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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Unicycles, Speedos, and Lima Beans

It's hot in LA. And on the boardwalks of Santa Monica this sunshine can only mean one thing. Ladies and gentlemen, please stand by, because out of the woodwork will peddle a strange, eccentric man in a flesh colored speedo. You will spot him from a distance swerving on his unicycle and swear that underneath the coarse, bear-like hair covering every inch of his skin he is completely naked. Taking a quick look at his body language and his immense wobbling about, I believe this man's unicycle-riding confidence is very low - as would be mine. Don't get me wrong, I get nervous on anything with less than 4 wheels, but I'm not the one riding around without a helmet or mouth guard.
Oh the joy of mouth guards. Not quite as bad as head-gear, a little more socially acceptable, but still pretty uncool when your mom insists on you wearing one during your softball game in 6th grade. I remember taking a family trip to Big 5 Sporting Goods (one of the only stores known to man that I have no desire whatsoever to shop in) and my brother and I were ushered to the hockey aisle (or was it the boxing aisle?) to pick out a protective mouth guard. I chose hot pink because I didn't want it to stand out.
Luckily I quit softball shortly after the mouth guard entered my life, and the only fond memory that remains of the sport is of a cool artistic coach who would draw faces on lima beans and whenever we'd get hit with the ball (aka "beaned") we'd earn ourselves limas that we could turn in for prizes at the end of the season. After a while the whole team was purposely trying to get beaned while at bat, jumping in front of home plate, diving into the ball, all in competition to gather the most limas. Hmmm, who knows where I'd be today if I would have stuck with softball. I just recently learned, thanks to my dad's honesty, that I was a "below average" softball player, but my mom argued that I was "pretty average", so it's hard to say if sky was the limit for my athletic career.
Anyway, Mr. Flesh Colored Speedo on the uni, is your odd hobby really harmless fun? It's no fun for the beach bystanders. As much as I despised it, when he's around I feel the need to grab my hot pink mouth guard just in case he loses control in front of me and knocks out my front teeth. That's always been a nightmare of mine, but I will save that for another time. Yes sir, this seemingly naked man still shocks me every time I see him doing figure-eights on the boardwalk. and the motherly instinct in me wants to quickly cover Mozie's eyes to shelter him from possible nightmares and mental scarring. I can only hope this man peddles back into the cave that he came from, or at least upgrades the speedo to board shorts.