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Roddy’s Rant 3

January 21, 2003 Columns No Comments

Roddy’s Rant: Trauma in the Bathroom

Why Public Showering Kept Me Out of College B-Ball

by Chris Roddy

It was absolutely horrible. I picked up my shampoo and soap only stopping to slip on some K-Mart flip-flops before heading . . . there. I stopped to buy myself some time, gazing at a really interesting crack in the ceiling, which if I closed my eyes kinda looked like a cross between Albert Einstein and Celine Dion (their love child has crazy hair (Einstein), a pointy chin (Dion), a narrow nose (also Dion) and an enormous forehead (Both)). “No John! Don’t do it again,” I heard yelled from the showers, wisps of steam clouds hanging in the hall.

That could only mean one thing. John Green was in the shower already doing his infamous belly slide across the shower floor. Naked.

I was sort of on his good side after he had read an article I penned for the school paper. He didn’t like it and demanded that I eat it as punishment for being such a fool. So, I did what any impressionable freshman in high school would do. Busted out the ketchup and ate all three pages. I got more than respect that day; I also had an awful case of diarrhea.

Anyway, I went into the shower and put my towel up on one of the hooks by the entrance (really smart to have the towels in an incredibly damp environment, eh?). I briskly walked my bare ass to the middle of the room, to use one of the stand-alone shower poles. Green had finished with what I liked to call, “The Foot Disease Slide,” and had graduated to running around to pee on people. As he whizzed on a freshman, I fumbled with the shampoo bottle and splooched a big glop of it onto my sweaty head. Working my hair into a furious lather, I proceeded to do a quick scope of the room. All seemed to be clear, Green was now in the corner actually washing himself and the rest of the guys were pretty normal.

“Roddy!”, boomed a voice behind me. Oh crap, I thought. “Howz you doin’?” I is speaking good English I thought to myself. “Ok. Rough practice today, right Ed?” Ed was the best player on the team and in the league. He could school anyone on the court and had some of the most incredible natural athletic ability ever seen on a human being. And he was dumb as bricks. In fact, I was only on the team because I was Ed’s tutor; it was a gesture by the coach in exchange for my hard work to make sure Ed passed his classes. Ed grabbed my shampoo and squirted about half the bottle on top of my head and into my ears. “Clean yerself up, Roddy,” doubling over in fits of laughter at his amateurish prank.

Now, although scrawny and weak, I have always been one to stand up for myself. Of course, the opportunities have been rare. In third-grade, Tim Branch kept calling me “Potty Roddy”, so I told him to stop or he’d be sorry. He kept it up until I turned and kicked him the scrotum as hard as I could and told him he had an abnormally large head. Two-weeks of lunch detention for that one (I am pretty sure the teacher that caught me was laughing at the time though . . .). The other skirmish took place behind my best friend’s house when he said that his karate class had taught him how to kick my butt. Our moms looked on as we circled around, cautiously testing each other out. I had no formal training in the martial arts and desperately racked my brain for a sure fire technique. So, I kicked him in the scrotum too (I know for a fact that both our moms found this hysterical as Ronnie writhed in pain).

Anyway, my eyes were now burning with Head-N-Shoulders and Ed had moved on to torment other underlings on the team. I floundered about, trying to grasp at my soap that, of course, had squibbed out of my hands onto the floor. Blind, naked and royally pissed off, I squinted at the blurry floor in hopes of relocating my cleanser of choice. The soap had shot clear across the shower room (perhaps kicked across is more like it by my wonderful “friends/teammates”) and nestled right behind Ed’s right foot.

I slowly sneaked up on the soap, moving with stealth like MacGuyver in TNT movie “The Los Angeles Spies,” and had almost plucked the Ivory bar back into safety when Ed turned around. “Uh-oh! I think our friend Roddy is trying to get back at me,” he sneered to his shower neighbors. “No Ed! I was just trying to . . .”, I stammered as he reached for his towel. He wet it, wrung it out and then twirled it into a tightly coiled whip. I turned and bolted, wincing in anticipation of the mighty “SNAP” that was to befall my behind. But Ed had stepped forward, landing his foot right on top of the culprit soap, sending his feet skyward and his butt to the ground. The laughter poured forth as quickly as the water from the showers and Ed sat stunned, on his bottom.

I stopped midway across the room and saw the soap bar. I turned and saw Ed’s legs spread, still bewildered. Instinctively, I kicked the soap as hard as I could, into his scrotum. With my signature move done, I walked out of the bathroom, head high and butt naked. I had regained my respect and defended my honor in the face of adversity and 16 other naked guys.

Turned out, he sprained his ankle in the process and had to sit out the next three games. We lost all three and I was moved from team player to team water hydrating assistant. Ed and I were eventually friendly again, of course that was after I wrote six papers for him and washed his car twice. The rest of the school forgave me after we won the state championship, but the damage was already done. I was gone from the game forever.

Years later, I’ve returned. I play in a league for media professionals in New York City. My team’s in first place and assured a spot in the championship game. And, I’ve actually played pretty well down the stretch. But, at the end of every game, I simply throw on some wind pants and a sweatshirt and hit the showers. At home.


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