Tubed meat

OK, I get that it’s hot out. And I get that spending an afternoon lolling about half naked on an inner tube floating down the river is a perfectly reasonable method of self preservation during the dog days of summer.

In fact, I am no stranger to the pastime of tubing. Despite the recent local insurgence of the circular water craft, humankind has been stuffing posteriors into donut holes (watch out for that stem) since the first farm boy decided there was a much better use for that old tractor tire tube. And while I cannot claim to be a farm girl, I did my fair share of tubing back in the day. (See? I told you it’s been around for a while.) Although I was at least smart enough to wear secure footwear, I will say I committed many a river faux pas, namely my allegiance to Team Cotton, as well as the occasional “over-hydration.” Just between you and me, I once became over-hydrated to the point of earning my first (and last) semi-major infraction of the law. Fortunately, it was back in the good old days of “sleeping it off” and I came away only with a small fine and a week of house arrest.

Nevertheless, the point of this is not to incriminate my good name (which, incidentally, has since been changed, so don’t even try to google it.) The point is to illustrate that even though I now wear sensible personal flotation devices, liberally apply waterproof sunscreen and pick up others’ discarded bottles, cans and orphaned flip flops, I do know what it’s like to have a good time. I can respect the need for a cold (canned, please) beverage, to show some skin and frolic in the summer sun. After all, you’re only young, wrinkle and rap-sheet free once in your life.

But (and it’s a big one), as is the case in most things in life, it only takes a few bad apples to ruin it for everybody. Granted, this may seem like a “small” problem to some, but therein lies the “rub.” If you’re wondering where all these bad puns are going, get ready to wince in horror, because I’m talking about the local return of the Speedo. And no, I’m not talking about the well-proportioned, full-coverage, completely asexualized, sensible, navy blue female version. I’m talking the skimpy, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination, avert-your-eyes, neon-pink banana-hammock version. The kind that makes grown women who can handle the pain of natural child birth stop to dry heave and grown men become unconscionably embarrassed and shamed for their gender.

And I am not a prude.

Hey, I’m a child of the ’70s. I can appreciate a good, ironic “Six Million Dollar Man” mustache, white rollerskates or PBR with the best of ’em (although I prefer High Life). I covet cheesy polyester and chintzy thrift store pantsuits, and have an entire closet devoted to them. But, I’m sorry. Unless you’ve got gold medals hanging around your neck (“medallions” don’t count) or you are posing for a Bain de Soleil ad, you’re not qualified to strut your stuff like Greg Louganis. What do you think this is, Brazil?

Sure, I know Speedos are funny and all. Or maybe, you lost a bet. And if you happen to have some sort of strange Speedo fetish, by all means prance around in the privacy of your own home. Yuk it up with friends, call yourself “Dirk,” slap your ass a few times and be done with it.

Because friends shouldn’t let friends Speedo in public. Especially if there’s back hair involved. Plus, don’t you ever watch “Seinfeld?” Learn from George’s mistakes. And don’t even try to tell me they’re “comfortable.”

OK, maybe that is sexist, or racist, or fashionist, or whatever, and people should be allowed to wear whatever they damn well please. But, by the same token, those of use with sensible sensibilities (and impressionable young children) don’t really feel like going into painfully detailed description about the “guy wearing ladies underwear” down the river.

(To which, I would like to add, I’m all for naked tubing. Skin au naturel is one thing. But there is nothing natural about skin that is squished into dayglo lycra.)

And, despite what you think, chicks don’t dig it. And guys don’t either. In fact, several guys interviewed on this topic, who I consider to be experts on the subject of hipster retro fashion, cringed at the topic. “I would never, ever, wear a Speedo, even if it was the ’70s,” one vowed as he looked out over the top of his neon-rimmed “I Ski” vintage re-issues and flipped his Andy Gibb ’do. (In fact, he was so hip he didn’t even know who Andy Gibb was).

So, by all means, go out. Party it up, enjoy the river and tube till you boob. Just don’t forget to pick up your trash (including verbal), keep it clean, and wear properly secured shoes and flotation devices (at least while mom is still watching.) And please, people, for the love of god and your fellow townsfolk, stop the brutal Speedo-ing

– Missy Votel



In this week's issue...

July 21, 2022
Wildlife success or deal with the devil?

Land swap approved in Southwest Colorado, but not without detractors

July 21, 2022
Tapping out

The latest strategy to save the San Luis Valley's shrinking aquifer: paying farmers not to farm

July 14, 2022
Hey, good environmental news

Despite SCOTUS ruling, San Juan Generating Station plans to shut down