I need to laugh and I'm such a likely target and the material to draw on is so voluminous that I need not look to far for a smile.
Gym for me in 1964 was an equal mixture of the illogical, the embarrassing and some mold for a touch of seasoning. I was short and pudgy in the tenth grade-true I sprouted a foot and thinned out the following year but it doesn't change this memory. I can still see this long thick rope suspended from the top of the gym which was shrouded in mystical clouds. I am standing lamb to the slaughter like bahing with my doomed classmates awaiting humiliation. Two strangers stood on either side of the rope and it was explained by my gym teacher, Mr. Gaurlauf,that if I lost my grip 30 feet in the air and came plummeting to the earth like a moldy comet (ok I should have washed my gym uniform) these two total strangers were going to sacrifice their life for me by getting in between me and the floor. My only question was "Why?'-why would they do this? It was all a charade anyway because I couldn't lift myself one inch off the ground-not then-not now. If heaven has a rope ladder, I'm screwed. So Mr G. wrote something in a notebook and I had to run around the gym thinking is the adult world that I am about to enter really this illogical? If I could climb the rope ladder to the top of the gym ceiling I would be part ape -part Adonis and in no need of climbing ropes and if couldn't climb the rope it would not help me in the least to get in shape.So my head is swirling with these crazy conversations with Plato about the search for logic when I get out of the shower draped in a towel and return to my locker only to find in empty. Here I am naked exploring the depths of embarrassment asking My gym teacher to find the thief who cleaned out my locker.We went around with a master key and he opened the lockers while everyone wondered who the thief was-it was CSI Beacon with Det. Gaurloff and his naked assistant Toodles. Finally the master key opened the locker to reveal all my belongings. The problem was that there was no thief-he had opened my locker.I can still see the look on the gym teacher's face. I tell you this story because it is my mission in life to spread hope. A wonderful woman actually married me years later and we have two wonderful daughters, a noble , fun loving son-in-law and a granddaughter so enchanting I walk around spellbound.Now, there is a reunion next year and I am going to walk into that gym go up to that rope hanging from the ceiling and set it on fire