man: . . . Did you say you're doing an Ironman?

So I got the thickest, warmest, floatiest, wetsuit they had, which I have since named "Larry," and attempted to swim with him in the indoor pool at my disgusting currently-pink-eye-infected gym that very day. I found that he was, in fact, warm and floaty as promised. As for speed and mobility, I didn't really notice a difference, which I'm sure is indicative of problems that I don't have time to resolve in less than three months.

The only problem with Larry the wet suit is that he looks like a headless man when hanging up anywhere. And I never seem to remember where I last put Larry until it's too late.

When he's wet, I hang Larry in the shower, which always makes for a very dramatic scream and backward fall into the wall for several seconds of that shocked I'm-living-a-nightmare feeling until I realize that the headless horseman is not actually standing ready to slaughter me in the bathtub. Often I have the same problem when he's hanging in the closet. And I made the very unfortunate mistake of hanging him on my bedroom door one night, causing me to wake up all of Salt Lake City every hour, on the hour, when I repeatedly glanced over at him and screamed bloody-murder throughout the night, certain that the owner of a grave I stepped on in the fourth grade, right before being told by bad-meaning cousin that I would one day pay, had finally come to collect (still waiting).

On a side note, much of my night terrors have to do with a creature invented by my Uncle Lee when I was a kid called "Scallywag" who, as well as I remember, was basically a furry long snake-like creature with heads on both ends. There was even a hand puppet, to better bring the horrific creature to life. It is for this reason, among many others, that I did NOT see Snakes on a Plane.

~It Just Gets Stranger



Larry hanging on my bedroom door


Larry hanging in the shower


Larry reading a magazine


Larry watching TV in a Snuggie

54 comments:

  1. Holy crap, I love this blog! You really are hilarious! Thank you for giving me a laugh today. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have I mentioned recently that you're nuts? And that Platt and I can't wait to come and make sure you and Dan don't drown/die on the side of a bike trail/get run over? We're pretty darn excited. Signs are being made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please make the signs as motivational as possible.

      Delete
    2. With pictures of the Queen of Colors.

      Delete
  3. Not to sound like a creeper, but I was just back-tracking through your posts to find something I hadn't already read because I was having a hilarity shortage today and then you posted this! Perfect timing and it certainly filled the quota. This blog is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deany, feel free to creep any time.

      Delete
  4. You have just given me two flashbacks from my childhood! I almost drowned (late learning how to swim) and the fear that the clothes hanging in my room was a person coming to get me. Thanks (in advance) for the nightmares I am going to have tonight.

    One good thing about Larry is he can allow you to float to this finish line when you get tired swimming. Good call on the floatiest wetsuit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessica, that is exactly why I bought Larry. I also plan to fill him with air bubbles on race day.

      Delete
  5. I sincerely hope Larry is the guardian you need him to be. I hope you understand that I am 100% behind you and Larry, but I still think you should call in sick that day. Maybe you and Larry can go to a movie or something.

    In a similar vein, I once found a discarded life-size cardboard cut out of my favorite singer in the dumpster behind the record store and immediately snatched it up and took it home. Worst two weeks of my life. Everytime I walked in a room, I thought I was being killed by a stranger. After a few weeks, I got used to it. Then I moved it to another spot and the terror started all over again. He had to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still considering the calling in sick thing. And are you going to tell us who the singer was? I hope it was Paul Simon.

      Delete
    2. It was George Strait. He is my #1 Secret Boyfriend (he's the only one it's a secret from) and it killed me to have to send him away. But I just couldn't have him in the house. Eventually all the slobber would have left him a mess anyway...

      Delete
  6. If you begin the race with a can of Pork n Beans, you'll be able to fill your suit with bubbles as you go.

    Which is totally disgusting, but should get some of your competitors out of your way.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Also, Larry's calf muscles are pretty well formed. Are you sure he's not doing the running/biking parts too?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I took a lunch break from work (and yes 4 pm is a normal time to eat lunch) just so I could read this in my car where no one would give me weird looks for laughing at my desk, thanks for not disappointing it was totally worth it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honey, I've been eating lunch all day. One day I'll learn self-control. One day.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. I wouldn't go there, Hayley. He's very clingy.

      Delete
    2. Lol, even your replies are hilarious.

      Delete
  10. This was a beautiful post. That last paragraph was a nice ab workout for me. I laughed, a little bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You laughed? This post was intended to be serious and traumatic.

      Delete
  11. I laughed out loud at the pictures of Larry! So awesome!

    P. S. I was varsity swim team captain in high school and I taught swimming lessons for two summers. If you ever want any swimming instruction, that is. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Eli...this is probably your funniest blog yet. Dad and I are on the way to the hospital because we can't breathe!! HILARIOUS! The comments and your responses are also very funny!!! Love you son! xo (I'm trying to set a positive, supportive example!) (of your writing!) ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the public support Big C!

      Delete
  13. I'm with Cathie. You have a gift. If not for swimming (which I don't actually believe) than for making the day-to-day seem infinitely and hilariously more absurd. I wish I could write like you.

    Also, you will not die in the lake.

    Also, also. If you DID die in the lake, I'm thinking more "The Guardian" versus "lake ghost." Consider all the good you could do for future Ironman...ers. (Ironmanners? Ironmanees?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard for me to imagine not being a bitter ghost.

      Delete
  14. Your so funny! I especially loved the pictures of Larry!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your so funny! I especially loved the pictures of Larry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'll pass that along to Larry.

      Delete
  17. Just after high school I went to beauty school while still living at home. Students each got mannequin heads that went everywhere with us. Many times I walked into the living room to find my mannequin at the piano, or sitting on the couch. Once or twice I found her in my bed under the covers all thanks to younger brother and sisters.
    And I don't scream a little scream, oh no, I have full blown horror movie screams that last a few seconds. After a few of those at midnight when I'm getting home from work, and the kids stopped hiding my mannequins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your story is going to give me nightmares.

      Delete
  18. I am glad that Larry takes time to relax with his snuggy. That is such a great wedding gift!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised that he wanted to wear it so much! I've hardly been able to use the Snuggie myself since Larry showed up.

      Delete
  19. Eli -- this post made me laugh out loud as I sat here in my office. Seriously -- Larry reading a magazine??? That's really funny.

    As great a story it would be for generations to come, I really don't want you to become the Ironman Lake Ghost. You're going to be just fine. Besides, you can't become the Ghost because we need to get on a plane to China the minute you cross the finish line -- Bree is expecting us!

    Thanks for the shout-out in this post. I feel very popular when you mention me!

    Love U.W.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Larry in a snuggle is awesome. He needs a lady friend to share it with! Maybe he'll find his true love in may? I'm rooting for you Larry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Larry is going to be focused on survival in May.

      Delete
  21. I had a similar experience late at night just leaving the bathroom (where I feel most vulnerable) and there was a terrifying dark figure just outside the door. Every scary movie I'd ever seen went racing through my mind as I was sure I was about to die.
    Then the laughing started, and I realized it was a cardboard cut out of Darth Vador....not funny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just be thankful it wasn't the Emperor. (Who, by the way, I always thought looked like my grandma).

      Delete
    2. Sidius? He does have a very grandma-like quality...

      Delete
  22. Your posts always make me laugh. I hope you don't drown. Then I would have to find someone else's blog to stalk and hope they are just as entertaining as you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For that reason I have written posts for the next 16 years and set them to automatically appear every week. Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  23. That Larry! What a guy. Looks like he's memorizing the General Authorities...

    ReplyDelete
  24. For some reason he just doesn't seem that scary reading an Ensign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's actually a triathlon magazine. Larry isn't very religious.

      Delete
  25. Larry reminds me of the Dr. Seuss story "What Was I Scared Of?" about the pair of green pants with no one inside them. That story gave me nightmares for years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As is common with anything written by Dr. Seuss.

      Delete
  26. Oh my gosh!! I laughed 'til I was crying. My kids were thinking I was a lunatic I was cackling so hard!(okay, they think that anyway--but that's another story...) Your blog is such a stress relief at the moment! Thanks for your blog, I love it!

    p.s. I don't think Larry will let you drown!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Larry and I have a love/hate relationship right now. I'm hoping on May 5th he loves me while I hate him.

      Delete
  27. i don't understand what the problem is with riding in unmarked cars at 3:00 am in large unfamiliar cities. this summer i found myself in a similar situation, but, unfortunately, couldn't find a car, so i slept outside the train station with all the homeless people and murderers. it didn't seem any safer to me.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love Larry reading a magazine and Larry watching t.v. in a snuggy. Wow. That's wonderful. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete