A Burro and a Thong

I guess you could call it a brief interlude during an otherwise predictably homoerotic bro trip. Our bicurious antics were temporarily quieted by a thong, or more precisely, a butt in a thong, that I imagine belonged to Helen of Troy in another life. I could try to describe the sight but don’t want to turn this into a source of filth and objectifying women. I have plenty of sites for that in my incognito browsing windows.

Thus the only description I will offer is the thong was black, an underwear color that indicates sexual desire according to the classic love story 10 Things I Hate About You (which featured Heath Ledger and JGL as teenagers — How cool is that?) As for the butt, it was fundamentally perfect, no doubt created in the same celestial laboratory as Ray Allen’s jumper.

The four of us encountered this hypnotic asset after sundown at the designated adult pool of a random resort in the desert. This was the last leg of a 700-mile Memorial Day weekend road trip with no itinerary. We had spent the previous night in Lake Havasu City, a land where body mass index and age seemed directly proportional to the raciness of one’s outfit, and the ratio of tattoo ink to skin surface area hovered around even.

I would say the Lake Havasu Bro is a peculiar species resembling an amalgamation of the Huntington Beach Bro, Raider Nation/Inland Empire Bro and Trump Middle America Bro. In a good way, of course.

The ladies there might have been 30-40 percent past their prime and not traditionally invested in fitness anyway, but they also were probably more comfortable in their own skin than the standard-issue L.A. girl. That genuine self-esteem is a really attractive thing if you’re blind.

What I am trying to say, tactfully, is our perceptions likely had been anchored lower after weaving through non-metropolitan pit stops for 48 hours. Then we stumbled upon this thong, an oasis within an oasis.

There were only a handful of people at the pool, so we immediately noticed the thong set up on a lounge chair in an elevated area. We got into the water and promptly moved to a spot conducive to discrete and blatant staring through the soft twilight.

I don’t mean to throw my bros under the bus. We live with significant others ranging from longtime girlfriend to fiancée to wife to mother of child. I promise you though, this thong would have had the same effect on any group of guys. Even the most chivalrous gentlemen valiantly maintaining pretenses and suppressing the urge to be crude would certainly exchange a few oh-my-god-is-this-real glances. It was just too ridiculous to not acknowledge.

We ended up leaving before the thong, so I suppose we weren’t that perverted. We then resumed our flaming activities that included all-male hot tubbing, sneaking onto a golf course to lie in the grass and stargaze, and playing four hours of a board game called Catan while struggling to finish a 12-pack among the four of us washed-up 30-somethings.

Nobody said a word to the owner of the thong or even caught a glimpse of her face. The latter part was due to our relative positions and timing of movements, not because my bros and I were too shallow to look. If anybody was shallow, it was probably her. With a butt like that, she’s had little need to develop personality.

If I sound bitter, this might be a reflection of my conclusion in hindsight that the thong had a net-negative effect on my evening. Consider the opposite situation. On the drive to Lake Havasu, we came upon a roadside sign warning of burros, the Spanish word for donkey.

It was such an unfamiliar concept that I don’t think any of us really expected an actual mother effing donkey to be wandering around in the open. When we spotted the first one lumbering along the shoulder of the road, our SUV shook with pure elation.

We pulled over almost abruptly enough to screech the brakes, backed up right next to the strikingly docile animal, and celebrated wildly in its homely face. A 35-year-old bro who runs nine-figure projects for a defense company shouted “Burro! Burro!” and pointed like an autistic child obsessed with animals visiting the zoo for the first time.

There was a payoff in this scenario. We saw a sign that teased to something, and then we got to experience it.

Contrast that to the thong. We saw something that hijacked our conversation, consciousness, presence of mind. And then what? There was no discernible benefit.

I don’t want to see something so tantalizing that I can’t have. I don’t want to even know something like that is out there. It’s distracting and mildly depressing. Just let me live my life and be gay with my bros. What are you doing out here at a predominantly family resort in Indian Wells, oh incongruous thong?

When I explained my angst to one of my bros, he likened this to the scene in Good Will Hunting when the professor sat defeated on the floor after Matt Damon lit the math solutions on fire. He lamented:

“Most days I wish I never met you because then I could sleep at night, and I wouldn’t have to walk around with the knowledge there was someone like you out there.”

That’s how I felt about the thong, and butt it flaunted, or maybe it was the other way around. The spectacle was haunting and unnecessary and more exploitative of the observer than wearer. I would have been better off staring at the tail of a burro.



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