Monday, February 24, 2014

High School Memories

A television program, with two men wrestling, made me think of high school memories of gym class. I was chubby and still am. Wrestling was only one of the many activities that I wasn’t good at performing. Needless to say, I didn’t like gym. Climbing ropes were a bane. Push-ups were a complete failure. Running laps, after several circuits, pooped me. Basketball, I wasn’t too bad.
I wasn’t a dancer and when square dancing was the class, I barely managed to follow the fast spoken calls to allemande left, do-si- do, and other steps took awhile travelling from ears to brain and then to feet.
All through junior high and senior high, gym was far from my forte.

One class that really made an impression was swimming. I could swim, not well, but I could make it across the pool and back. The thing about swimming class that left the most lasting and impactful recollection was that we swam nude, naked as a jaybird, exposed, and sky clad.
The one occurrence that would have caused the coach/ teacher to have been canned was in a way funny and yet risqué. It would have probably led to legal action today.
The teacher said “Take any valuables you have down to the pool for safe keeping.”
Standing in front of lockers, our clothing disappeared from our bodies and into the lockers. Once we were nude, we were herded down a spiral metal staircase to the indoor pool. The chlorine hit my nostrils long before I could see the blue-green tile lined pool. There was an older small, wooden table at one edge of the pool. The instructor said, “Put your valuables on the table where it can be watched. The guys walked up to the table to deposit their wallets and watches on the countertop.  One wise cracker strolled over to the table, collected his family jewels in his hand, and placed them on the table top.
           The teacher was standing at the table and slammed a paddle that he held in his hand very close to the wise kids genitalia. The youth jumped back, scared and trembling.

“I’ll be right back and STAY OUT of the pool.”
The teacher scurried up the stairs, disappearing at the top. Now comes the most memorable legal action part of the story. Another student stooped over in the teacher’s extended absence and began to splash other kids. He failed to notice that the instructor had returned through a side door. The youth was still bent over, laughing, and splashing. Quietly the teacher slipped up behind the misbehaving student and kicked him on one of his upturned butt cheeks.
It wasn’t a push. It was a full-force, sneaker-clad, solid boot in the derriere. The kid ended up near the center of the pool with a huge splash. It was a major surprise to the whole class, but especially to the prankster.
When the young man climbed out of the pool, he was wet and embarrassed, but the teacher had left his mark prominently on the youth’s right buttock. A sneaker shaped, bright red, ridge treaded imprint glowed throughout the rest of the swimming class.

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