Following my recent venture into describing the delights of oil wrestling, by an odd coincidence the subject comes up again. The class which Jaymee and Leo (and their friends) attend at High School was given assignments to write about aspects of cultural history. Jaymee chose to research her Brit lineage (bless her!) whilst Leo and his close friend Chris both chose sporting themes. Leo wrote quite a neat piece on ‘real’ gymnastics’ – the naked athletic habits of the Ancient Greeks, or at least the boys watched by the men with women excluded. Not gymnastics as we know it today…
…but athletic races, discus, javelin, wrestling and so on. Chris, his brain obviously on similar lines to Leo (they worked on their assignments together) chose Turkish Wrestling, in which the combatants cover themselves in olive oil, often from rather intricate Arabic-looking vessels (straight out of Aladdin!) but wear leather shorts, also oil soaked, in which holds on the body down inside the shorts seem to be quite normal!
This all led to discussion in class and outside of it, between the friends, leading to an invitation from Leo and Chris to their recently acquired colleagues Theo and Errol to come and sample the art of oil wrestling – our style.
Leo sensibly suggested to us that they should have the cabin to themselves, at least for a while, until the newcomers felt more comfortable writhing around naked. So, after school on Friday, the four came over directly to our place, and Leo shepherded them into his room in order to strip off and cover themselves with a towel for the trip across the yard to the cabin. Oil doesn’t wash off easily with our normal cold hosepipe, so they would come back after towelling off the worst of it to a hot shower in the house with plenty of soap and helping each other to get the oil off their backs.
Theo and Errol looked a little nervous clad only in towels as they hiked off across the yard to the cabin: Dave and I stayed out of the way in the house, which was quite fortunate as there was a phone call.
Now that one needs a little explanation. When Karen and Clare talked Dave and I into fathering their much-desired offspring back in the day, one of the things we agreed was that they would take their mothers’ surnames, and our surnames would be used as middle names. It’s all in here:
… hence my son’s legal name is, indeed, Leo Cavanagh Zander while his ‘sister’ (as he thinks of her) is Jaymee Anderton Connell. Now, just to refresh, Theo and Errol are our kids’ new ‘Gentlemen of Color’ friends, and Theo’s mum is a bit possessive and at the same still feels uneasy about her son associating with, or being welcome at the house of, er, ‘whites’. Actually, Leo and Chris announced the match as ‘Gentlemen of Color versus Piggie Pinkies’, although the boys are so suntanned that they could nearly pass as Gentlemen of Color themselves. But I digress, as ever.
To this lady, Clare and I are ‘Mr and Mrs Zander’, and we have decided to leave it that way. It saves a lot of bothersome explanation.
‘He’s fine, Mrs XXX – they’re over in our training cabin working on their fitness…’ (well, sort of) ‘…and we’ll feed him here, so you can tell Errol’s mother as well if you would be so kind…’
Thanks to reader Matti by the way for researching the coat of arms!
So they all end up, post=showers and clad only in shorts, around our kitchen table to eat with us. Theo and Errol are grinning all over their faces – obviously they have enjoyed their experience.
‘I can’t believe we can sit and eat like this – no shirts and bare feet – my Mom would have a fit!’ said Theo. Dave and I were dressed the same way anyway: Clare, on this occasion, was wearing a tee-shirt, mainly to cover up the recovering wounds from the Hallowe’en show’s suspensions.
‘Just enjoy… you’re welcome here anytime and we don’t have a dress code, as you’ve obviously realised!’
This has even been known…
…I guess we’re a strange lot. But anyone reading the books (please do – Christmas is coming and they make great gifts too as well as paying for our Turkey) will know that already! I dedicate that particular picture to a faithful correspondent from darkest UK. He’ll know exactly why!
I should stress that our boys are ‘straight’ and so is Theo, although we’re not sure about the other one. ‘He got hard the moment we started oiling up, and he couldn’t stop himself…’ Aha. Good job I usually change the names to protect the not-so-innocent in this blog! Dave couldn’t resist a question of Leo and Chris, after the others had left: ‘And I suppose the rest of you, at the end…?’
Guilty looks all around. Boys, even straight boys of teenage years (almost 15)… will be boys. Following their fathers’ examples, I fear.
We’ll continue with more miscellaneous fitness pictures, as usual:
From a Singaporean fitness trainer (Sy Lee) to ‘our Tom’:
We’re pretty sure that this next scene is a sundial, but goodness knows how it works:
In the next one, check out the shorts (hmmm) and the shoes (huh?):
And finally – that darker skin looks really cool when oiled up – and, for that matter when it is not! Great training results here. Anyone aiming for that ‘ab crack’ needs to follow this guy’s training routines! Bye till next time.