Some Explaining To Do…

Posted: October 6, 2009 by Sean Sweeney in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,
Man on Pole, courtesy of Wikipedia

Man on Pole, courtesy of Wikipedia

I wanted to spend a little time explaining the name of this blog, The Greasy Pole. No, there are no sexual connotations. It actually is a reference to one of the weirdest, mind-boggling, most awe-inducing games I’ve ever seen.

Every year during St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a long, wooden plank is lathered up with layers of grease. The objective is to get across it and grab a red flag at the end of the plank. The plank is placed about fifteen feet above water, forty or so feet out into the ocean. And crazy people dress up as drunk Santas and Happy Gilmore.

I went once — I live about 30 minutes away — and was floored by the sincerity of the moment. Was it supposed to be a joke? I couldn’t fathom asking someone, especially when there were reporters there covering it and when one of the contestants was introduced as the two-time defending champ.

Crowd watching man on greasy pole, courtesy of wikipedia

Crowd watching man on greasy pole, courtesy of wikipedia

But, the competitors put on a hell of a performance. In front of a crowd splashed all over the shore, faces blooming red from hours of Corona-downing barbeques, the “athletes” swam out to the plank. One group, clothed as Michael Jackson and his masked, tiny companions, refused to get their costume prematurely wet and hooked a ride.

The very first guy, dressed to invade Longshanks castle, screamed at a group of fans on the shore before racing off across the plank. He didn’t make it halfway before slipping, going face-first into the water.

HAHAHAHAHA…thass what you gets…forsdksd…” the dude next to me yelled, speech slurred by too many Blue Moons.

The next person tried to walk the plank, being as precise as possible. On like his fourth step, his foot lost traction and he went straight down. You could almost hear the crack of nuts against the plank. He dropped weakly into the ocean. Everyone on the beach cheered his clumsiness.

The third contestant to try, with a beer in his hand, crowed “Woooooo” and didn’t even attempt the plank. He just turned and jumped into the water, taking a swig from the can on the way down.

Then, I saw one of my classmates from school there. Oh, shit! Before she noticed me, I put my head down, pushed my fitted farther down my forehead and tried to make a quick escape. No way was anyone finding out Monday morning what I spent my Sunday afternoon doing, which was watching this:

  1. Nicole says:

    This is hilarious, Sean. Video is ridiculous too. I’m not sure I could ever be drunk enough…

  2. Tim Duncan says:

    Last week it was ball-handling, this week it’s greasy poles…. are you trying to sublty come out?

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