FINA's Body Suit Ban: Unintended Consequences
by, August 4th, 2009 at 02:06 PM (4167 Views)
First of all, I apologize to my multitudinous vlog fans for the past several weeks (months?) of summer sabbatical. As is often the case with my vlogging schedule, it periodically needs to take a backseat to my actual job of writing for money. If USMS would simply agree to pay me the same $3.37 per word that I have been getting from my employer, I would be able to buy beers for all my alcoholic competitors at Indy the night before we race.
In any event, I have been so busy trying to answer a topical question that I have neglected my vlog entirely, and for this, I apologize.
BTW, the topical question is fairly straightforward:
What does the public thinks is more likely to kill them: novel H1N1 adding virulence factors, H5N1 adding more efficient human to human transmission, a hellish recombined chimera of H1N1/H5N1, seasonal flu, or some other as yet off-the-radar "ethereal liquid from the heavens"?
Stay tuned for the answer to the above.
For now, as I prepare to embark in the Honda Conestoga Prairie Schooner to cross the Great Plains and amber fields of grain smothered in buffalo herds, the skies blackened by flocks of passenger pigeons from one end of the horizon to the next, stopping only to refuel the Civic and repel Indians, all the way from Pittsburgh to Indiana, my left arm exhibiting strange tingling numb sensations, my weight--despite gluttony--plummeting from stress and occult infections, all of this to reach what is surely to be my final LCM Ragnarok wearing a high tech body suit of water repelling armor---
it has occurred to me that FINA may just possibly be making a mistake in its insistence that men return to the yesteryear of briefs.
Oh, this may be fine for your Popov's and your Lochte's, your Phelps's and your Spitz's.
But for many an aging hirsute flabbmeister of a male masters swimmer, the last thing that is likely to encourage meet participation is MORE REVEALING SWIMSUITS...
Bad enough that our loved ones and proctologists must see such nightmares. But the innocent public?
The truth is that human males, like silver back gorillas, become more disgustingly hairy (and paradoxically attractive to the young female gorillas, but that's beyond the scope of today's vlog) with every passing year.
Despite the best efforts of Bruno and the Gillette Shaving Co., body depilation remains the province of the metrosexually insecure and the porn star, both of which apparently subscribe to Gillette's latest slogan: The Tree Looks Taller When Its Base Has Been Cleared Of Underbrush.
For those of us who have long ago made peace with the fact that our saplings will never be mistaken for sequoias, this bandillaro stuck deep into the insecurity lobe draws no blood.
We are of the generation who will go to our graves believing with all our hearts a central tenant of masculinity:
Real Men Do Not Bikini Wax.
Hence the dilemma posed by the back-to-the-future return to the Spitz brief era.
Trying to cheer myself up for this prospect, I recently had an occasion to don an old pair of Speedo briefs. On the private grounds of my estate, I arranged a private photo sesssion of myself so garbed and simulating a variety of swimming poses likely to be seen by thousands of fellow swimmers and gawking spectators at future national masters meets where I shall have no choice but to swim thusly equipped.
I had very much hoped that the subsequent photos would prove my reservations laughable, that I would look perfectly fine, no cause whatsoever for concern.
But when the prints came back from Helmut Newton's Professional Photo Lab, and I saw for the first time just what these suits do to the body of a 56-year-old man who will, starting Thursday, be swimming as a FINA-57-year-old Master, I must say I fear this new rule could literally kill our sport.
Kill it, bury it, dig it up from the grave, kill it again, bury it again, then spray accelerants on the grave site and burn the whole Mother ****er down.
But that's just my fear. Perhaps I am just being paranoid.
Perhaps you should decide if you want to see me, and guys like me, in these outfits at a pool near you as early as Jan. 2010!
And thus I herewith present a photo gallery of a typical man's man at 56, wearing a Speedo brief:
I have chopped off my head for this first image so that you can use your imagination to stick the head of a teammate of your choice upon a very typical aging male swimmer's body.
Here, I add my head but do so in a way, admittedly, intended to flatter me. But does a victory pose become me? I can't decide.
Here I am, showing off my sinewy physique in the hopes of distracting the viewer's eyes from dipping towards my nether regions. For some odd reason, I am having trouble getting the Joseph Conrad quote out of my mind: "The horror!" he wrote. "The horror!"
I prefer the traditional start, and in this pose, I mimic what legions of masters swimming fans will be seeing soon at meets near you when I, and guys like me, mount. The blocks, that is.
Probably best that the track start came too late for me to master. Of all my various action poses, this may be the least flattering.