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I Fear I Am the Butt of All Jokes

by Sarah Paris 2 days ago in Embarrassment

What's at the bottom of all of this?

I Fear I Am the Butt of All Jokes
Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash

I was atop Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, AZ when my butt made its bare appearance. The merciless desert sun blazed down on me, and I couldn’t move anymore. When I reached Camelback’s peak, my body melted. I collapsed into a nook in an enormous red-clay boulder.

My sweat had sweat and it soaked through my tank top. My heart pounded with shame at how badly the climb kicked my ass. I caught my breath and gazed out at the painted desert vistas below. I ran and hiked Colorado mountain trails daily. But this mountain — with a straight ascent and without a cooling, tree line shadow — bested me.

Two men — well over the age of seventy — ran past my shelter and waved. An urge to kick them in the shins enveloped me. I hadn’t planned on the hike but found myself with five hours to kill.

I rationalized my hot mess of a performance by my gear — tank top and cut-off jeans shorts — and lack of headwear. Those old guys would’ve eaten my dust if I’d worn outdoor apparel.

My rotten mood transformed to exhilaration. I jumped from the rock but paid no mind to the ripping sound I made. Exhilarated, I stretched my arms to the cloudless sky. A gust of wind blew in, and my butt grew cold. “Huh,” I thought. “That’s weird.”

They’re probably impressed that I’m running in jeans shorts

Fatigue begged me to rush back to the car. So, I began my descent, passing scores of tourists on their way up. I could feel their eyes boring into me as I passed.

“They’re probably impressed that I’m running in jeans shorts,” I told myself.

About a half-mile down, I realized every person I passed was staring at me. None were eager to return my ebullient “hellos.” And, my butt still felt cold.

I sidestepped off of the trail to ensure I hadn’t sat in water. Nope. But, the entire left backside of my shorts waved in royal salutation. My boulder sanctuary had ripped my shorts from beltline to hemline. A pale butt, barely covered in thong underwear, greeted every trekker on the mountain.

In Colorado, I typically carry layers of clothes and a pack on my hikes. In Arizona, I had only a water bottle to cover my nudity. I tried walking on the side of the trail. I prayed my Nalgene bottle could cover my shame, and I awkwardly held it over my butt cheek.

I thought about passing each tourist with a “Yeah, they ripped when I peaked. So embarrassing.”

But alas, nothing worked.

So I laughed hysterically instead. After a thousand hours of despair, the trailhead finally emerged. I could sprint to my car and forget my horrific cloud of embarrassment! As I started running, I heard delighted screams and prepubescent laughter from behind me.

I glanced over my shoulder and noticed a side trail to my left. A large Boy Scout troop and their Scout leader were frozen on the trail. Skinny, acne-faced boys pointed accusatory fingers my way. I heard the click of a million cell phone cameras.

“Feeling breezy?” A malevolent Scout asked.

“Bro, I am so putting this on YouTube!” Another said.

My shame grew defiant. I lowered the Nalgene bottle. I bent over and shouted, “Snap away, boys. Snap. Away.” I giggled and shook my rear.

I’ve reflected on a trilogy of long-forgotten butt moments this year. And I’ve come to the conclusion that my butt has a mind of its own. It’s out to sabotage me. I’m fearful of my future role as the butt of all jokes.

This story originally appeared in MuddyUm on Medium.


Sarah Paris

Storytelling. Fiction is my heartbeat, but I write in multiple genres.

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Sarah Paris
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