insurance design

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Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

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Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

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Car radio

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Advertise Here

How comfortable are you bearing it all? I’m not talking about your soul or taking the drywall down to the studs in a wild fit of inspiration after watching HGTV. I’m talking about getting naked. Well, mostly naked. At Toastmasters …...

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Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

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A Reasonable Explanation

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That's a Mouthful

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Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

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Deadly Donuts

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When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

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As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

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Portrait of handsome young man with stylish haircut in swinwear posing with American flag over gray background. Perfect hair & skin. Close up. Studio shot

Filed Under , on April 6th, 2019

American Speedo

By Seth Kabala

How comfortable are you bearing it all? I’m not talking about your soul or taking the drywall down to the studs in a wild fit of inspiration after watching HGTV. I’m talking about getting naked. Well, mostly naked.

At Toastmasters this week, my table topic was on why it would be good to live at the top of Mount Hood. Only one to two minutes to describe why putting manhood literally front and center on top of a mountain was a good idea. What could go wrong? Mr. Demure, time to step out of the room with Mrs. Aghast.

I could have mentioned the charm of Timberline Lodge, the beauty of the view from 7,000 feet, or the quality time spent with family who, in 2016, were visiting from the Midwest and with whom we had journeyed to Mount Hood for the first time. I mentioned going up the mountain, parking, and walking past Timberline. But as soon as we exited the parking lot, I shifted gears to the Speedo-wearing skier who had glided by in front of my family and me as we were looking for trails. Not only was he wearing a Speedo; he was wearing an American flag print Speedo, with sunglasses. (Not on the Speedo; on his face. Where’s your mind?) Gotta watch out for the glare up there.

I said that I wanted to live on top of Mount Hood, because only up there would the culture of the Speedo be fully embraced. I talked about wearing a Chicago Cubs Speedo during baseball season and needing to watch out even more for foul balls, because of the lack of protection in that area. I said I could switch to the Green Bay Packers during football season (Speedo says if you can catch a pass while a grown-ass man dances in a Speedo in your field of vision, you can overcome anything) and to the Blazers during basketball season (Speedo says no shot is too hard. That’s an erection joke, in case your punchline-getting skills are flaccid today).

I did not say that playing with balls was a pastime of mine. This was Toastmasters, after all, not a comedy club, though I do try to blur that line as much as possible without angering the pearl clutchers too much. I could have said you’ve got to be proud of your balls, take care of your balls, represent the power of your balls behind the fabric of your colors. Missed opportunity.

What’s the problem? Don’t like innuendo? Good, I only used it in a few places. You can get offended at those, if you can find them.

I closed with desiring Speedo-wearing to be a normally accepted pattern of behavior. This should be the “standard practice of life,” were my exact words. I thought that was only achievable on top of Mount Hood, where you can be accepted as you are.

A ridiculous scenario, granted. But was I speaking toward a larger, unpursued, unexplored, unlauded truth? I was trying to be funny. I was trying to get laughs. That’s what I always do when I give a table topic mini speech. But it still amazes me how humor hits the truth. It cuts right through the ice and discovers the treasures frozen there because a noble man crash-landed a century earlier in pursuit of saving lives and escaping his problems with women. If you want to think I’m talking about Captain America, you go right ahead and do that.

What I’m really talking about is finding the courage and freedom to be you, whoever that is.

Maybe the guy sporting the American flag Speedo had a rare condition that only allowed him to wear clothes around his junk. If he wore a shirt and put any pressure on his skin beyond that from gravity and a gentle breeze, he’d blow up like a Gremlin. Who was I to tell him he needed to cover up? I’m nobody. I take that back. I am somebody, the type of person who will, if the wager is right and the beer is good, search Amazon for junk coverage of the Speedo variety and in the themes of my favorite sports teams. I will support American flag Speedo’s right to ski Mount Hood in the near nude.

No exploding humans on account of me.

Exploding knees?

That’s another thing.


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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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