It was the latest in a string of brutal Facebook battles with Mike Gibson that held me at my work desk well passed quitting time on a Friday afternoon. Insults had flown and tempers flared in a contest that had escalated into a day and half affair. Attacks on each other’s intelligence were common as well as accusations of one’s character with little regard to anybody’s feelings whatsoever. It was my “switch to decaf” line however, that I think nearly ended the long standing friendship.
Sure, it was harsh, and both of us were fully aware that the amount of time and energy spent arguing would not change either one of our minds, but ultimately, it was our pride that stood in the way of reason. Much like Aaron Rodgers treats his house…
Nobody talks bad about Ted Cruz… without paying the price! Not here… Not ever!
However, through some luck, perseverance, and probably a miracle or two from God, it seemed that we had reached a compromise, or at least a conclusion of which our friendship had remained intact… at least for now. Only one thing was left—a closing statement before I left work for the weekend. I typed out my final message, one that had been well thought out, and though not politically motivated, guaranteed to leave a stinger. I pressed the return key and read the message several times over, waiting for Mike’s repulsed response, assurance that it was I who would once and for all receive the upper hand.
“Ok, time to put on my Speedo. I’ll talk to you soon brotherman!”
I knew the last thing he wanted was an image of me wearing a Speedo, but really, I couldn’t help but share, whether I wanted to or not. It had been on my mind the entire day, waiting for the moment to clock out and head to the pool for lap swim. What had started as an alternative to running due to my busted old knee had now become an obsession. I longed for the moment each day where I could finally strap on the tight-fitting nylon garment and rip the freestyle stroke several times across the length of the pool, and today was no different.
In all honesty though, whether Gibson ever had the courage to admit it or not, the image of me in a Speedo isn’t half bad, evidence by the look on Mike Masters’ face the day before. “Hey, what’s up Mike,” I called out to my co-worker in the locker room, a man with awesome hair and impeccable style who had just finished up a few sets of peck building, the last piece of the perfect trifecta to impress babes. His eyes lit up at the sight of me, as if it were his first glimpse of the statue of David—a dripping wet specimen with only a Speedo to conceal the fleshy profile. I turned for a quick second (nonchalant of course) and looked in the mirror, just to confirm that his awestruck reaction was authentic… and indeed, it was.
A smile remained on my face throughout the entire car ride from work to the gym, sustained by the aid of classic rock tunes pumping through the radio. An unusually chipper tone was exercised with the gate guard into the Navy base, and a confident strut accompanied my journey from my car to the gym, eager to kick the weekend off appropriately.
I let the myriad of thoughts circulate through my head as I rummaged through my bag in the locker room. Man, my stroke’s been improving lately. The way I glide through the water now with ease and finesse, my level of endurance; it’s like I’m a natural. Like, pretty soon—well, I’m not going to be cocky about it, cause that’s not my style or anything, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m swimming like Michael Phelps soon… Of course I’ll be humble about it, even to Mike Gibson, but yea, I’m getting that good! And I don’t exactly want to say it, but man, that’s gonna be a lot of Michaels jealous of me. Gibson, Masters… Phelps, I guess I’m just… just… Wait—what the hell?
My breaths become heavy, short and frequent, my head darting left and right like the hyperactive child on an overdose of Redbull. I scoured the bag, my fingers blasting every knack and cranny in desperation. Is this for real? No… this… this can’t be happening!
No more screwing around. I emptied my entire bag on the ground and initiated a scavenger hunt. Gym goers alike stared with concern at what appeared to be a strange boy looking for treasures in the county landfill. It didn’t matter, at least not to me. Dignity had been long gone at this point, and any method of searching was on the table. Desperation set in. For the moment, I had become the little girl who had lost her mom at Walmart.
I searched, and researched, and searched again. Every pocket, every square inch, every part of my bag. No matter how many times I looked, I just couldn’t accept the fact that it was gone. But it was…
I… I can’t believe it… My Speedo… it’s… missing.
But… it has to be here… somewhere… Anywhere! My mind raced with ideas. I mean, the last time I had it was here, at the gym. Where else could it be? I checked the swimsuit water extractor (a centrifugal machine that spins around really fast and sucks the water out of your swimsuit, which admittedly I also use to extract the sweat from my workout shirts from time to time). Completely empty.
Retrace your steps. I made my way back to the showers, artfully maneuvering my way around an obstacle course of old, naked bodies (it’s only the old dudes who take showers at the gym for some reason, and never the young hunks… besides me of course. I don’t know why…). No signs—no evidence of a Speedo for miles. Maybe it really is gone…
I stood in solace, lost in translation as naked body after naked body walked past, like I didn’t even exist. What else can I do… There was only one thing left to do—check the lost and found. It took a minute of staring into space in the middle of naked man-traffic before I could muster up the desire to walk out of the shower room.
“Hi, I’d like to check the lost and found for a Speedo,” I asked the lady at the front desk.
“Ok, what does it look like?”
“Well, it’s black and it’s… I mean, it’s a Speedo…”
“Oh, um… ok. Let me go in the back and take a look…” Her voice was suspect. It was quite possible that she didn’t want to handle a strangers Speedo, and part of me couldn’t blame her. But it’s not like I’m so hobo from the streets or something. I’m a respectable member of the community for heaven’s sake!
It was a long minute, anxiety building heavier and heavier as the seconds passed. But why? Me, worry? The Speedo has to be here. I searched the entire locker room, high and low. The cleaners had to have picked it up, for nobody would ever touch a Speedo laying on the floor of a locker room… at least I wouldn’t. You never touch another man’s Speedo. That’s my motto!
The lady returned with a somber look on her face. This can’t be good. “I’m sorry sir, but all we have is a pair of boots.” My heart dropped at the sound of her voice. Oh my God… I can’t even believe it. It was stolen… Some retched soul is actually in position of my Speedo…
“Ok, thank you for checking,” I replied. It took every muscle in my body to muster a polite response and keep my composure before slumping back to the locker room.
I sat before my locker, my head in my hands for over 10 minutes, unable to fathom—even accept the reality bestowed upon me. I do have my regular gym clothes, so I guess could lift weights. But having to use the weight room, with all those hunks and their weight belts, and sculpted muscles and protein shakes? I’d rather slit my wrists!
I mean, how did this happen? How could one day, I be wearing it at the gym, and the very next day, it’s gone? What makes somebody want to take a piece of garment like that? What kind of sick person would fathom doing such a thing?
Honestly, who steals a Speedo!?
Without restraint, my mind developed an image of the filthiest of men, a Ben Woodward strutting around in nothing but my Speedo, feeling all cool and confident—laughing, knowing I was in the locker room right now, moping—suffering from PTSD. Heck, they’re probably not even wearing underpants! That’s just down right disgusting!
Realizing it’d be a waste of a trip not to get some sort of workout in, I unwillingly changed into my gym clothes and made the plunge into the weight room, where a fleet of Navy hunks were awaiting my arrival in a sea of testosterone. I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with an air supply saturated with man-sweat. This was a big mistake.
A nervous tension sifted through my body—the muscular presence too much to overcome, too overpowering! Ok, just calm down, you’re just out of your comfort zone. Just imagine everybody in their underwear. That’s all you have to do. That always works, especially when people give speeches and stuff.
Boldly, I continued on, into the heart of the Lion’s Den with second life, an intrepid attitude that could not be broken, letting my imagination go to work. Great, just great. All these sculpted bodies walking around in their underpants… it’s even worse! Look at em’, thinking they’re all awesome. And why are they all black, and shiny like they’re going swimming and stuff? It’s like they’re all wearing Speed… Oh God.
I brushed it off as best I could and approached the pull-up bar. In front of me stood a young Navy hunk working on his biceps. He turned to the mirror and flexed. It’s him. That has to be him. He’s the guy wearing my freaking Speedo. How else could he think he’s so awesome right now? His muscles aren’t even that big! Whatever, I’ll show him! I pumped out 10 pull-ups, easy.
Seconds later, another Navy hunk approached the mirror, same stature, same cut, flexing his muscles just like the first, probably thinking about all the babes he’s gonna score with his pythons, or in his case, gardener snakes. Well what about this guy? He could very well be wearing my Speedo as well. Fits the profile of a criminal, and just as ridiculous as the first! I mean, look at this! I’m pretty much in a room of suspects right now!
I cranked out a second set just as fierce as the one before, and as I touched down, I caught a glimpse of the two whispering in each other’s ear through my peripherals—talking and colluding. I couldn’t make out exactly what they were saying, but it seemed to be in regards to… my Speedo? Yes, my Speedo! In clandestine fashion, I hovered around their position to eavesdrop, deciphering their conversation as best as I could.
“Yea, you see that guy right there… the one hovering next to us… well, get this. I saw him last night in the locker room, walking around with his Speedo on… Yea, the minute I saw him, I knew all the babes were gonna be checking him out… Oh yea, you know it was a threat! Messing up our game and everything… No way I was gonna let him get away with that. So check this out. Once he hopped in the shower, I snuck over to his locker, and get this… I stole his Speedo… Oh it’s true. It’s damn true… And check this out… I’m wearing it right now… no joke, working out in them as we speak!… Yea, I knew he’d be here, thinking about it, his tight Speedo clasped around my buns, my thunderous legs—tightly adhering shape of my crotch, forming up and touching all the creases, the groin area, the bal—“
That’s it! I can’t take it anymore!
My Speedo… the only thing I had left, now in the hands of a degenerate. 25 bucks could get me another one, no problem, but would justice be served? Will this Speedo bandit ever be caught? I mean, nobody steals my Speedo, without paying the price. Not here… Not ever!
For all I know, it could be Mike Gibson’s grand scheme to get back at me for making him undergo an image of me in a Speedo. What if he concocted this whole thing along? I could just see Gibson sitting around in my Speedo, plotting this whole thing out—
Oh my God… Gibson in a Speedo… C’mon!
Well, looks like Gibson got the upper hand after all. Son of a B.
Sunday Night Update:
So it turns out, after a weekend of getting worked up about football and having my Speedo stolen, that the Speedo was in my laundry basket all along. I must have thrown it in their and forgotten about it! Well, never mind. Turns out, that all this stolen Speedo talk was all in my head this whole time!