I arrived early thinking I would be early but no there was a crowd already. Eager, expectant with their beady eyes trained on me.
Flamhsures as a community tradition. Held each June, the first day of winter in my part of the world. It was all about the ice and the water and how daring you wanted to be.
Every eligible male or female would be there strutting and showing off their stuff.
That was the reason I liked to get there early, I didn’t have a lot of stuff to strut and show off.
But in the early morning, with a frost settled upon the town’s memorial water feature, all was in readiness for the annual laugh at me, cause I’m a weaner. I was happy to get in, get it over, get out, and be off before too many witnessed my embarrassment.
It was necessary to be there early so as not to be compared to Gerd and Art Glashon who did possess the stuff you’d strut about and show off.
They were a brother and sister act. They’d turn up when the crowd was at its peak and parade along the memorial and just at the appropriate moment Gerd would drop her gown illustrating why she was a woman to be reckoned with.
It was I am sure someone in the past’s intention to make flamhsures a rite of passage, a ceremony conducted naked to see if the youth of the community really had it in them.
Gerd certainly did. A big woman, strong solid hips, the most attractive buttocks imaginable and breasts that left you to wonder how nature could bestow so much on one individual. Art, on the other hand, was the male equivalent, tall and strong, muscular and no matter the temperature of the memorial he was always impressive.
The crowd, of course, was always split between the men looking at Gerd and the woman eagle-eyed on Art.
But I was the sideshow, the one who despite his best efforts was never going to measure up, and I didn’t. Usually, I would be finishing my plunge into the icy water with all its obvious consequences just as Gerd and Art would make their triumphant entry.
I’d slink away, wrap my towel around my trembling shrinking self and hope Gerd and Art would erase from their minds any memory they had of me.
By the time, Gerd and Arty reappeared from the freezing waters of the memorial I’d be on my way home with the cheers of the respective audience members resounding in my ears.
Gerd and Art, with their pointy bits strutting their stuff, would be cheered off and flamhsures would be over until next year.