Sunday, July 13

Lessons on the River of Life

I have bad luck on the river. Last year, I ruined my brand-new cell phone and my (to date) most favorite purse that I’ve ever owned. The cell phone got ruined becaue I was dumb enough to believe it would survive in our raft in a zippered sandwich baggie. Not true! Your raft will get completely inundated with water, and nothing inside the raft will remain dry. Especially if you happen to be using a cheap, knock-off brand of zippered baggie.

Though I was dumb enough to take my phone in the raft, I was not dumb enough to take my purse. My purse was locked safely in the trunk of my car. However, inside my purse there was a container of Band-Aid Blister Blocker, which is a fantastic product. A fantastic product made of corn oil which has been made waxy through some chemical process. What this means is that, though it’s a solid, it is just barely a solid and has a VERY low melting point. A melting point much lower than the 110° it was in my trunk. Needless to say, it melted all over my purse and soaked through the leather from the inside, leaving a big wet-looking stain on the outside that will never come out. The woman at Baird’s was a huge bitch to me when I took it in to see if it could be cleaned. She told me I should have brought it in immediately when the stain happened. I did, but she was on a two-week vacation.

I learned not to take anything valuable on the river and to make sure there’s no Blister Blocker in my purse if it is to be left in my car. But you know, any time is a good time for another lesson. I floated the river again a few days ago. I stupidly brought my keychain and attached it to the tote bag I brought in the raft. Except for the moment we got stuck in an eddy near a beach occupied by beer-swilling, shirtless gentlemen of low moral fiber, and getting attacked by a huge horsefly and some overhanging tree branches we couldn’t steer away from, the trip was pretty uneventful. That is, it was uneventful up to the point when the wind blew my $18 Target hat off my head and into the swiftest part of the river. It was starting to sink, and my friend said, “Do you want to get your hat?” I did want my hat, so I careened out of the boat and grabbed it. Then I heard, “OHMYGOOOOOOD!”

Turns out, I tipped the raft over by jumping out of it head first rather than legs or butt first. We watched our tote bags sail down the river and out of sight with our key chains, our snacks and my friend’s $90 hat. She climbed up the bank and ran down the greenbelt to see if she could catch up with them, but it was pointless. The best part was when all of our empty beer cans washed ashore at the exact beach where people normally get off the river. A little boy picked them all up and threw them away just before a cop drove by in a golf cart.

Moral: parents, if you don’t do any outdoors activities with your children, they will grow up to become $90 hat murderers by not knowing the proper way to get out of a Coleman raft.

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