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Grand Prize

August 16, 2010

Matt -

Even a decently uneventful trip to the beach can really do bad things to you. Apply sunscreen every hour? Start with this:

Like milk.

End up with this:

Notice the extremely well defined pectorals. Those don't come drawn easy.

This is the exact pattern of my sunburn. Why sun, why? People are calling me “The Albino Leopard”. But my skin came out nicely compared to my truck. It pulled out one of those corny “I’ve got sand in places I didn’t even know I had” lines. Sand everywhere, the smell of salt water, it was time to finally clean out all the junk accumulated over the past summer months and get it ready to make the journey back to Central Texas.

A couple of weeks ago Ash took me to one of those upper scale carwash places. For $20 or $30, they will wash, vacuum and Armor-All (a plastic and wood protectorant) the entire vehicle. Not terrible when you consider how miserable it would be to do it yourself in the Houston heat.

So I pull up, “order” my car wash package and leave my car with the attendants. (Sidenote: Am I paranoid for feeling nervous about leaving my truck, even for just a few minutes, under the control of complete strangers?) I walk inside, pay, make myself a cup of coffee and plop myself down on the uber-comfy couch. (This place is like a car-washing palace.)

I wasn’t sitting down for 3 seconds before she was in front of me.

“Would you like to buy a raffle ticket?”

Her face looked similar to Tiger Woods responding to a press question about his recent “troubles at home”.

“Um….what is it for?” I was just trying to buy time. I had no idea what had struck. The raffle was for a competitive cheer gym. Ok, fair enough.

“Well, what can I win?”

Nothing could have prepared me for her response. NOTHING.

“Well, the uh, the…uh…thegrandprizeisliposuction but you can change…”

I snapped on the inside. Luckily I stopped myself from cussing in front of a 10 year old girl and her mother. “You have got to be shi…LIPOsuction?”

“You can change your prize to the 2nd prize which is an Apple iPad.”

Oh that makes it better. Psh. I’ve got to get more info on this. The mom looked like one of the “pressure” moms you hear about on Oprah. Not that anybody watches Oprah. I certainly don’t.

I had a $5 in my hand, and coincidentally, that’s all I needed to enter the giveaway of my lovehandle’s nightmare. I was still in disbelief. I felt I had to buy a ticket to be able to talk to the girl and the mom without being shunned as just another person who passed them up.

After filling out the card, paying the money and hearing the rest of the info, I struck up a conversation asking in more detail what the organization was.

I won’t go into great detail, as the conversation itself was about 10 mintues long, but I’ll give you the most controversial (out of context) quotes I remember:

“Well (the liposuction) seemed like a really applicable gift”

“Yeah (my daughter) used to do competitive dance, but we’re focused on cheer now”

“Dance was fun. I wish I had time for it.” – the daughter

Just those few lines really, to be frank, made me mad. This was a classic case of a mother (who also informed me she was a cheerleader in high school) that was forcing her daughter to partake in an activity that she clearly wasn’t passionate about (the girl didn’t smile at any time, except when she briefly mentioned dance).

This started me thinking. My parents were the bomb. Any sport I wanted to try, I could. Soccer, baseball (but only up to the last year of machine pitch…kid pitch scared the daylights out of me), basketball, golf, and even a couple of karate lessons. I eventually found the sport I loved and then went on from there. Turns out even the AM sports radio stations were talking about this as well. 21 year old professional golfer, Rory McIlroy didn’t start playing golf until he was 15. Oh and by the way, he just placed 2nd yesterday in the PGA Championship.

Some parents are looking for the scholarship or the big house that comes after a rookie contract is signed. And it makes me very very sad. I figure if you let the kid find his or her passion on their own, they will work so hard at it because of their own desire to that it will pay off exponentially in the end. And not in liposuction.

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