Saturday kicked off the beginning of soccer season with what is known as a friendly game at 9 a.m. for my 8-year-old son, while my husband was taking my 12-year-old to his game. To be honest, there isn’t such a thing as a soccer season. Perhaps a soccer year? It’s like a unicorn or big foot; you’ve heard tales but neither exist.
We had 1 hour between the first and second game so C and I opted to go hang out under the shelter house. I was hangry and relatively pissed when I realized the concession stand would not be opening. Dreams of walking tacos along with a Coke to wash it down, flashed through my head. I had a latte and 1 Timbit and officially starving my brains out.
To my delight, my friend was running to McDonald’s so I asked she bring me back a hashbrown and coffee.
The shelter house cleared out so I immediately began to piss around one of the picnic tables in an effort to mark my territory. I took my backpack and C’s backpack and threw each one on each side of the table, clearly indicating that this was my table and all others needed to step off. I unfolded my directors chair I had brought and took a seat at the head of the table.
Just then, I began to hear male voices. I turn around to see about 10, sweaty guys in their 30’s and 40’s, heading towards the shelter house.
‘No problem,’ I thought. There were 6 other tables they could utilize.
But this was not their plan as they obviously liked my table. One of the guys walked around the first row of empty tables, throws my backpack to the middle of the table and sits his sweaty ass on top of it. You know, the table we are about to eat on.
This throws me into an internal rage, similar to the internal rage we see in Anderson Cooper’s eyes when reporting on Donald Trump. I remained calm realizing he’ll be gone in 5 minutes. Obviously he just needed a breather.
10 minutes later, he was still there, along with every other man who just played. Despite other empty benches, they seemed quiet content surrounding my table. One sat backwards on a picnic bench behind us, while propping his feet onto our bench, chit chatting with sweaty-ass. Enough was enough. I stood up and leaned over the table to address sweaty-ass.
“Excuse me. You can sit there for now but we have friends bringing food….that we are going to eat….where you are sitting.”
“Oh sure…,” he said while standing up. Now I felt like an ass hole.
“Yeah Jim, they don’t want to eat there now,” sweaty 30-something mocked.
“I mean, you don’t have to get up now, just when they come”
“No, it’s cool,” he said, sitting down on the actual bench.
Then they all began to disrobe…..
Not in the sense of taking their shorts and shirts off, well some did take their shirts off, but they began to remove their shoes and socks.
This set off a smell like nothing I had ever encountered. It was like rotovirus meets vomit and married sweat, swirling into a magical symphony of body odor. Fat men, thin men, men with long hair, dripping with sweat…all of them taking their shoes and socks off simultaneously. They took their sweet time removing their stuff while chatting as if they were at a Country Club, in pink polo shirts, enjoying brunch. By now I’ve had my fingers up to my nose for 5 minutes and my son was doing this stealth pose to block the smell.
I looked over my son’s right to see a 40-something with a hairy gut, raising his sweat laden t-shirt to wipe his eyes and expose his belly, every 5 minutes. I was in awe of his oblivious disposition, not realizing how fucking gross he was. In fact, I was in awe of all these guys, oblivious to how wrong this was. This wasn’t a make shift locker room and I wasn’t about to stand up, for fear of a towel whipping my ass.
After about 20 minutes, the last of the guys finally dispersed. I was nauseous, hangry and annoyed but my McDonald’s finally showed up. I couldn’t eat it though as my nose was still busy, attempting to purge these unfamiliar smells. You can’t unsmell what I smelled, you just can’t.