Over Easter weekend, Jon and I went to help out a very nice friend of ours that runs a one of a kind international natural body building show. We went to help out last year when it was in Edmonton at the U of A. We were more than happy to heft the weights up to the back of the stage, cover everything in sight with paper so the fake tan that the competitors wear doesn’t rub off on anything, and fold the 300 t-shirts that are for sale. This year the show was in Calgary, and since Jon and I were already going to be in Calgary to visit Heather and her very cute family, we volunteered again.
The competitors came from all across the country to take a blood test, complete a lie detector, and flex their muscles on stage. I was once again tasked to cover everything with paper. So my assistant and I went about covering doorknobs, chairs, the floor and the walls in paper to ensure the fake tan didn’t stain anything at SAIT. We were working along just fine, and then we ran out of tape. I ran back up to the room with all the supplies and where all the competitors were focusing in search of another roll of packing tape. They are so intense! All the men were lying on the floor with their legs in the air, listening to music, and staring at the ceiling like it may just disappear. While I was rummaging around to look for another roll of packing tape, I looked up to ask someone where it may be only to see a partially dressed man squeezing himself into the smallest speedo I have ever seen in my life. HELLO! I am a woman and the door is wide open – what the heck are you doing? Apparently no one else seemed to notice, so I fled the scene with bright red cheeks and no tape in hand. I made an executive decision that we had papered enough things, and that was that. Heck as if I was going to go back in there again!
I had completed my task, and the show had yet to start. Since I have a big mouth, I asked what else needed to be done. Apparently everything was done except the competitors needed some help with the application of their fake tan. I didn’t know what to say and I was there to help, so I gave myself a small pep talk, “I can spray paint a muscled man – no problem”, and then promptly agreed to help. I showed up to where all the men were getting ready to go on stage and asked who needed to be sprayed. They all looked at me like I had two heads. Apparently the spray tan is bad, and they all use ‘dream tan’ which is basically a lotion that stains your skin. So, there I was with a bunch of muscle men, just me, and jars of fake tan.
Do you have moments in your life where time pauses? Well, this was one of those times for me. I just paused, looked around for help and there was none to be found.
Since I had already agreed to help the men with their tans, I couldn’t really back out. Besides, some of them were quite pale, and looked rather desperate for some help. So I looked at the man closest to me, gathered my courage, and asked where his ‘dream tan’ was. Then I began one of the most awkward tasks of my life. I let him know every move that I was making, so as not to startle him.
DLH – Ummm…I guess I am just going to rub this all over your back.
Muscle Man – OK. Great. (Severe focus on his face)
DLH – Sorry, I am going to put this in your armpit now. I guess it’s good you’re not ticklish. Perhaps not being ticklish is a prerequisite of bodybuilding? (So nervous to be touching this strange man all over)
Muscle Man – Sure, uh huh (Not at all impressed with my high level of awkwardness)
DLH – Ok, um….I have to get the back of your legs here, and your…bum…uh…I’m just going to touch you here….ummm…!!
Those ‘shorts’ as one of the men called them are SO SMALL! My gosh! I was mortified. When I finally finished ‘dream tanning’ the non-talking, severely focused man, another short, muscle man needed help.
Luckily he was skilled enough to do most of his own ‘dream tanning’, all I had to do was his neck, face, and receding hairline. He was about 5’2”, so it was easy enough to see what needed to be done there. While I ‘dream tanned’ him, an alarm went off which meant it was time for him to eat his favorite snack - 1 tbsp of all natural almond butter. He was so excited, and couldn’t wait. It was somewhat complex to get his face to have a consistent color while he gulped down his almond butter.
I finally thought that I was home free, but a very tall man came running through backstage in an absolute panic. He was on in 15 minutes and he had no tan at all and needed to eat! Apparently they have to eat at very specific times, and there was no way he could wait 15 minutes to eat. So while he dipped rice cakes in natural peanut butter and dripped and crumbed all over the place, including me, I slathered him in dream tan. Let’s just say it wasn’t my best work! He also had rice cake crumbs that just became part of the tan on his chest. There wasn’t much I could do about that.
Finally everyone was tanned, and I was home free. I didn’t ask for a new way to help, just went out to watch the show at that point. I did have a very interesting tan line on my arms for the rest of the weekend, which served to remind me that being extra helpful may be extra awkward at times!