Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dear Swimming

Water and I don't have a good history together.  I try to enjoy myself around it.  It tries to make sure that I drown.  I don't care if people say it isn't a bad way to go out.  All I want is to go fishing, and water conspires with gravity to dethrone me.  Think I am lying?  Here's a brief timeline of our Ike and Tina relationship.

1987- My parents decide that it makes sense that my sister takes swimming lessons.  I am given a toy truck to play with instead.  I begin to assume that they only ever wanted one child.

1989- I fall off of a dock while crabbing.  This is the first time, it will not be the last by far.

1990- My friend Todd throws me into a pool. I do not speak to him for twelve years after this.

1992- While swimming in North Carolina, the sea swallows my favorite Ninja Turtles t-shirt.  That was the day I learned to never love anything ever again.

1996- I freak out in the underwater tunnel at Sea World.  No more shall be spoken of this.

2001- I am forced to take a swimming test upon entering college in order to use the school's sailboats.  Somehow, I only go underwater whenever the proctor looks away, and I pass.

2001- Weeks later- The only life preserver left when I go to rent a sailboat is a child's small.  This is not an inaccurate depiction of how I looked.
The entire sailing team laughed at me from the dock, and I heard more than one of them refer to me as Baby Huey.

2004- While drinking on a raft in Maine, I fell into the water and barely made it to shore.

I stayed away from the water from that point on.  That is, until this very week.  Cindyloo called me to tell me she was in town house-sitting and that we should hang out.  I had plans to meet up with Kentucky Jim, so she told me to bring him, and to bring our swimsuits, since the house had a pool.  Against my better judgement, I agreed. 

Firstly, "pool" is a euphemism in this case for "scientifically engineered liquid filled murder hole".  The shallow end abruptly ends in am 80 degree, greased up decline to the deep end.  I found that if I stuck to the side if the pool, I could perch myself in just the right amount of water to relax, but not enough to have to leave the property in an ambulance.  I was able to do this for approximately three minutes before Poseidon deemed my actions a mockery of his powers, and that is what he went biblical on me.

It began with a faint hum, vague enough to push out of mind, but present enough to unsettle you in a part of your brain you aren't even aware is working.  Then, there were brief glimpses, mostly from the corner of your eye, and nothing would be there when you focused.  Just when I began to question my sanity, that's when the horde of horseflies laid their siege.  They circled my head by the dozens, trying to land on my beautiful bald head and suck out the delicious goo housed inside.  As I tried to twist away, I lost grip of the edge, and slid down to the deep end.  If the flies couldn't have me alive, they would wait until my body floated to the surface.  Through a combination of agile karate moves, frantic flailing, curses and blood oaths of revenge, I somehow made it out of the pool with only a gallon of water in my stomach and lungs.  My only condolence was that I was able to kill several of the winged demons as I made my retreat to the house and my defeat.

I can only assume that I will never be allowed to enjoy maritime activities, just like I am not allowed to buy clothes in a normal store, or play the ukulele.  This is one of many burdens I am forced to endure.  Unless I am supposed to sacrifice something, and then I will be allowed to swim, because I will totally do that.  If I am supposed to sacrifice something, please give me a sign.

I will assume that since "Twilight Time" by the Platters just came on my iTunes, that is the sign.  Now to find me a goat.


  1. I remember taking you out on one of those SMC sailboats and you, being a lovable giant man, were the perfect counterweight to go LUDICROUSLY fast in them. You screamed and freaked out and I yelled at you to lean OUT of the boat or we would tip over, because we would have.

    What, you were safe, it was fast, and I've only had more fun in a boat like ... 5 other times. But there were girls!

    - Captain Chris

    1. That's precisely the time I was recalling. You were of little help by snickering and saying "Baby Huey, oh, that is a good one."

  2. Actually, I think you're supposed to sacrifice your dignity. At least, that's the vibe I'm getting.

    1. More like a recurring theme of my life, but we won't split hairs.


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