BATTLE OF THE BULGE

 

Laverne H. Bardy

 

I was swimming at a Cancuìn resort when I exited the pool for a bathroom break. In the stall I removed my cover-up and looked for a place to hang it. There was no hook. The stall door was so high, I couldn’t sling my coverup over it. So, I folded it and held it between my teeth.

I ripped off several strips of toilet paper and placed them on the seat the way my mother had taught me, because every- one knows that toilet paper is the prophylactic most doctors recommend to prevent venereal diseases.

My bathing suit was one piece, crafted to conceal rather than reveal, which pretty much guaranteed that men’s eyes would avert, not flirt, and ignore, not explore. It was the style worn by matronly, plump women who would be only too happy to pierce one of their own eyes with a fishhook if doing so meant they would once again fit nicely into a bikini.

I stuck my thumbs under my soaking wet steel-belted straps, forced them down over my shoulders, and jimmied my elbows out from under. I wondered why God, in His infinite wisdom, had opted to create boneless breasts. Other than to nurse infants and titillate men, they are useless. Boneless breasts are good only in chicken recipes. I have to stuff them into tight, strangulating bras, and when I lie on my stomach on the beach, I’m forced to scoop out individual holes for them, or they flatten, spread out, and come to rest in my throat, which makes breathing challenging. If my breasts had bones they could have assisted in my struggle to pull them out of my suit. Instead, they just hung there, pretending they weren’t involved, and did nothing more than get in the way of the cover-up still dangling from my teeth.

I took a deep breath and continued to push the suit down to where it refused to go. I shoved and wiggled, but it remained passive.

Time had become an issue.

Several more gigantic shoves and it slid to the floor, just in the nick of time.

But my toughest challenges lay ahead.

I bent over and grabbed hold of the sopping wet coil hugging my ankles, but the wad of fabric in my mouth made it im- possible to see what I was doing. A solid five minutes of backbreaking tugging got the suit back up to my hips, but no further.

I was trapped in a Mexican toilet and held hostage by a floral print boa constructor.

I wondered if my husband had noticed how long I’d been gone. I thought about shouting, but I wasn’t about to let anyone rescue me in that condition.

It was then I saw the pipes on the wall in back of the toilet. I removed the cover-up from my teeth, tucked it between the pipes, and kept battling with my bathing suit.

Several lifetimes later I succeeded in getting the suit all the way up, no thanks to my two useless girls. I reached for my cover-up, and the unthinkable happened. It slipped from my fingers and dropped into the toilet. What to do? Who was I kid- ding? That cover-up could have been a diamond-encrusted Diane von Fürstenberg original, but there was no way in hell I was going after it.

I exited the restroom and walked toward my lounge chair. As I prepared to sit, a woman several chairs away beckoned to me.

“Excuse me,” she smiled. “I don’t want to embarrass you but there’s a long strip of toilet tissue stuck to your back and another one behind your right thigh.”

Saying “thank you” didn’t seem appropriate, so I giggled, nodded, and reached for the wet paper on my back. When it only came off in tiny strips, I asked my husband to help. As he peeled off the paper, he said, “I understand how it may have attached itself to the back of your thigh, but I’m curious to hear how it got stuck to your back and shoulders.”

I picked up my sunglasses, hat, and book, and dropped into my lounge chair.

“It’s not something I care to discuss. Maybe someday, but not today.”

 

Laverne Bardy is the author of “Driving Backwards on a One-Way Street: A Savvy Senior’s Map to Finding Humor in Everything.” She also writes a nationally syndicated column, Laverne’s View. How to order the book, as well as general information about Laverne, can be found at lavernebardy.com.

 

 

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