Jun 272016
 

divingplatformWe found ourselves at Fulin’s last night because of a dinnertime power outage at home. As we ate, they were showing competitive diving—possibly Olympics tryouts—on television. Nathan mentioned that the last time he’d been at a pool with a 10M diving platform, they weren’t letting anyone use it. Apparently this is common now; liability concerns.

But when I was 18 years old, they let any schmuck jump off. (Or dive off, I suppose. I never learned to dive.)

Point Mallard‘s not far, but I haven’t been much. Maybe three times ever? One of those trips, just about 27 years ago as I type, I climbed up there and walked off the end of the 10M platform. I didn’t give it a thought. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t peer over the edge and consider it. I walked calmly from the ladder to the end of the platform and just kept walking.

I don’t remember very much about the trip down except for the sound. The sound was scary, and I hadn’t anticipated it. I learned when I got out that I had hit the water feet first, with my legs about a foot apart.

What I do remember quite vividly is sitting down 12 feet underwater, holding my testicles, and crying.

Kids are so stupid.

I’d been kicked in the nuts before. It hurt. I’d jumped my BMX bicycle over a whoopty-doo and racked myself on that horizontal bar when I landed. It hurt. But I’d never felt anything like this. This was next level.

Fortunately, it occurred to me in time that, severe pain or not, I was going to drown if I didn’t get to the surface. I did, and actually had the foresight to move toward one of the edges as I ascended so I wouldn’t have as far to swim.

Through the laughter last night, I think the boys got the point. Even if there aren’t any 10M platforms lurking, there’s a rock of similar height at Smith Lake that could eventually be tempting.

Boys, don’t do it. If you must, keep your legs together.

 Posted by at 7:15 am
Jun 222016
 

Gumby and Pokey have been on every desk I’ve had since I first starting getting paid as a writer, in early 1994.

I suppose I hope they convey that I don’t take myself too seriously. I guess they occasionally fall into my view when I need a little levity. I’ve offered them up for little children to play on Take Your Child to Work Day. But mostly, they just sit there.

gumbypokey

Well, they have except for the last few months I was at Intergraph.

Over the course of perhaps my last six months, I would occasionally arrive at work in the morning to find Gumby and Pokey…posed. They bent lots of different ways, and my anonymous jokester found them all.

The first time, the pose was fairly tame. They progressed (regressed?) rapidly into every single sexual position I ever imagined, and a few I hadn’t. (After all, I’m not in the habit of considering a quadruped in such musings.) Some mornings, they were so good I had to stop and have a good laugh before I even logged in. Alas, these were the days before everyone had a camera with them all the time.

I never did find out who did it. But, sir/ma’am, if you’re reading, I certainly did enjoy your work. Thanks for thinking of me.

 Posted by at 7:15 am
Jun 202016
 

Apparently chewing gum in middle school is a much smaller deal now than it used to be. My sons report that, while they can’t chew gum everywhere on campus, there are some classrooms where it is just fine. When I was a kid, it was verboten everywhere at school. If you were caught, you just […]

 Posted by at 11:47 am
May 202016
 

The boys had their end-of-year awards program at school today. Half of their teachers were little girls playing dress-up. No, not really, but that’s how it felt. I’m now old enough that a teacher just out of school, or even one with a few years’ experience, is young enough to be my daughter. When I […]

 Posted by at 6:58 pm

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