Swimming in the Bay, Part 5: Fungus? What Fungus?


I have been swimming in the San Francisco Bay, now, for about 16 years.  I’ve blogged about this before; again and again, in fact.  So I won’t belabor the point about how gee dee enjoyable it is.  Suffice to say, if you haven’t tried it yet, get thee into the Bay.  Pronto.  Or…maybe not so pronto.

Truth is, I’m starting to wonder.  Getting increasingly suspicious.  Putting the pieces together.  Could it be that one of my favorite pastimes is slowly turning me and my coldwater comrades into Swamp Thing?  Please allow me to shed some light via the most recent example of this phenomenon….

One of my neighborhood swim buddies texted me last night with a photo of himself.  Inquiring, essentially, whether the odd rash on his neck might be cause for concern.  In keeping with longstanding Lemonade Chronicles policy, I’m not going to share the photo or name the friend.  Much as I’d like to.  Rules are rules. But I can share some facsimiles to help the reading audience form an idea in the mind’s eye.  To wrap the arms around this medical marvel.  To conjure up the proper image.

For example, there’s this thing in San Francisco called “The Land’s End Labyrinth.”  Eduardo Aguilera evidently first constructed this ephemeral maze of rocks in 2004.  Let me just say that Mr. Aguilera would take great interest in my swimming buddy’s neck right now.  The rash might be sufficient, even, to inspire Mr. Aguilera to dash out to Land’s End ASAP and kick every single one of those rocks over the cliffside.  Wipe that slate clean just to avoid any sort of association with my neighbor’s neck.

Screenshot 2015-04-17 08.20.46Or how ’bout this one? Recognize this?

Screenshot 2015-04-17 08.26.20

That there is a galaxy.  Dreamy.  Super-cool to view projected in an IMAX theater or as one’s screensaver on one’s Samsung smartphone.  Not as super-cool, nor as smart, I suspect, when branded on one’s neck.  I don’t believe my neighbor is feeling dreamy right about now.

And for GOT fans, perhaps this will help you imagine what we’re dealing with —

Screenshot 2015-04-17 08.29.42

Khal Drogo is about the only character badass enough to be able to pull off my neighbor’s texted neck rash.  The rash pattern would, in fact, fit right in with Drogo’s tribal tats.  And vice versa.  Alas my neighbor would likely lose his full-time employment with a tat pattern like that, even if it would help cover up the neck rash.  And I don’t think Drogo would be a fan of coldwater swimming.  I wouldn’t even want to ask him about this.  He looks pissed just sitting there.  Fair to say Drogo would laugh at the rash, mock the rash-ee.  Surely he wouldn’t blog about it.  So perhaps this is not the most helpful example.

Let me try one more.  Remember this?

Screenshot 2015-04-17 08.35.42

This is actually a painful memory for me.  I was regularly crushed playing Risk in grade school.  I made the mistake, repeatedly, of accepting a school chum’s afterschool challenges.  This particular chum is the one with the self-constructed Space Shuttle models hanging from his bedroom ceiling, and the four decimal place IQ.  So I was in way over my head. We all had this friend, right?  Well I hope you didn’t play him or her in Risk, like I did.  You’ll suffer the deep and lasting wounds of numbing intellectual inferiority.  Worse yet, 35 years later, your swimming buddy will develop a neck rash that looks just like North Africa under enemy occupation.  This is to be avoided.

At some point here, well, how about right here, I should apologize to my neighbor.  I apologize for making you, or rather, your neck rash, my blogging muse this morning.  Truth be told, I’ve had a lovely little rash of my very own on my right eyelid for about 6 months now.  I just haven’t gotten around to texting anyone a photo of it yet.

Welp, gotta run. Time to pull on the wetsuit and jump into the Petri dish.

Thanks for reading.

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