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Attack of The Blob This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , Vancouver, WA
I am a guy. Now many guys, regardless of age, have the desire to appear tough, but the majority of the time they come off like morons. You probably have already observed this scenario: Guy wants to appear masculine, so he bolts head-on into a brick wall. Whatever common sense he had is driven from his head on impact, along with some of his teeth. He then picks himself up and staggers around like a drunken idiot, holding his bulbous head, slurring, “See, no pain,” then collapses flat on his face, which is already swelling to the size of a watermelon. Therefore, I beseech you, males of our generation, please draw a line between masculinity and stupidity to save yourself from bodily injury and agonizing humiliation.

There are many examples I could give of my own stupidity and “toughness,” but I thought it best to share this one. My story takes place a year ago at my annual youth camp in Wild Horse Canyon, Oregon. What an exquisite place. It wasn't just the countryside that caught my attention but the camp's facilities: two zip lines, an enormous gymnasium, three soccer fields, a swimming pool, and a manmade lake. But it was that last attraction that would lead to my downfall.

After the evening service, the campers poured from the chapel into the dark cool of the night, spreading to all corners of the camp's boundaries, seeking the best way to spend their free time. For some it was soccer, for others the zip line, for many the pool. I was bent on testing out a new attraction: a feature appropriately named The Blob.

The Blob was situated on the edge of the lake. As I drew closer, I saw two towers emerging from the water. Below each floated a partially ­deflated nylon tube. As I watched, one person sat on the end of The Blob, while another jumped from the tower onto the other end, launching the first person into the air, landing in the lake. This caused me to question my choice of activities.

I was about to abandon this idea and hike up to the zip line when I spotted a pack of girls heading toward The Blob. Attractive girls. This caused me to suddenly reconsider. Why not take this opportunity to show off and win their favor? I found myself climbing the stairs to the highest tower, joining a line of five others awaiting their turn. Below, on the shorter tower, were the girls. Perfect.

As I waited, I thought about how manly I'd look when I conquered The Blob. Then my turn rolled around and I stood at the edge of the platform. I found myself locked in a trance as I gawked at the cold, black lake below – and The Blob. Suddenly I found ­myself thinking, Gosh, this is high.

I'm not sure whether it was fear or the last shred of common sense left in my hollow cave of a head, but either way, I backed away from the edge and began unbuckling my life jacket. Then I heard the voice of deception.

“Kevin, are you going down The Blob?” one of the girls asked. I shook my head no.

“Please?” she pleaded. I started walking away, ignoring her. “Do it
for me.”

Hearing those words, I threw caution – and common sense – to the wind and threw myself over the edge, plummeting feet-first toward The Blob. Which is exactly what you're not supposed to do.

When I hit The Blob, my left side plunged into the dark lake, while my right foot became tangled in some loose fabric on The Blob. The momentum of my body falling sideways violently wrenched my foot, dislocating my ankle with a sharp pop. My body sank into the dark depths of Wild Horse Canyon Lake while my foot remained topside, tangled in The Blob. My life jacket was halfway off, so it held me upside down underwater.

In the few moments between me going down and the lifeguard responding, a thousand thoughts flew through my mind. First was my stupidity – that I would risk my well being by leaping off a 15-foot tower onto a nylon tube that had mechanical problems, wearing a life jacket that was unbuckled. Then came the headlines: “14-Year-Old Boy Drowns Showing Off for a Girl.” A girl! When there were 10 ­million of them in the state of Oregon, I had to die for this one? One who ­didn't even share my affection but only wanted a laugh. She wouldn't be laughing after the dive team recovered my corpse from the lake. But it appeared no dive team would be needed, only a life guard with quick reflexes.

After recovering my live and humiliated carcass from The Blob, the lifeguard helped me to shore. My ankle was throbbing in waves of agonizing pain. I turned to the same voice of deception, now transferring to mockery, that yelled out:

“Hey, Kevin! Next time you try The Blob, bring a coffin.”

I couldn't blame her for my misfortune. It was my choice to break my ankle and humiliate myself on the Blob.

Therefore, I implore all my male friends to learn from my experience and look before you leap. You risk injuring your body and your dignity. Next time you get the urge to show off, listen to your common sense, not the agonizing voice of stupidity.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Tiger_Lil said...
Jul. 10 at 3:54 pm:
This was so fun to read. Good job!
 
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