Tug this…

i ask myself “what the fuck was i thinking?” on a regular basis.  This should be a clue.  A big clue that perhaps my instantaneous judgment leaves something to be desired.  Maybe i should think before accepting offers that “sound fun” on the surface.  Such was the case a week ago, when i agreed to participate in a “sporting event” at work.

Each summer the laboratory forces employees to endure hosts a Summer Carnival.  Senior leaders man the grill, drenching the armpits of their golf shirts with the sincere sweat of “good intentions”.  Young engineers enthusiastically embrace the event, designing fun things for nerds and nerd families to enjoy.  The mid-career types dutifully bring wives* and children to the “face painting” station and the “bouncy castle”**. Us “old and crusty” types show up, wander around, eat the meat, grumble amongst ourselves about the heat and lack of cold beer, and slink quietly back to our offices. 

Last week, i didn’t escape so easily.  New this year was the “tug of war” competition.  Teams of six, including at least one female, were to be formed by each division, and a bracketed tournement would be held.  Have i mentioned that to this very day, only 18% of all engineering graduates have ovaries?  Despite my age, and perhaps because of my thunderous thighs, i was the first name hacked up for consideration.  When the “young ‘uns”, who pretend to worship me for my passion for technology, irreverence and my wilingness to endure humiliation joie de vivre asked if i’d play, i agreed.

In the sweltering heat and humidity, we faced a team of summer students. i reminded my team that it isn’t just about size – technique counts.  Get low, stay low!  None of that stupid “heave, heave, heave” stuff, either.  Doesn’t work… when you stop between “heaves”, your opponents will pull you down onto your face in the mud. And step on your head.

We beat the pack of Junior Geeks – but it was much closer than it should have been. After four preliminary matches, it was clear that we were going to have to get serious if we were to have a chance.  Soon into our second match, we knew we were in trouble.  The crowd roared with boredom as things looked grim for our team.

Things started off tense… well, at least the rope was tense.  Everyone else was kinda just standing there.  We were pretty sure we were going down, and not in a good way.  Water balloon fights had occurred earlier in the afternoon, and slippery grass makes for poor traction.   Fortunately, no one was hurt when the Big Man*** took a tumble. 

A crushing blow.  After it was over, i was still frightfully awash in competitive juices.  There was no one to hit.  Needing to vent my rage i had to do the grunt, scratch and snarl routine.  Apparently, i wandered by the photographer in mid-snarl… She sent me this photo today, asking if it was ok to include it in the “post event slide show”.

Oy.  it’s a bit of good fortune that i’m pretty good at what i do for a living, or i’d be in a world of hurt.  Beyond the rope burn on my left forearm, and permanent knee damage…


* Funny, but i can’t think of a single case where a woman employee has brought a husband.  My ex-husband worked in the building for decades and managed to avoid these things… i suppose if there were more “stay at home dads”, it might be different…

** They don’t let me work the childrens booth.  i once jokingly suggested that it would be more fun if we sprayed the bottom of the bouncy castle with cooking spray first… i was kidding.

*** Think Clarence Clemmons with a PhD in Physics.  He is brilliant, kind and could probably crush a typical member of the geek-squad like an aluminum soda can if so inclined. 

17 thoughts on “Tug this…

  1. Looks like a smiley kind of snarl to me. And with the heat and humidity back there, I imagine the water balloon fights were welcome. Meanwhile, it got all the way up to 64 degrees here, and I’m freezing again. If you could send just a teeny bit of the heat my way it would be appreciated. Not too much only ten degrees. Any more and I’ll melt.

  2. Oh, that brings back memories of the heady days of my early tenure with the company when I was still naive enough to go out for Corporate Challenge. And, yes, I did the tug’o’war as well. We weren’t all that successful, though. One year we advanced through about three rounds or so and then met the team from the Edmonton Police Service. Let’s just say it was game over for us. Good for you for sacrificing your body for the greater good. And at your age too! 8)

  3. Aaaah. Dais. Despite the fact that I can’t actually attend the next night of horror corporate function, I’ve still be asked to organise it. Um…Que? They just don’t see why I’m a leeeetle pissed off.

  4. silverstar – yeah. guess it’s hard to look scary intimidating when you’re laughing your ass off. well, unless you’re Charles Manson, anyway.

    rob – it was fun! and without doubt i was the oldest chick in the game (maybe by 15-20 years). got thinking about it, i was probably 10 years older than most of the men as well… one division chief my age, and a larger man used as an “anchor”, but the rest of the kids were in their 20’s-30’s…

    alex – probably one of the reasons they don’t let us have beer at the picnics. i think it’d be fun to go in one of these wasted… but that’s just me 😉

    dolce – sounds like you need to learn to be “Strategically Inept”! go ahead, screw it up! Do the “Bouncy Castle” trick! Provide Cheese Puffs as appetizers and Beanie-Weenies for the main course. You’ll guarantee future freedom…

    kyknoord – was easier when they let us drink. now? would have to shove a hot dog down my throat to make myself puke…

    DP – technically, i was “on the tug”…

    nm – yep. i love playing with the kids. it’s one of the best things about my job. but it did hurt. got a very gnarly rope burn on my left arm when we went down… need longer gloves next time! got any i could borrow?

  5. next year you should suggest that they DO spray down the bouncy castle with cooking spray and THEN hold the tug of war in there… i’ll avoid references to “scantily clad” as i’m not sure those words mix well with “enginerds”…

  6. I am often recruited for the dunk tank due to my scarcastic ability to get people to want to see me get dunked and don’t mind signing over their entire paycheck to the charity in the process.

  7. Been busy like mad, girl. You look hot with yo snarling self! And the corset pics weren’t too shabby either. Meow!

  8. One of the middle schools I taught at used to have faculty basket ball games as a fundraiser. We played while riding donkeys. I did that two years in a row. I have to say it is not the kind of skill one lists on a resume despite my being pretty good at it.

  9. gnu – the “hybrid” events category should include greased watermelon tug-o-war, too! i like how you think!

    umdalum – dunk tanks are fun on a really hot day! i’m just not willing to do the “wet t-shirt” thing at the office. especially since we put dry ice in the water to chill things a bit…

    archie – Fun-ish. Better than working. Would have been better with a beer truck, or even a keg. Not sure it rejuvenated anything, but the box is now checked. Beatings shall resume until morale improves!

    Stankaliciousness – miss your stanky, hot ass, girl! i need to get back to the serious weight loss, though. my thighs are as big as some third world countries… Woof!

    annie – *snort* THAT sounds like a blast! Donkey basketball? i take it the only dribbling required was from the animals?

  10. the funniest parts of the post are your “crossouts”
    Damn, I needed to read this tonight.
    You look good pulling the rope, DF . . .
    Thanks for the smile. :0)

  11. Um…but Dais…that’s what I usually do…and they think I’m being ironic and screwy. And they eat the puff and the weanies and then slap me on the back and say “well done girlie”….which makes me want to staple gun them to the picnic table and too obscene things to their nad with the plastic cutlery.

    Or something.

  12. Pingback: The Award for ‘Pathetic and Desperate’ Goes To… « Trailer Park Refugee

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