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Coach’s Recap of Atlanta 2007

ImageBecause the guys (Paul, Esteban, Nate and Derek) have not yet expressed their experiences during the trip to Atlanta literally, I figure that I’ll get the jump on that before anyone else does.  Either they feel that there were either too much incriminating activities to mention, or they were doing things they think their parents wouldn’t approve of, so they didn’t want to write about it.


Either way, you’ll now get the Mr. G’s standpoint.


We went down to Atlanta for Division II and Division III tournament from March 8-11.  Paul, Esteban, and Nate competed in the Div III Men’s Epee event; Derek competed in the Div III Men’s Foil event, and the god in which they worship (me) competed in the Div II Men’s Foil event.


We left on Thursday, because Paul, Esteban and Nate were competing on Friday.  This was everyone’s first National level tournament, with the exception of myself.  Needless to say, Paul and I (having travelled together before) have already conspired to spread some mistruths prior to the trip.  One of which included that I slept in the nude.


Although this excited Esteban, I don’t think Nate and Derek was entirely looking forward to the experience, true or not.


So, on Thursday evening, we met at my house and started packing everything into the [[Nissan Quest]] (a minivan for those who know).  They thought they might be traveling in style and were a little dismayed at the fact that they were going to be chauffeured around by a minivan.  Although that disappointment didn’t last long when they slowly found out that the Nissan Quest was the coolest minivan in the WORLD!


With sinful automation, they exited and entered the minivan in style with Jedi like prowess as the doors and rear hatch opened and closed at their beck and call.  They were also impressed to find out the van also came fully equipped with heated seats, a rear radio control (so they wouldn’t have to listen to my music), and a navigator with a voice that could ease their worries about becoming lost (Paul has that effect on many people), as well as a nifty alert system when the a solid object (like a cat, palm tree, or gypsy) was behind the van when shifted into reverse.  It was their personal [[Star Destroyer]] for the weekend.


Shortly down I-95, we took our first rest-stop at South of the Border.  Unfortunately, by the time we had arrived, most of the stores and eateries were closed, but the quartet did manage to entertain themselves with plastic swords, [[Mexican jumping beans]], simple wooden games that could occupy even the most genius of minds for hours on end.  So we went down a few more miles to have dinner at McDonalds.


And so we raced through South Carolina on our odyssey to Atlanta, GA, while the rat pack regaled me with their women woes, life’s passions, if Superman can kick Wolverine’s ass, and the ability to drift one’s car (although I was tempted to show them what the Quest could do).  The regular fare and discussions of teenage boys that can impregnate such tight minivan quarters with so much testosterone that the engine’s 75 mph hummm actually became deeper.


Unbeknownst to me, Cats in the Cradle is an apparently well known song amongst teenagers.  When the song came on the radio, everyone was singing it like a bunch of drunk airmen trying to pick up Charlie with “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”.




As we entered, Atlanta, Paul’s precision guidance led us uneventfully to our hotel, which coincidently upon keen observation by a van full of Y chromosome mammals, a Waffle House and a strip bar was surreptitiously positioned nearby.  The Waffle House was the important thing – no continental breakfast.  I figured a lap dance would ruin the boys’ concentration for the weekend.


The ex-Air Force security guard ushered us to the appropriate [[double secret probation]] special guest parking space in his unintelligible Atlantian I’ve been here for too long and it’s almost twelve o’clock accent.  So I just followed the finger until I heard stop.


As we piled dismounted and unloaded our gear, the small platoon got a taste of my former military effectiveness while we rucked our gear to our second floor room.


Paul, having gotten over his previous germ phobia, felt relatively comfortable in the room as we prepared all our equipment for the next day.  Now left over chalk marks on the floor, no sounds of distant ominous sirens, no blood stains, a relatively sane hotel.  Since we numbered in five and the room only had two, two person beds, I set out for the main desk to secure us an additional sleeping cot.


On the return walk, I once again ran into the security guard who had previously informed me that this hotel was guarded like Fort Knox.  I felt confident that our own personal Terminator was standing guard.  Our lone personal Terminator.  This time he had snagged himself a trespasser.


It was a woman who claimed that she was visiting a friend, and according to the Terminator, she had no identification and that he’ll be baahck.  That’s good because this IQ deprived woman appeared to become self aware at any point, but not within this era in my opinion.


The Terminator also later informed me that the hotel tenants next to us (who the woman was allegedly visiting), was a cross-dressing transvestite.  If you want to see what she looked like, keep watching Jerry Springer, she’ll show up eventually.  Our hotel guardian assured me that our next door tenant shouldn’t be a problem, but if anything comes up, I should find him immediately.


Undaunted, I returned to the hotel room.  Having gone through the door a few times already, I knew the door sometimes became stuck and would require a little more effort from my sinewy body to open the door.  Little did I know that without my comforting presence, Paul, Esteban, Nate and Derek had also added protection from the outside world by chaining the door.  Apparently I over estimated my little more extra effort and ripped the chain right off the door frame.


So much for Fort Knox.


By the time I had returned, the foursome had already permeated the room with unadulterated testosterone by installing the x-box and began the digital mass murdering of alien super soldiers called Halo.  In this world, Paul ruled unfettered like the Predator in a room full of Star Trek extras.  All women can now swoon.


I busied myself sewing our new patches to our arm bands with a hand held sewing machine.  Which was akin to trying to drive a stick shift car and eat a Big Mac with the same hand.


The Halo slaughter ended around 3:00 I think.  I was asleep before then.


At around four o’clock in the morning, I awoke with a jolt to the sudden pounding of angry fists on the door.  I feared that the hotel was going to kick us out because we had too many people in one room.  Bleary eyed and staggering I went to the door, as I was struggling to get the door open, I could hear someone outside yelling, “OPEN THE DOOR AND TURN ON THE LIGHT!”.


When I finally got the door open, I discovered 3-4 armed police officers standing outside our door.  One glanced at me at motioned not to say anything and that they were actually banging on the door next to us.  The cross-dressing transvestite.


Early the next morning (after getting a barrage of alarms from 4 different cell phones and a wake up call from the hotel for good measure), I got up and proceeded to begin my [[reveille]] of the rest of the troops.


On the way to the Waffle House we found out that the cross-dressing transvestite was told to leave the hotel because she (or he, what’s the politically correct term?) had beaten on the women found earlier in the parking lot for her money.  


Or something like that.


{mospagebreak title=Friday, Day 2} 


At the Waffle House, some people took the opportunity to play some early morning oldies on the jukebox.  Little did I know that I was traveling not only with a fencing team, but an [[acapella]] group as they sang along (with gusto and three part harmony) with Brown Eyed Girl.


A short ride later, we were at the [[Georgia World Congress Center]].  Imagine, $12 for parking.  You’ve got to be spitting me.  (I know spitting isn’t the appropriate term, feel free to substitute with your favorite expletive.)


Having arrived pretty early, we found decent parking and started the pilgrimage to the actual fencing site.  This wasn’t apparent to us until we completed the almost half a mile walk from our parking garage.  I think made that [[Bataan death march]] at least 6 times that weekend.


I recapped how Esteban, Paul and Derek did in another article available on this website, so I won’t recap it here.  Lucky you.  However, it is important to mention that during the last bout, Esteban did injure himself.


Although he felt that he was fine and didn’t need to see the trainer, I eventually cajoled him into agreeing by saying the trainer was hot.  You can imagine his disappointment when the trainer looked like [[Ty Pennington]] and was trying to assess his condition while he rubbed Esteban’s leg.


So we headed back to the hotel room while we decided whether to watch a movie or go to the aquarium.  Seeing a whale for $24 didn’t seem worth it, so we agreed on going to see 300.  Correction, we agreed to see three hundred protein-shaked totally ripped juiced Spartans kick some Persian ass….repeatedly.


We also had dinner at a local pub/restaurant that served your regular American food fare.  By landslide, I think we won the loudest table in the area contest.  And we weren’t even drinking.


The shopping center and movie theater actually wasn’t that far from the hotel.  A mere 5 miles and about 5 minutes driving time.  But driving in Atlanta sucks, and I’ll tell you why.  Because if you take one wrong turn, it will take you an hour and a half to get back to where you were trying to go.  I think we stopped at least 5 times to ask for directions.




Saturday, was Derek’s event day.  And since I wasn’t going to pay twice to park the van, go back and get the other sleeping beauties and pay again to park the van again, the epee triplets, despite another late night of Halo whoring, had to get up sickeningly early the next morning.


As Derek registered, Nate, Paul, and Esteban bivouacked on one of the upper level floors.


Again, I recapped how Esteban, Paul and Derek did in another article available on this website, so I won’t recap it here. 


During our wayward travels the day before, I had run across the Atlanta [[Ikea]].  I was pretty sure that my wife would have me drawn and quartered if I didn’t tell her about it and requested for a shopping list while the Ikea was within arms reach.


So I did a little arm twisting to get the boys to go to Ikea with me.  I set them on their own while I shopped for the items on my honey-do list.  They did enjoy the lunch at the Ikea.


With my bookshelves, quilts, curtains, and wine glasses now in tow, we went in search for the mall.  After further getting lost around Atlanta and numerous direction asking, we found the mall we were looking for.


I would be competing on Sunday, so, with one more stay at our hotel, I woke them up one last time for one more event.


Between my bouts, the guys spent took my bet that they couldn’t get a girl’s phone number before they left.  They never did get the phone number, but they got a myspace add.  They say it’s same thing – I’ll remember that next time I’m at a bar.


Back to Fayetteville.  With some discussions, everyone quickly settled in for the quest back to Fayetteville and school the next day.