Coach Wasson's Balls
***Coach Wasson's Balls*** This morning I woke up thinking about Coach Wasson's balls. Woke up like a fireman- at least how I imagine a fireman wakes up maybe to the sound of a fire alarm. I shot up and smiled at my dream that was still trying to hang on in a battle with wakey wakey time. My dream, stretching away from me like salt water taffy and fading into reality---> stretching like Coach Wasson's balls.
I've spoken of Coach's testies before. Probably a few years ago but their visage never really leaves for good. Jeez, you could have a stroke onstage in Wilmington Delaware. You could even have two strokes onstage and those huevos will still not be obliterated from your memory.
I was a sophomore at Palm Springs High School way back in 1976. Indians! The wrestling team was coached by one Roger Renfro. Roger "Ramjet" Renfro. Coach Renfro was a big man and he heated the wrestling room up to 107 degrees to help us make weight for our upcoming matches and tournaments. Our practices were long drawn out grueling affairs and everyone had a nickname. Jacques Devore was "snaggle tooth" but then morphed into Zook. Sometimes he'd call him Zooker T and The MGs.
I was "Pulitzer Prize Winner" but eventually became known as "The Cellophane Kid" due to an unfortunate incident in Las Vegas at a wrestling tournament when I bought some "horny weed" at an adult bookstore (we thought it looked enough like real weed that it would get us high) and Coach Renfro barged into our room and busted us gorging on pepperoni pizzas we had delivered when we realized that not only were we horny but we were also hungry. The placebo effect of the fake weed also had us laughing hysterically with dried pizza sauce caked on our lips. Coach R took one look at me and knew I'd be overweight for 98 pounds if he didn't act fast. Man was he ever pissed off. He grabbed the pizza boxes and when he did, the cellophane bag with the horny weed fell out of my shirt pocket. I'm pretty sure it was at that moment I was defrocked of my "Pulitzer" moniker and was going to finish out my high school years forever to be known as "The Cellophane Kid". The only time he called me anything different was when I got malnutrition from dieting too much and was so skinny that he started calling me The Auschwitz Kid. In today's climate that name would've never even been whispered but this was 1976 and it was a different world.
Anyways-I digress. Getting back to wrestling practice, Coach Renfro sometimes had an old friend of his come out to help with practice. Enter Coach Wasson. He was probably 80 years old and 5 foot 9. He was from Oklahoma and had a thick Okie accent. He was bowlegged and almost deaf. He would wear a red wrestling singlet just like the rest of us only he wouldn't wear tights. I think he wouldn't even wear a jockstrap under that singlet. He'd stand in the middle of the wrestling mat next to Coach Renfro and grab one of the wrestlers to show how to do a proper single leg take down. He'd squat down and every time I'd be sitting next to Victor Mendoza aka "Sictor" or "Sikita Khrushchev" or just "the Russian" even though he was Mexican, and we always knew what was about to happen. Coach Wasson's balls would pop out of the side of his wrestling singlet like two huge eyeballs in a crazy cartoon and his sack would stretch down about two feet with his balls at the bottom swinging back and forth like a pendulum. I would look at Sictor and Zooko and start shaking because I'd be quietly laughing so hard. I'd have to just look down at the mat because Coach Renfro would kick me out of practice if I got the giggles. Sictor would be kicking my foot and finally I'd explode and look up at those amazing balls swinging freely to and fro doing their own crazy dance so happy to be liberated from that tight red singlet. Tears would be streaming from eyes and I'd be biting my lip trying not to laugh. Finally I'd yelp so loud that Coach Renfro would kick me out of practice. I'd be all alone in the locker laughing so hard that snot was pouring out of my nose and tears were streaming down my face. I'd walk across the street and wait for Victor and Jacques in the middle of the desert after practice ended. We'd get a Gatorade and they'd tell me I was an idiot for not being able to suppress my laugh. Coach Wasson passed away many many years ago but his memory lives on forever and burns brightly. This morning I give three cheers for Coach Wasson and his amazing balls. Hip hip hooray. Hip hip hooray. Hip hip hooray!