JJ Vincent takes us through how differently 13 men
approach one fundraising event.
One of our local animal rescue groups has frequent fundraisers and this one in early June was a Zumbathon, an hour-and-a-half of latin-themed aerobics class, followed by door prizes, animal adoptions, the works. There were about 50 women there, and a dozen men. Five men were drinking beer followed by more beer. Three were drinking beer and wandering around, helping with various set-up and arrangement issues. Three were helping with the animals. One was…we’ll get to that later. One was in the middle of the pack, pumping his fists and circling his hips with the Zumbathoners.
One guess which group I was in.
I’d only done Zumba once before, and that time I was also the only man on the floor. That class was fun and fairly simple, and I gamely danced along. This was a lot harder and a lot more fun, and as a former dancer I was enjoying getting to move. And then I realized that there was an awful lot of bump-and-grind. And I realized that there were an awful lot of women who looked like they were practicing for a turn on the pole. And I realized that despite a concerted effort to “butch up” my movements, I was being betrayed by my inner Disco Diva, who got me just as slinky and slithery as the ladies. By this point I was being eyed somewhat warily by a few of the other guys, but having already thrown away any shred of dignity I possessed, I kept on Zumba-ing while my dearest (ahem) partner got photographic evidence.
One man down and dirrrrrrty. 12 to go.
After the Zumbathon and a break, it was time for the parade of dogs. Various people brought each dog by the crowd, and they were displayed and described, much like a pageant contestant. Two of the men were helping to wrangle, which worked well until two dogs discovered each other and decided it would be great fun to race around a pole-and-lantern, taking it down along with the two wranglers, part of the speaker system, and several chairs. The third man was off to one side on a golf cart. Sitting with him was a dog, who we had fallen in love with earlier and had assumed was a recent rescue, due to its rather unfortunate appearance. No, we’d discovered, it was this big man’s beloved accessory-sized pup, riding shotgun and looking rather haughtily at the crowd.
Three more men down with the dogs. Nine to go.
The three light-beer-drinking men were in the crowd with the women, leaving 5. One of the now-quite-drunk men was manning the tiki torches, two were handling the sound and lights, and two were in a golf cart, complete with a set of golf equipment in the back.
Now, please remember that this event was a fundraiser for animal rescue. But it will only be remembered for what happened next.
The golf cart driver was puttering around, driving rather aimlessly. He got stuck in one place, requiring him to back out. Which he did. Over a tiki torch. He pulled forward and immediately backed over it again. Despite cries to the contrary, he thought the flame was out.
Tiki torches, if you are not familiar with them, are filled with flammable liquid. When they tip over, flammable liquid spills out. If there is something under them when they do, and there is a flame nearby…
It took about 10 seconds for the men to realize that the back of the golf cart was on fire, along with their golf bag. A few minutes and much stomping and snatching and swearing of several men later, the fire was out.
This accounts for eight more men (and one set of golf clubs) contributing to the cause.
And remember the other one I mentioned, the one I said I’d get to later? That was my partner. Throughout all of this, except for taking a few snapshots and patting a few dogs, he never stopped knitting.
photo courtesy of author