Every year at this time we meet in mortal combat. Titans clashing and there will be blood lost, almost always my own.
He is devilishly clever and has an array of fiendish devices at his disposal. He seeks my weakest points with the unerring accuracy of Lindsay hunting squirrels.
Within minutes he has me naked and at his mercy, fingers probing deep within body cavities where no other man would dare to go. He has neither compassion nor modesty nor shame.
Oh, but he does have rare power, this one. He has the power over life and death itself. He seeks my vulnerability, probing, prodding with a terrifyingly calm dispassion, seeking for that one defenseless area that will mean my death.
Not an inch of my body misses his evil probing, including stabbing deep within me until I bleed.
I bleed, my very life's blood leaving my body.
But I have prepared for this battle for days. I have put aside my generally negligent lifestyle and have eaten my vegetables and have taken my daily multivitamin and have consumed my water. I have put aside Tim Horton's coffee (sob) for healthier beverages that will strengthen me for this life and death competition. I have exercised. I am prepared. I am The Man.
Do your best you swine, but I am ready and sweet victory will be mine.
I can see the defeat in his eyes as he rips off this gloves and tosses them angrily into the garbage. He knows I have won and his shoulders tremble with defeat. Or are they trembling with fiendish glee?
For he has saved something in reserve, this foul cad, this monster, this disgrace to humanity.
"Barry, you are ten pounds heavier than last year and your blood pressure is up. I'm going to place you on a diet and I'd like you to make it your goal to loose 20 pounds before I see you again next year."
I am stunned. I am speechless. No, these are not words I want to hear. I look at the diet. It is filled with recommendations for all the foods I have been eating in preparation for todays contest. It is one thing to eat this way for a week, but to do it for a year!
He isn't smiling, there is not the least trace of glee in his eyes. But I know, deep in his evil heart he dances the Irish jig. This time he has won.
"And the test results from your blood and urine samples should be back next week. Please book an appointment with the receptionist for us to review the results."
Having defeated me in physical combat, he is now looking forward to crushing me with his science.
I leave, a humbler man.
With a diet in his hand.
Tim, Mike and My Gap Year
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