Brown is the New Embarrassment

Wednesday morning, after getting back from class, I decided to play a little soccer in the large field behind my dorm. I checked the news to see what the weather was supposed to be like for the day and, other than some “mild” wind, it seemed like it was going to be a fairly pleasant day. I quickly grabbed a bite to eat and then grabbed my soccer ball, threw on my cleats and headed for the great outdoors.

Either whoever had given the weather report for the day had clearly not stood in the general vicinity of where I was standing, or they just truly didn’t know the meaning of the word mild, because as soon as I stepped onto the field, the apparently “mild” wind made and exaggerated attempt at trying to kidnap me.

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I knew it was going to be pretty difficult to play any soccer with all that wind, but I figured it was at least worth a try, since it was the warmest day we had had in a while.

About twenty or so feet behind the soccer net I was shooting on, there was a semi-small creek. Normally I might have been a little concerned about accidentally kicking the soccer ball into the creek, but I figured that the four-and-a-half-foot-tall hill in front of it was enough to stop any stray balls from making it that far. Boy was I wrong.

On my third shot I accidentally shanked a ball off of the top crossbar and it went sailing behind the net. I watched as it rolled to a stop right at the base of the small hill, where it stayed for about two seconds before an especially determined gust of wind rolled it up the hill and into the creek on the other side.

I ran to the edge of the creek to find the ball floating in the water out of arms reach. Looking about three feet to my right, I saw a small dirt ledge jutting out just far enough to put the ball within an arms length from me and I proceeded to climb out onto it. Apparently the dirt ledge thought that I was still not close enough to properly reach the ball because, just as I thought I was about to grab the it, the ledge decided to give way and threw me into the water on top of the ball.

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The creek was not all that deep, just about two feet, but man was it freezing. I thought that the bottom would have been covered in rocks, but as my face and upper torso pressed firmly into it, I found it to be primarily comprised of very soft muck.

I only paused long enough to mentally recover from what had just happened and then shoved myself to the surface of the water. Finding the soccer ball immediately to my left, I launched it out of the water and then quickly followed suit with throwing myself out onto the bank of the creek as well. Looking down I could see that I was completely covered from head to toe in the slimy, brown creek mud.

I’m not 100% positive, but I’m pretty sure that my appearance scared the five year old girl of the family walking on the sidewalk about twenty feet to my left. My reasoning to that conclusion comes from the fact that, upon seeing me, she stopped dead in her tracks and stared at me with a wide-eyed and open-mouthed expression. I think she opted for the “I just have to run faster than the person next to me and I won’t get eaten” approach, because she immediately took off running down the street ahead of the rest of her family.

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I decided it was best to not risk scaring any more children and I chose to head back inside. As I walked back to my dorm, while still covered in muck, I couldn’t resist laughing at the whole situation. It was unexpected, unfortunate and unwelcome but I figured it would sure make for a good story.

Tell the Foxes to Stop Taunting Me

So this event didn’t exactly happen recently, but I think it deserves an honorable mention.

It was a typical sunny, summer afternoon. I had just driven home from a soccer practice, which took about 20 minutes since I live out in the country. I neatly parked my car in my typical driveway parking spot, a.k.a. I parked like a four year old would park their Big Wheel bike-right in the middle of everything.

Upon exiting my vehicle, I turned to find the cutest, most innocent looking baby foxes that I had ever seen.

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I found it odd that they seemed so comfortable being so close to me, but I didn’t devote much thought to it since I was so intrigued by them.  As I watched, they walked around in lazy patterns, investigating and sniffing everything. They didn’t pay much attention to me, other than a cursory glance every now and then. I stood only about fifteen feet away from the closest fox, but I wanted to see how close I could get to one of them without them running.

My first thought was to entice them towards me with food.  Looking around, I could see nothing edible to offer them.  So, naturally, I grabbed one of my soccer shoes and held it out to the closest fox as unthreateningly as possible.

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It immediately caught the fox’s attention. In a quiet, comforting voice I attempted to coax the fox closer.  It took a minute of gentle prodding, but eventually it took the ‘bait’ and began to slink towards me.

When the fox’s nose was about one foot away from the shoe, it took a little sniff and immediately backed away.  (Evidently even animals don’t like the smell of my feet.)  However, I was not going to let this deter me from possibly touching that fox.

While still holding my shoe out as an offering, I gradually inched my way toward the fox. Apparently the fox took my pretend offering more seriously than I did, because as soon as I was in arms reach it darted forward, yanked my shoe from of my hands and took off toward to cornfield on the far side of my yard.

(In hindsight, I probably should have realized that offering my shoe wasn’t the most brilliant idea, but I wanted to pet that creature and logic was not going to get in my way.)

I immediately began to pursue the baby fox, which easily out ran me. Without hesitating, the dirty little bastard dashed across my yard and into the cornfield.  I figured that my ‘piece offering’ of a shoe was probably going to be lost for good but, just as the fox was entering the mass of corn, it dropped my shoe.  I quickly snatched it up, just in case the fox decided to come back for it.

As I turned toward my house, I saw the second fox quietly slink out from behind my car and pick up my other shoe from where I had left it on the driveway.  My first though was, “Well…. shit,” and my second thought was, “These foxes used to look so innocent. Now they just look like assholes.”

I prepared myself for another chase, but this time the fox didn’t run away.  In fact, he ran right toward me. (I say he because I’m assuming it was a boy, since I doubt a lady fox would be willing to touch something that smelled that awful.)  Stopping only about ten feet from me, he sat down with my shoe in front of himand just stared at me.

I crept forward to try to take the shoe back but, as I neared the fox, it snatched the shoe up and ran another ten feet away just to sit right back down and stare at me.  Evidently he saw this as a game, one that he was clearly better than me at.

The cycle of me attacking and him evading went on for a couple more rounds.  With each repetition, the distance he ran away grew shorter.  I think he realized that I stood no chance at out running him, and so he began to see how close I could get to him without actually being able to catch him.

Either way, the dirty creature was taunting me and I wouldn’t stand for it.  And I mean I literally would not stand for it.  A second later, on my next attempt to take the shoe, I slipped in a patch of mud and fell flat on my face.

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I think at this point the fox truly started to feel sorry for me finally gave up the game.   My lack of ability to take the shoe back from him had clearly left him unimpressed, and I was left to watch as my second tormentor lazily trotted off into the distance.

In the end, both of my shoes managed to survive until the next soccer game, though my dignity took off along with the foxes.

Dancing: I Think I Do It Wrong

As excited as I was for my spring break, I was not looking forward to the nearly five-hour drive back home.  I was burnt out from schoolwork and desperately needed some time to recuperate.  As a result, I decided to return home a day early and surprise my family.

Considering I would only be home for slightly more than a week, I of course felt it necessary to bring every article of clothing I owned back with me.  When it comes to over packing, I make it an art form.

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I was a little worried to begin my trip, since sitting for long periods of time typically means I’m sleeping for 93.5% of that time.  I realized ten minutes into my trip that I was never going to make it home in one piece unless drastic measures were taken.

I blared the music and proceeded to sing and dance.  Well…. I guess a better name for it would be screech and shake, since I am not so sure that you could refer to that as singing and my so called “dance moves” weren’t very distinguishable from the moves of one of those inflatable advertising figures.

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Halfway through the trip, one of my all-time favorite songs came on the radio, Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas.  I of course chose to turn the music up even louder and really get into it.  Ignoring all the concerned looks from the strangers in passing cars, I pulled out all the stops and really let my dancing have a mind of its own.

By the end of the song I was so wrapped up in the music that I unknowingly through in an extra fancy “dance move”.  The reason I know it was extra fancy is because it resulted in pain.  Lots of it.  Clearly my young body can’t handle the intensity of its own “dancing” and simply gave out on me.

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For a not so brief second I thought I broke my back, but in hindsight it was probably just a pinched nerve and a pulled muscle.  All I know is that I sat in complete silence and almost perfect stillness for the last hour of the car trip, and the next morning I awoke with a sore back.  Personal philosophy: If it doesn’t hurt, your dancing is terrible.