That’s Grit In Your Eye

There’s a bad combination to be found in a girl’s life; a hunk of credit card debt and an unsupervised house.  It was 2001 and my friend Kerri had acquired some credit cards that were now filled up to the brim.  Her parents were going out of town and she was left to man their home on the farm by herself.  The magic of these events lining up together would go down in financial management history forever.

Who doesn’t love a good party out in the middle of nowhere?  Loud music, friends, drinking beer out in the warm summer air.  That was the core of Kerri’s plan.  The problem was how to get people to pay five dollars a head to enjoy this party environment.  At five dollars a head, she could easily pay off one credit card if we could get a hundred people there.  Now, how can we get a hundred people to pay us five dollars.

Jello wrestling.

I have to admit that anytime I had seen women jello wrestling, I did not have the nicest things to say.  This was different though.  My friend was in a situation of monetary distress.  Sure, I’d roll around in dessert to help her pay some bills.

We bought one of those two foot deep kiddie pools with the blowup sides.  We made 100 boxes of assorted jello flavors.  Her fridge was packed and her older brother who lived on the other side of the farm also let us pack his fridge with fruity goodness.  We put the word on the street and people were getting excited.  We had this shit in the bag.

The next night, I was getting dressed in my official jello wrestling attire, jeans and a white tanktop.  My phone rang.  “Hello?”

“Not enough jello!”  The panic in Kerri’s voice was unnerving.

“What?”

“There’s not enough jello.  I dumped all the jello in the pool and it doesn’t even cover the bottom!”

“Mom!”  I ran into my mother’s kitchen.  “We don’t have enough jello!”

My mom calmly let the wheels turn in her head.  “If you need to make more jello in a hurry, you need to get bags of ice.  There’s a quick method to making it with ice.”

I stopped at the store, bought as much jello as I could clear off of the shelf and four bags of ice.  An hour later as we stirred the jello in the pool, we knew we were in deep shit.  There was not enough jello in the surrounding counties to fill up the pool.

“What do we now?”

The beauty of hosting a jello wrestling event on a farm is the adequate supply of dirt.  We loaded five gallon buckets of dirt into the back of Kerri’s Explorer and headed back to the pool.  Finally we had enough substance to wrestle in and it was just in time.  Kerri’s younger brother called from the driveway.  He was starting to collect Abraham Lincolns by the handfuls.  Everyone was ready to see those girls wrestle in some jello!  Whooo!

A slight detail that we left out was that the girls would not actually be wrestling with each other.  We had wrangled in volunteers to wrestle with us.  Kerri would be wrestling with our friend Mark.  Jeni would be wrestling with Kerri’s older brother.  I would be wrestling with our friend David.  You may laugh when I tell you this, but David actually went on after this to pursue a career in the professional wrestling circuit.  Yes, the kind you see on TV at night and sometimes involves cage matches.  I had no idea that I would be providing him the stepping stone to his new profession.

This was the plan:  Everyone was going to spend ten to fifteen minutes rolling around ever so cutely in the pool with their partner.  You were to try your best to get as much of the fruity mud mixture on you.

I was somehow nominated as the opening match.  I stepped into the chilly pool.  David waved his arms over his head, suggesting for the crowd to start cheering.  I thought to myself, ‘this…is going to be so much fun.’

Once David was in the pool, I wrapped my arms around him so we could start the gentle pushing and shoving.  Imagine my shock when David grabbed me by the thighs, tossed me to the sky, flipped me upside down in the air and power drove my face into the pool.  Mouth full of something that resembled an earthy cherry, I tried to yell “What the hell, David!”

Unfortunately, I only got about half of that out because as soon as I was standing the maneuver was repeated over and over again.  I’m sorry that I missed the wild chants of from the crowd.  It was all muffled to me, at that point I could have grown potatoes in my ears.

After about the third or fourth flip, I realized that I had sand in my eyes.  Our soil on the Shore is filled with sand and now so were my eyeballs.  I could feel the grit rubbing and tried to yell, “Corneal ulcers!” to anyone that was nearby.  Someone need to stop the madness that looked like a human carnival ride.

Finally on one flip, I grabbed him by the balls and squeezed as hard as I could.  He screamed and dropped me, then dropped to his own knees.  Out of breath, I crawled out of the pool.  “I need to wash the sand out of my eyelids!”  The world was a blurry mess between the dirt, sand, jello and tears.  My body was desperately trying to lubricate the mess that was once known as my eyes.

Just when I thought the savage behavior was over, Kerri tackled me.  I was starting to think this was a scene from an educational video about gang violence.  Was I getting hazed into some sort of fraternity?

Kerri said, “Fence.”  In my time of poor vision, I almost walked into the electric fence to the cow pasture.

I splashed my face as Kerri held the hose for me.  “What the hell was David doing in there?”

“I don’t know.  I’m just glad to be out.”

Off in the distance, in the spotlight of the pool, I heard David yelling, “Who wants some of the Big Dave now?!”

I’m such an idiot at times.  I couldn’t go down like that.  I ran full speed and leaped at David in an attempt to take him down.  My attempt to bring dignity back to my legacy of a jello wrestler failed and I was just scooped right up and slammed right back in the pool.

Image

For a long time, my mother had this post-wrestling match photo hanging on her fridge.  It was in a little magnetic frame that said, ‘My Little All Star’.  I never played any sports in school and after that night I decided not to do so in my adult years either.

Image

My dear friend Kerri with one of the many bowls of jello we transported to her brother’s house the night before the Great Wrestling Match.  This girl and I had some terrible times back in the day.

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