The Pink Towel Lowdown, or “Please Cathy, Can We Still Be Friends?”

Posted: April 3, 2013 in Equipment, In Transition
Tags: ,

‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’  pretty much summed it up best about towels:

Just about the most massively useful thing any interstellar Hitchhiker can carry. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the beady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini-raft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward of noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course you can dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.


A towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Now, where I’m obviously not an interstellar traveler, I certainly believe in the infinite importance of your basic, simple, every day, run-of-the-mill towel; particularly my fluffy, pink (albeit ill-gotten) towel.

My pink heaven.

My pink heaven.

C’mon, admit it.  You all probably have your own favorite towel, or good luck totem that you bring with you to all your workouts and races.  It just so happens that mine happens to be pink and fluffy.  I’m secure enough now in my sexuality that I can admit that.  Deal with it.

Vastly under-appreciated, the towel is the quintessential “must have” piece of equipment for the well-prepared functional triathlete.  Sure, it doesn’t build muscle like swim paddles, resistance tubing, or any other specialized muscle-strengthening chatzky, nor will it aid you in either measuring or determining your ideal pace, distance, cadence, power, heart rate, or, well, anything for that matter.  In essence, it will not help you improve your swim, bike, or run, like, at all.  Yet, I never leave home for a workout without one.

But, as I said before, I don’t just favor any towel, I favor a certain towel.  But, I have to come clean here, it wasn’t originally my towel, it was obtained through rather nefarious means.  So you can consider this post then as more of an admission of guilt (not to mention a plea for forgiveness), than it is of any statement of affinity.

Initially, it all happened innocently enough last summer before an early morning swim workout at the Welland International Flatwater Center.  In my bleary-eyed haste to get out the door before 5:00am  to make the pre-arranged 5:45am  workout with the coach, and Cathy – another triathlon training buddy – I forgot to bring a towel along to dry off with afterwards.  Hey, I hadn’t had my coffee yet and it could happen to anybody.  I managed to remember packing the essentials like my goggles, wetsuit, and water bottle, but, somehow, I forgot to pack the all-important towel.  Now, this heinous oversight on my part wasn’t even realized under just after we got out of the water and we were met with the instant slap of the crisp early morning air.  Oh, shit.

Usually, I always have a spare in the trunk of my car for just such an emergency, but the previous evening also happened to be laundry day so my spare hadn’t made its way back into my trunk yet.  Double shit!  Thankfully, Cathy, volunteered to let me use the extra she that she had stashed away in her own trunk.  What are friends for, right?

At first, I was like ‘pink?’  WTF?  But then I figured that there was nobody around to notice and therefore question my imminent uber-dudeness, so I gratefully accepted her gracious invitation and began to dry off.  Instantly, I was all like:

Yes, it was love at first toweling.  Just being wrapped up in that luscious pink fluffy fabric was akin to being smothered under an avalanche of puppies.  And what freakshow wouldn’t love that?  Not this tough guy, that’s for sure!  Of course, I tried to be all cool n’ shit about it but, inside, I was gleefully giggling like a little schoolgirl (click HERE).

Okay, it was probably more like this:

However you choose to look at it.

Before leaving that morning, I made the hollow promise to wash the stench of canal and awesome off it and then return it at our next early morning swim workout but, well, let’s just say that it never actually happened.  So over the course of the next two weeks until we were able to get together again, I developed a serious bond with this towel.

Besides drying off, it was a perfect size to go under my bike for all my long, sweaty indoor trainer sessions, as well as for laying out on my mat prior to my hot yoga sessions.  It was infinity better than those stupid, dainty, and near-useless ‘Yogi Toe’ things that couldn’t sop up a teaspoon of tap water, much less an hours’ worth of spend bodily fluvia.  Furthermore, it was the perfect towel to bring to my indoor pool sessions in lieu of those white, scratchy locker room towels that someone else might have wiped their ass with.  And, most importantly, its thick, luxurious fluffiness made it ideal for holding the cats while we trimmed their toe nails.  Come at them with any other towel in the house and they’ll instantly dive under the bed quicker than greased lightning but, when it comes to that particular pink towel, they all but jump in your lap.  Go figure.

This towel was so perfect that I had to devise the perfect strategy – a al Shawshank Redemption in its brilliance – to keep it all for myself.  By that, I mean I just never mentioned it again.  Clearly I’m no Andy Dufresne.  This strategy has worked fine for the past year, until now, when another season of outdoor workouts is almost upon us.  Now the guilt is beginning to compound itself and I figure it’s time to come clean:

“Cathy, PUH-lease, don’t take away my precious!!”

I wuv you, Caffy.

I wuv you, Caffy.

Basically, I want to avoid one of those whole “Hey, that’s my towel you thieving bastard!”  moments when I absentmindedly turn up with it one morning in the near future.  How awkward.

It’s safe to say to say at this point, that I will pretty much do anything to keep it.  I can either replace it, or compensate you with morning coffees after our swim, or maybe I will just let you dunk me a few times in the canal.  Whatever, we need to seek out some kind of arrangement here to ease my guilt.  I’d hate to lose you as a swim partner, but I’d also hate to lose my almost ambrosial ‘woob-woob’.  I’m confident that there just has to be something I can either do, or maybe arrange in order to make things right again to gain your overall forgiveness.  Right?

After all, what cold-hearted beast could ever say ‘no’ to this?

How can you say 'No' to dat widdle face?

How can you say ‘No’ to dat widdle face?

Please, Cathy.  Can we still be friends?

I wuv you.


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