It's amazing how the actions of one person can mess up an evening of fun so quickly and thoroughly....isn't it??
In order to tell this story correctly, I really must take a leap back in time. Earlier this spring, the couple that organize the local Kayak Water Polo league in town (see my list of links for their website) organized another outdoor activity. The called it the Sloppy Mutt Steephill Chase. Basically, the premise of the whole thing is as follows......imagine you are in the woods, at a park, wherever....and your dog takes off chasing an animal. You find yourself trompsing around through the mud and muck looking for it....and the only way to track your animal is by it's poo. Except, in this activity...they use baking flour for the 'poo'. The two of them (Dan and Susan) spent hours in the woods outside of a state park near Omaha....creating a trail for people to follow. They placed 'dots' on the ground with baking flour every so often.....then, to mislead people (and make it more interesting), they would put an 'X' on the ground. From this 'X', the trail would branch off into three trails. All of which have dots of flour...until (on two of the trails) you come upon a marking - to show you that you are on the wrong trail..and you must go back and see which of the others is the actual correct way to go.
At 6:00 that evening, a large group of people met in the parking lot, and the 'chase' began. The overacheivers of the bunch, of course, decided to run the trail. The rest of us decided to stroll along at a leisurly pace...and let the runners find the right trail for us. I say it was a leisurely walk....but if you had seen us at the end...you would disagree (as would I). Absolutely covered in mud and guck!!!! I was soaked to the bone on one arm - the arm I used to brace myself when I fell off of a tree branch. Yeah, you see...the branch was spanning the creek...and my dear sweet hubby talked me into following him across. Instead of walking through the creek...he walked across the branch. I, on the other hand, opted for the walk about two steps....then fall off of the branch because my shoes were covered in slick mud....my legs went to one side, my torso went to the other. Basically, the branch broke me in half...ugh! One arm went in the creek...and I ended up with the biggest, gnarliest bruise on my hip ever!!!!! Anyway...back to the reason for the post. There was a dude in our group....dude...yeah, I can't call him that. I only use that for decent people. Ok, there was this total and complete jerk, blow hard, pig in our group. He's the kind of guy that never shuts up...and the whole time, he's talking about himself. "I" this, and "I" that. I kept thinking that he would eventually have to take a breath....or he'd run out of stories about himself to tell. Nope - not gonna happen. So....in true Weaver fashion...the two of us broke off from the group to escape him. In fact....we ran the trail for a while to do so. It was an emergency!!!!!! At the end of the trail, Dan and Susan had brats, dogs and a keg of beer. Everyone was going to hang out and have fun. (there were probably 40-50 people at the 'chase' that day) Our jerk and the rest of his group took forever to make it back...and when they did...no one was really excited to see him. He walks into the middle of everyone and proclaims (and I mean PROCLAIMS!) "WE'RE HERE!!! We took longer than everyone else, because I decided that our ladies (he means the ladies that didn't abandon him) shouldn't walk in the mud. So I built bridges across all the water and mud for them!!!"
BFD!!! (big f*ckin' deal - in Jen speak)
Now, let's move on to the present day.....
Tom and I arrive at Lake Zorinsky here in Omaha on Wednesday night. It's about 6:30 in the evening. Kayak water polo league night!!!! There is an advanced player game at 6:00, newbies at 7:00, then advanced player game at 8:00. We were signed up for the 8:00 game, but wanted to get there and hang out a little. It's a fun bunch!!!
To our surprise...and dismay...guess who's there???? Yep....Mr. Look at Me!
Braggarts and chauvinists are ugly to me...so you can only imagine how good looking this guy is to me.
For the first half hour we're there....he's being himself...but I can ignore it. I have to ignore it. Then....he does something that I still replay in my brain. This is how it all sets up.....the newbies have finished with their 'talk' (rules and such)...and Dan takes them all out on the water in boats. He tells them that they'll spend the first 15-20 minutes just paddling and getting used to things. Alot of these people have never kayaked, let alone played kayak water polo. After about 5 minutes of paddling...my friend and yours steps up to the plate. Let me tell you...he knocks it out of the park. ok, ok, enough with the basement analogies!!!! Mr. Big Shot walks up to the shore line with a polo ball in his hand. In front over eveyone there (most of these people are the parents of the kids out playing for the first time right then)...he says "watch this, you really want me to confuse them?" In my experience with hanging around firemen....anything that starts with Watch This is usually not a good thing. He proceeds to take the ball, and throw it into the middle of the group on the water. The ones that see it are confused...they aren't supposed to be playing, they are learning...but now there's a ball. They think that they must have missed something, and start paddling over to it. Then others see them paddling, and they follow. Next thing we know...all the newbies who are supposed to be learning, and now playing. And they have NO CLUE what they are doing. All because of Mr. Joe Cool. All the while, he's watching them and laughing - very loudly of course - and shouting "look at them...it's like moths to a flame" and laughing more.
The hairs on the back of my neck of standing up so straight, they seem as though they are trying to actually rip themselves from my neck. ARGH!!! Who the heck is this guy, and who does he think he is???? It was then that I had a thought....if I'm this upset....what is Tom thinking? I look over at him....both of his fists are balled up....his eyes are huge...and he has those little veins popping out on each side of his head at his temples. The man looks ready to explode. There's no one around, so I lean over and say "Honey, just ignore him....he's not worth it".....and he responds with "Jen, this is why I don't like going anywhere in public with you...you're so condescending". OUCH!!!! Ok then....I'll just go over here and you can kiss my lily white condescending a**. Geez!!!!!!
8:00 comes (finally) and we all don our PFDs and helmets...grab paddles, boats...and head out.
Mr. High and Mighty ends up on the team opposite of Tom and I. (at first, I though it a good thing...but now, in hindsight...all of this could have been avoided, had we been on the same team).
The game starts out pretty good. It's pretty dark out, with all the storm clouds rolling in (yes, we play in any weather....we're already getting wet, what's a little rain?)...and the wind is playing havoc with keeping our boats in the playing field. If you stopped paddling for a few seconds, you would find yourself yards and yards out of the playing area. It was constant paddling, non stop for the entire hour. Good workout...but sheeeshh! :-)
Our games are aggressive...meaning, we can tackle. Tackling is knocking someone out of their boat or tipping them over. You can't make contact with helmets or body parts...but you can grabs boats and PFD's to knock people over. Our 'friend' spent the whole game talking about playing nice. No tackling, nothing. If that was the case, he needed to play at the beginner's game at 7:00...because the rest of us knew the rules. Tom tipped him over when he had the ball....and it was at that time, we realized why he didn't want tipped over. Mr. I'm in Training can't get back into his boat when knocked out. Now - neither can I...but I don't go around telling everyone how wonderful I am...and how in shape I am. This dude does. Argh! Anyway...when he came to the surface of the water, after being knocked over...he looked at Tom and said "oh...I see how it is...ok, game on!" WTF...this guy has issues!!!
Hitting each other with paddles is out....but, when you cram 12 boats onto a playing field...ramming each other and such...you get hit by a paddle here and there. We're not slashing at each other...but if someone comes up behind you, and you don't know they are there...and you start paddling....you get hit. It's the way it is. I figure, if you leave the game without bruises, you aren't playing. Tom and Mr. Big Shot were battling over a ball...and he (not Tom) got hit. He started yelling "play nice, how would you like it if you wife was out here getting hit by paddles". As luck would have it, I was right behind him...and I responded "his wife IS out here getting hit by paddles...and she's not whining about it like some people". Score 1 - Nej.
So....Tom was getting more and more angry at this guy. I could tell...but there was NO WAY I was going to calm him down as I usually do. No, that would be condescending. :-) :-) At one point...I see Tom trying to pass the ball. The dude is in his face....I can't hear what he's saying...but he isn't shutting up. And Tom finally passes the ball...right into his chest. Whether it was on purpose or not...I had no idea. But I was laughing. With those PFD's on, you can't feel a thing...and when you play, you are always getting pegged with the ball. Usually in the head. :-)
Play continues.....20 minutes go by with no scuffles...but Mr. I Like to Hear the Sound of my own Voice has yet to SHUT UP!!! The ball finally gets down to their end of the field (we're winning by quite a bit)....and a player on his team is hanging off the goal. Hello!!! You can't do that. But do we say anything? No...because IT'S JUST A GAME! But, after they score....he freaks out...cheering, screaming....yeah, they scored. BFD! When we score...we all say 'yeah', clap our hands a few times, and move on with life. You'd think he'd just won the lottery...then he starts yelling "that's right, finally some clean play!" As luck would have it, I was right behind him again. I paddled up close (and loud enough for everyone to hear - again), I said "clean play....versus the dirty play that we've been doing? I've seen no rule breaking on our side...what do you mean it's about time we play clean? Oh wait!!! You scored!!! Hanging on the goal isn't against the rules if you score.....clean play is when you score. I get it" And paddled away. Score 2 - Nej.
It was about that time, I noticed Mot was no where to be found. He's not in a boat...anywhere. Maybe he had to pee...maybe he hurt his thumb (the nail was completely ripped off playing polo the previous weekend - lake water in it couldn't feel good). Oh well....15 minutes of play left, I'll keep playing. He can take care of himself.
A member of my team throws me the ball...but the wind takes it (go figure...we weren't completing many passes that night). I go paddling up to it. It's 5 feet from me....and about 20 from Mr. My Mom Nursed me until I was 10 Years Old. He yells to his teammates....don't worry guys, I got this one. Like I can't get to it....it's right there in front of me!!!! I hear what he says, and I kick it into gear. I'm not an expert paddler...but I can muscle my way across a lake pretty darn fast if need be. He's barreling towards the ball....convinced that I'm a woman and he'll beat me, because I'm weak. I get to the ball first, which totally surprises him (and ticks me off...it was 5 feet away from me for crying out loud!)....but, since he's surprised...he rams me. T-Bone right in the side of my ribs...just as hard as possible. He has no control over that boat...he just paddles and because he's not sinking, he thinks he's a kayak god! :-(~ Then he says "Wow, you really kicked it in gear there." With this look of astonishment in his beady little eyes. I laughed "Heck, I wasn't even paddling hard. You wanna race?" Score 3 - Nej.
I also found out that he hasn't paid any money to the league...because he's supposed to be helping the organizers out. Unloading and loading boats and gear, etc. When play was over...who was loading boats?? Dan (the co-founder), a 50+ year old nurse, Tom and I. Mr. My Sh*t Smells Like Roses is no where to be found. Why isn't he up here helping now...I mean we might break a nail or something?????????? :-)
Chauvinism.....the guy is overly nice to women, and helps them out....not because he wants to help...but because women can't do anything. He helps so he looks cool. Women are weak, and unable to operate without 'manly' men like him around. What's with that? There's nothing that irritates me more than someone thinking that way. Now, if it's heavy, and I can't lift it, and need help, then help. Or, just offer because you're being nice. I offer to help people with things all the time. And.....if you help me...you don't need to tell everyone you helped me...just so you look like the big man on campus. Do it to be nice, not for the pat on the back everyone else is expected to give you.
This guy probably hates that women wear pants and drive and vote. We should be barefoot, naked, and 'with child' at home right??? What year is this again????