Thursday, November 17, 2016


There was one good water fountain in the entire school. You're familiar with the bad ones. They just drool out a film of water, with no pressure, no arc. You have to put your lips right down, almost on the metal to get a taste of any water, and this was how all the fountains were, except one. The one water fountain with any amount of pressure was located in the lower main hallway, next to the outer doors leading to the gym, and this is where the cheerleaders would spread out, along the hallway floor, painting and marking on rolls of construction paper.

This was where I first met the cheerleaders, as a high school freshman getting a drink after a five-mile run. High as hell from the endorphins, and about four percent body fat, I would chat with them, and they were very friendly. I didn't know why everyone thought cheerleaders were self-centered bitches, but I concluded that they must have been jealous.

The football team was jealous. The football team only won two games in four years. They were too cool to practice, more concerned about their hair than actually completing a pass. The football players weren't athletic in any sense; they were just on the team because they were popular. And they were second-rate, at that, because the most popular boys were on the soccer team, where they could keep their hair nice while posing on the field without breaking a sweat. The only reason anyone went to football games was for the cheerleaders.

The real athletes were the distance runners competing in track and cross-country, but we weren't that popular. It was too bad there wasn't anything like mixed martial art in high school, but more on that later.

In college there were cheerleaders, and it was basically the same story. They had athletic scholarships, and a better win record than the football team. And they also dated guys a couple years older, and rich. Why wouldn't they?

So at this point, I'm just wondering where all the cheerleaders have gone. They're still cheering in schools, of course...I just mean, where do they go from there? Some of the professional sports teams have cheerleaders, but as professionals they make only minimum wage, if that. Some of them dance for nothing but the privilege of wearing a uniform. So they're really less professional cheerleaders and more part-time dancers and/or students or baristas.

The cheerleaders, the professional ones, are all strippers. That's how the social phenomenon has evolved. Years ago football games became sporting representations of war, sometimes pitting schools against each other to form bitter rivalries before the young men were shipped off to serve in the military. The cheerleaders served to work up the crowd and, like earth-bound stewardesses, give the participants a reason to keep going. So when you're a single guy working a 40+ hour workweek and you need motivation to keep going, that's where you go, apparently. You find your own cheerleader at the local bar that features nude dancing. And if you want to date a cheerleader, now that you're a bit older and finally have some money, that's where you go.

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