Curse of Fu Manchu slimes biathlon swimmers

Hyperbaric to hyperbolic, both based on oxygen
July 4, 2023

Faces of Fu Manchu - He was a fictional character in a series of movies starring Christopher Lee that began in 1965. Back when I was a rookie on the Rehoboth Beach Patrol in 1976, lifeguards would do a jetty swim and emerge from the salty brine with Fu Manchu mustaches. Sunday at the Dave Reynolds Biathlon in Rehoboth, all emerging swimmers were sporting Fu Manchus. I know this about the ocean: Most of us have no idea what we’re talking about, and if you ask a swimmer, “What's that brown stuff on your face?” he or she will just shrug and wipe it off. But rather than diving deep into all the things in the ocean that stick or bite or have deleterious dermatological consequences to your skin, we just risk it for the Seabiscuit, the American Horse of the Year in 1938 who beat Triple Crown winner War Admiral in a two-horse race at Pimlico in 1937. Welcome to the Fredman current-of-consciousness style of storytelling. 

Hyperbaric chamber - My friend Liz Guida is an LMT who uses a hyperbaric chamber as an accoutrement to all the other stuff she does to keep athletes active. I only know this because I bought a Garmin watch at the Rehoboth Beach Running Company store for my wife Susan for her birthday. The irony was I couldn't find the store (located under Cultured Pearl). Mary Beth Evans, the store owner, told me she was on her way to see Liz, then two days later I saw Liz at the biathlon watching her daughter Lindsay, an RBP rookie. I asked, “What's up with the ‘hyperbolic’ chamber?” Hyperbole is a type of speech (talking trash or selling wolf tickets) very common among athletes, many of whom exaggerate their own biographies expecting the person receiving the information is actually believing them. Mayo Clinic: “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. With repeated treatments, the temporary extra high oxygen levels break the cycle of swelling, increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood.” Meanwhile, back in the great room of my house, Susan is still syncing her Garmin with her iPhone, saying, “I just want to keep track of how far I’ve walked. I don’t want all this biofeedback. And don't you say anything.”  

Father Martin - The renowned speaker/educator on the issues of alcoholism and drug addiction died in 2009. He was a brilliant communicator on the subject and saved a lot of souls. I remember him saying, “Attitude is the father of the action,'' adding, “How I feel about you will determine how I behave toward you.” The recent Supreme Court trifecta of decisions regarding affirmative action, student loan forgiveness and LGBTQ rights has seeped into my sports beat because reasonable people are talking — not arguing — with each other. I sense an attitude from this court outside of recent rulings. I’ll say this about college admissions departments: They are all about affirmative action when it comes to admitting athletes across all the sports, from major revenue-generating sports to the sports that accrue costs but generate no revenue. You may remember the scandal a few years ago that involved fake athletes getting into prestigious universities because their parents laid down major coinage and some coaches were in on the scam. I prefer to step back and listen to what people with frontline experience are saying, but as Father Martin suggested, “We all lead with our attitudes.” That's what gets my attention.   

Broadcasting blues - Crews that broadcast Major League Baseball games work for the ball club, so they become motivated fans, as their careers depend upon the organization. I’m not sure when that happened, but it’s not a good thing. Major issues are danced around, which is why I watch the Phillies with the sound turned down. The Phillies allowed the Nationals to come into the Bank and take two of three games; that was disheartening. Where are managers Gene Mauch, Earl Weaver and Billy Martin? Someone needs to get up in the grills of these chilled-out millionaires. Speaking of grilles, I wonder what kind of car you drive when money is no issue? 

Snippets - Haywood Burton is the new head football coach at Mariner Middle School. Haywood is already working hard at it with some summer activities planned. The MLB Draft is coming up. Local interest centers around Jake Gelof. Most services project Jake anywhere from 32 to 45, but like all drafts, it is an inexact science, which is no science at all. Go on now, git!  


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