Sunday, February 18, 2018

Polar Plunge

A few weeks ago when I was in San Francisco I got to hang out with Disney Prince Hair Brandt for three days because he loves Full House so much that he lives there now. I told Brandt that I was training for the same Half Ironman race that he and I did together in 2014 HOW HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG ALL OF YOU HAVE GRAY HAIR NOW.

Four years ago when Brandt and I were training every single day for this race, I learned very quickly to dread being in the pool with him for two big reason:

1. I am the slowest swimmer since the Titanic and Brandt is basically Michael Phelps if Michael Phelps only applied himself like 80% and had the hair of a Greek God, so swimming laps next to him was a completely demoralizing experience.

I mean, look at those locks. 
And,

2. Swimming is worse than Hell. When humans invented swimming, Satan was like "crap. Now eternal damnation is going to be an upgrade for some people."

I'm not kidding you about how fast Brandt was compared to me. He was like Ariel and I wasn't even Flounder. I was like seaweed that had been caught on a rock. Except I had better boobs.

When we were hanging out a few weeks ago, we ended up in some small town a couple of hours north of San Francisco where we discovered this motel/restaurant/bar/convenience store/state prison/everything else, and so we stopped in. Someone who seemed to be in charge told us that they were going to have a competition that night called the Polar Plunge, which was basically a race across an icy motel pool.

They had buckets and buckets of ice sitting next to the pool, which they were going to pour into it and then send groups of four at a time and the winning time overall would get a free night's stay in the motel, which was absolutely a terrible prize.

It was only like 9:00 when we found out about this and the race wouldn't start until 11:30 and it sounded like a miserable thing to do with absolutely no benefits, but thanks to peer pressure, we both signed up and started mentally preparing for the contest.

Most of our mental preparations were interrupted by a VERY aggressive middle-aged woman who spent a full hour trash-talking us from her table, informing us repeatedly that she swam in college. Then she would flex her biceps at us, which were admittedly pretty impressive.

By the time 11:30 rolled around we had completely lost motivation for the race but half a dozen of our friends, whom we had dragged out for this mess and made wait around for 90 minutes, were not about to let us back out at this point.

I told Brandt that this was really his race to lose. I had looked around at the competition and there wasn't anything for him to be worried about.

Brandt told me seconds before our heat started, (which heat included me, Brandt, the trash-talking woman, and another man) that I would probably beat him since I'm training again and he's like totes super slow right now and omg "I'm probably going to embarrass myself."


I kid you not that Brandt was already on the other side of the pool, wrapped in a towel, and answering questions from the press pool before I took my second stroke.

I did beat the trash-talking woman, by the way. But only barely.

There were about 8 heats of four swimmers each, and by the time the last heat went, it was clear that Brandt had destroyed the competition.

So we waiting around the 30 or so minutes it took for the judges to put together the final numbers and start the award ceremony.

They began with the fifth place finisher, who came in around 15 seconds. Then fourth. Then third. Then second. And Brandt started making that fake humble face people make at award ceremonies right when the man began saying "and the winner, of this year's Polar Plunge is . . . "

And you guys.

THEY DIDN'T SAY BRANDT'S NAME.


This had to be a mistake.

Fortunately Skylar had taken a video of the whole thing, and I just asked him if I could share it with you but he told me there's too much nudity, which is a different version of the event than I remember, and either a much more fun or much more disgusting version, depending on what, exactly, the nudity was.

The point is, as soon as we got outside, we watched the video of our race, just like they do in sports games when the refs are like "foul!" and the coaches are like "this is an outrage" and the commentator people are like "let's go to the tape!" and you people thought I didn't know anything about sports.

So we watched the video and we discovered that although the winning time was announced as 11 seconds, Brandt had swam the length across the pool in EIGHT seconds so it wasn't even close and I think Brandt might be an alien.

It's the maddest I've ever felt about not winning a prize that we never wanted in the first place.

Almost as mad as I was in today's Strangerville story, in which I'm sorry to say, we took a trip back into the most awkward year of my adolescence. Please enjoy, and tell us how awkward you were at that age.


This time in Strangerville, would you rather have someone tell you you’re living up to potential or that you’re not living up your potential? Also, a 12-year-old boy makes a terrible and brave mistake.
Story
Election Night, by Eli McCann (music by bensound.com)
Produced by Eli McCann and Meg Walter

~It Just Gets Stranger

31 comments:

  1. Who invented middle school anyway? And how could those motel/convenience store people cheat on something like the Polar Plunge? I am starting to doubt this is even ‘Merica anymore. Side note: we are POSSIBLY going to be going through Salt Lake City this summer, so legit the suzzzzzz I want to come to your yoga class if this happens. #isthatcreepy

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    1. You and The Suzzzzzz were on the same Strangeville episode so if you go to yoga together it will be just like a reunion show like when they made the Brady Christmas special in the 80s and all of the Bradys come back to visit and every one of them has a unique problem that Mr. Brady solves over dinner and then Alice makes a surprise visit at the end just before or after that building collapses and they all go and Mike has to save someone and Carol Brady starts singing and everyone joins in and then they get out alive and the person on the news is like "we just realized that there has been another miracle on 34th street" and then they show the street sign and you find out THAT THE BUILDING THAT COLLAPSED WAS ON 34TH STREET THE WHOLE TIME.

      You just have to watch it.

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    2. This summer.... like over July 4th?? I totally want to meet some strangers. ESPECIALLY AMY ROSE AND THE SUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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    3. So I am thinking: I am Jan, The Suzzzzz is Marcia, and solving all the problems and is Alice going to be Meg or Jolyn or Rebecca and can Cathy be Carol and Bob be Mike and somehow can all the dogs be involved too please? ... You started this.

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    4. I just realized I have a section of a sentence that makes no sense, “and solving all the problems” so just mentally delete that part. I changed what I wanted to say and forgot to delete it myself. SORRY! And you can absolutely be Cindy, but only if you promise Matt will record this epic production and Skylar will direct it.

      AND It wouldn’t be over July 4 for me to be in salt Lake, it would be end of June- and only if we decide to drive instead of fly to our family reunion. I would love to meet everyone too! #beststalkerawardtome

      It was a lot of fun meeting fellow Stranger Kylle back at Christmas time.

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    5. Oh my gosh, that Brady Christmas special. I think about it every time we sing "O, Come All Ye Faithful" at church.

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    6. Well it wasn't creepy until you compared me to a Brady Bunch character. I live about 80 miles North of SLC, so if you don't mind driving that far outside Salt Lake we can totally go to yoga (for a small town we have an awesome selection of yoga studios)...or boxing...or barre class...or pilates...or rock climbing...or hiking, depending on the day. I'm tired just typing that sentence. You'd think with as much as I'd exercise I'd have rock hard abs, but donuts and Cheetos have other plans for my body.

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    7. Amy Rose - how "end of June" are we talking here? Also, are you on the facebooks? We could have actual conversations that don't get forgotten if we don't use a comments section of a blog hahaha

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    8. i am on the facebooks! I am terrible at finding other people on it though, so... I will do my best.

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    9. Meeting up with Amy Rose was really fun, but I was caught up in all of the traveling, so I never texted to say so. Then it started getting to be an awkward amount of time away from the event, so I never said anything. But, yeah, it was great meeting you, Amy!

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    10. Hey Eli, would you email Amy my email address and she can contact me that way? I don't really want to publish my personal email address here.

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  2. Replies
    1. I legitimately have no idea where we were. I'll ask.

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  3. Soooo - I'm wondering what is considered middle aged to a person your age?

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    1. Oh good - I've got a few years until I'm middle aged . . . .

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    2. I was 47 and had a flat tire in a congested area. A cop came by and called it in, to whom I do not know, but he said, "I have an elderly lady here with a flat tire" I don't remember the rest because I had the vapors. Geeze, I had just got my elderly hair dyed and looked awesome. I even had a little make up on. Turns out the cop was forty EIGHT. I'm 52 now, I feel edlerly in my bones but not in my mind.

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  4. "I dunno...I've never been a neglectful parent." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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    1. This was my favorite too. I love the Meg/Eli banter at the beginning of Strangerville almost as much as the stories

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  5. We still have that video! It is our favorite! Remember...the school office said it was the best video they had seen. We are sure they were all roaring with laughter! You won for most Creative video in their book ... and we couldn't agree more! XOXOXOXO

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    1. Cathie - the internet BEGS you to put this on Youtube.

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    2. It would go viral......and Eli would murder me. :-/

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  6. This reminded me of the time that I ran for student government. I think it was the end of 10th grade. Instead of doing videos we did a skit in front of the entire school. We had a microphone and 3 minutes to convince the student body that we were cool enough to be elected. Unlike yours, we had to have 50 students sign a paper saying they would vote for us before we were eligible for the day of skits. Someone told me not to run and wouldn't sign my list; I desperately wish I would have listened to him. I have blocked most of the day from my memory, the only part I do remember is burping the loudest burp of my life, on purpose, into a microphone in front of my fellow students and telling them to vote for me. WHY?!?!?!?!? I have no idea! To paint the scene a bit better in high school I maybe weighed 110lbs, am 5'3" and am a girl, a shy, polite girl that would never do that in public. I'm still embarrassed. And the boy that told me not to run? He signed my yearbook with, "I told you not to run for student government".

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  7. I ran for office a couple times I think. I remember one time my slogan was "Don't be messy, vote for Jessie!" What did I even mean by that?? Btw, at that time I had made up a middle name for myself since I don't have one and was going by "Jessie Maye". At some point I was the PTSA rep, which was the student equivalent of the PTA. Mostly I've blocked out that part of my life in my memory.

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  8. I was in student government...because no one ran against me. Later, I ran again and for my skit, I gave myself some sort of gangster nickname and wrote a rap. I had to check my notecards while I rapped so I wouldn’t mess it up. Skillz. I didn’t win. But it was okay, because the advisor for a club I had tried out for and done very well participating in (state, regionals, all-region team member, etc.) the three previous years asked if I could be their student body representative. The only problem? I hadn’t made the cut my senior year and wasn’t even a club member.

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  9. Exact same thing happened to me in 7th grade.. ran for my middle school position of SGA secretary. Recorded a video of me in a black and white polka-dot shirt with copper colored crimped hair. It was shown to the entire school and quickly forgotten. But I did win. I also hung flyers up all over the hallways saying "Don't be lazy, vote for Macie!". Yep.

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  10. ok the PEI comments are killing me!!! Does anyone know their connection to PEI?

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  11. I was catching up on the last couple podcasts during my commute today, and I noticed that my list skipped from 28 to 30. So I went looking for the missing podcast, but I can't find it. Did I miss episode 29 somewhere, or is this a case of "What was the number of our last podcast? Twenty-something? Eh, we're probably at 30 by now"?

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    1. I came on here to link you to the right thing and tell you how bad you are at finding stuff on the internet. But. We totally skipped Episode 29. I didn't even notice. I'm a mess.

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    2. It's okay. Your hair is stunning, so it totally balances out you being a mess.

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