Ok, so we started receiving emails for our volunteer station at Ironman. Now keep in mind the city hosting this incredible event is affectionately nicknamed "Mad City" in honor of the college students who make up forty percent of the population. (Or was it for the forty percent of the population being politicians?)
Being a U of MN alumni, I was happily obliged to travel to mad city on different occasions like Badger/Gopher games. Unlike the U of MN, the Badgers play in a wonderful outdoor stadium and the crowds rival Lambeau in their revelry. Beer for breakfast anyone? As part of the fun the student section had taken to body passing, which generally entailed several drunk young men passing one drunk and buxom young woman from the bottom of the section to the top. Other paraphenelia was also passed, and anything inanimate was eventually heaved over the top wall to the chants of "O--ver, O--ver". On occasion a freshman guy would be sent up the passing line to the chant of "O-ver, O--ver" but somehow the inebriates detected a heartbeat, perhaps because of the string of profanity bellowing from their prey, and dropped the poor guy on the top bleacher. Of course all of the frivolity was conducted under the watchful eyes of security guards who were charged with keeping all hands and feet inside the roller coaster at all times. A beach ball would be produced and start batting around the student section and the guards would descend to confiscate. A cat and mouse game would ensue where the student body would allow the guard to get just so close to the ball before batting it to another section. The game would end abruptly with a deflating plunge of Ed, the security guard, Geene's knife into the ball which had been batted to him by the aforementioned freshman male.
It was all part of the raucous fun of games at Camp Randall. Nothing serious ever happened. Nothing, that is until the year before I started school. Somehow, probably owing to the aging of the stadium and the constant beating the bleachers withstood, a section of bleacher tore free. The Badgers were being pummeled 40-3 in the first half and the students were thirsty for, well of course beer, but also some excitement. The dethroned coeds hoisted their polyvinyl slab above their heads and almost instantly the rejoinder began.
The security guards couldn't move fast enough and the bench wasn't dropped like the frosh. Down it crashed three stories to it's splintered death.
Forty percent cheered raucously. Forty percent began penning wrongful death lawsuits. Beer was banned from Camp Randall.
At least beer sales were banned. Administrators never seemed to notice the additional heft of stadium goers in subsequent years, and wisely, no more benches were hoisted to their demise. A mutual concession.
These and many other memories flooded my mind as I read the email distribution list. Significantly more than 40 percent of recepients were .UW.edu. I think I've mistakenly wandered into the Wildflower, Cal Poly, aide station. Then I read the next email from our intrepid captain of the aid station. She wants a theme for our water stop.
"Pirates of Lake Monona". They want us to dress up in costume for our aid station, to entertain the runners, and of course ourselves. Tridaddy thinks it's great because he thinks I'm going to be standing out there in my string bikini. Thank the gods a volunteer t shirt is required attire.
I haven't been anywhere near a frat theme party for almost 20 years. I have no nostalgic longing to re live my college days, but I also don't want to be the freshman killjoy. I might look like I'm 20 (I am still carded and was recently accused of holding a fake id-no kidding) but I've lost the swagger of youth. The minute I open my mouth I'm busted. I don't know the lingo, and I've long since abandoned the mannerisms. They want me to dress like a pirate, and all I can think of is my kid's birthday party. Somehow I don't think they are the same. Maybe the rum and cokes will bring it all back.
On second thought, more memories of Madison tell me I really ought to stick with water...
Lot's of pics and Ironman enthusiam to follow Monday.