I was recently reminded of story in which I was the star. Or the jester. You decide. The kind of story that makes you cringe with a combination of embarrassment that it ever occurred and laughter that WOW you have some hilarious memories. Why not share it again? In case you need a laugh today, I am dishing it up on a sparkly platter.
Back in the day, one of my junior high classes was tasked with the well known “informative speech.” I wanted to do something more interesting than How to grow a Chia pet or How to do the moonwalk. I loved athletics so I looked to that genre. Casting aside our daily sports of tennis, football, volleyball I opted for something more exotic: lacrosse. Lacrosse was not as common in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) so I set out to learn as much as I could. Do you know Lacrosse? I think the Iroquois (from which the sport derived) translation means: have fun getting your ass kicked. Between lacrosse, hockey, and rugby, I am not certain which crew is tougher. Or crazier.
One of our teachers at school, Mr. G, played in a league. It occurs to me now that after a day with hundreds of 8th graders, many an adult might need to run with a stick and smash people but I digress.
Mr. G was happy that a student had an interest in the sport and offered to loan me all of his equipment for my speech.
I was first to present so after fetching the equipment from Mr. G’s car, I displayed it on a table next to the podium. I proceeded to deliver in a humorous fashion all the little lacrosse tidbits I had prepared. The history, the field, the players, the lingo. Then I proceeded to show the helmet, the stick , the gloves and pads. Inside the helmet, Mr. G had stored the lacrosse ball in its container. I had placed that on the table so I lifted it up and showed the ball (or cookie as it is called) in its triangular case and explained this was the ball, and the ball holder.
The girls in the glass have no reaction because they don’t know lacrosse well either, and because they, like me, are innocent doves. Most of the boys in the class giggled quietly that I merely said the words “ball holder.” A few boys in the class, laughed out loud but I had no idea why. Later, two of my male friends in class came to give me the business.
Smirky McJerky: That was a riot about the ball holder. AND you held it up.
Me: I was showing the equipment.
Smirky McJerky: You showed the BALL HOLDER.
Me: Juveniles ( or more likely: I am SO sure. SHUT UP.)
Smirky McJerky: Wait, you really don’t know what that was?
Me: The plastic ball holder? DUH!
Smirkey McJerky: HHHHHAAAAAAAA. Falls down laughing with our other friend. It is for balls all right. But not the lacrosse ball.
Me: Blank stare and fuming face about to go full tilt. I sense something very embarrassing to me is about to occur.
Smirky McJerky: HHAHAHAHAHAHA. It’s Mr.G’s CUP. For his balls.
Me: I hate you. And whaaaaaaaaaaaat?
So he explains to me what a "cup" is and how it is used.
I followed this with some OHMYG___ and yikes!!! and SICK!!!!! ! and OHMYG___.
Did I really just stand in front of my entire class and our male teacher and show the plastic protective device Mr. G placed on his manly bits? Did I really just display it so proudly and with more flourish than Vanna White? Did I touch it with my bare hands? Was I one degree of separation from Mr. G’s nether region?
My older brother played sports but I had never seen such a device. I saw a jockstrap once prior to this moment and thought it was an old school sling shot like something Davey Crockett would have touted around with him.
I attempted to avoid hyperventilating as I scurred away to wash my hands a dozens times and scrub them with steel wool. And a warning to anyone else interested in giving informative speeches on lacrosse: If you are handling the sweaty equipment worn the night before by a male that you are not married to or raising, the triangular plastic device is NOT what you think it is. And if you do embrace it like a treasure, I hope you wash your hands afterward.