Stranded

Send in the clowns. Don’t bother. They’re here…

Hairy experiences with our canoe led my husband and me to sell the devil boat. Sane people, who’ve experienced almost drowning in a canoe, might keep to land activities such as croquet. Admiring nature from a lawn chair would be another acceptable alternative.

            We traded our canoe for individual kayaks. If one of us tipped, the other person had a chance to be a hero or at least live to tell the story. Also, no one was to blame but yourself when you ended up wet.

            When a long weekend offered an opportunity to cheat death on the river, I packed my kayak as if I’d end up in the water. Clips secured a waterproof container which held my cell phone and driver’s license. My paddle had a leash. As another layer of security, I tucked another paddle beside my seat. I’d never be up a river without a paddle again, but that was another story. The only thing my kayak stood to lose was me.

            The hubby tried to get into his kayak from the deep end of the dock and dumped it. After draining water from the boat, we floated the river and watched two beavers circle the kayaks like sharks.

            One of us tired, the other tired of being wet, we called it a day. The hubby backed the truck down the ramp. We loaded the kayaks. The truck refused to start.

            “I should’ve left the truck run.” Hubby said.

            “Yeah, or used your waterproof container instead of your pocket for the keys.” What was a mini vacation without a side trip along the River Styx?

            Keys with wet components added a higher level of adventure called stranded. The spare key was in my purse safe and dry back at camp. Camp was eleven miles away along dirt roads and through woods that held coyotes, bears, and rattlesnakes. We were in the wilderness with forty-five minutes until nightfall. Even if we had cell phone service, who would we call, the dog? This fiasco would be my fault, somehow.

            Thankfully, two people stopped to check out the river as two dumbasses loaded their kayaks. The dumber of the asses would solicit a ride. A less-young person and a teen asked if I’d be okay alone. With a wave of my hand, my husband knew he’d be safer with two strangers for the next half hour.

            To work off mad, I chucked rocks into the river. Then I remembered the Hobbits who tossed rocks and summoned the Watcher. I didn’t need a creature with tentacles to drag me into the water and eat me. I was already being eaten by mosquitoes. I went back to the truck with its open windows.

             Thirty minutes passed. Darkness hit hard. Did the strangers overpower my husband and hack him up? Were they coming back for me with hatchets? Then Stephen King kicked in. Never read King if you’ve any chance of being stranded.

            Would a rabid bear body slam the truck? If not a bear, then could a Cujo raccoon climb through the window to maim and pass on disease? Clowns, clowns also seemed possible.

Common sense never worked in pitch black.

            An hour passed. I foraged for materials in case I had to run off into the wilderness to survive Cujo, slashers, or carnivorous clowns. I had a flashlight with iffy batteries, a cell phone without service, and a water bottle that could’ve doubled as a weapon had it been full. The phone might provide light had I downloaded the flashlight app. I could temporarily blind a clown with the camera flash.

            Poised to dart into the thicket like a scared rabbit, the van pulled up. My husband, with all his body parts intact, exited. Our saviors turned out to be a grandma and her grandson. The reason for the longer trip was that the grandma drove like a grandma.

            Was I still pissed at the hubby? Not a chance, I survived my own imagination and received an education. There are kind people in the world. Focus on them instead of the beasts. Above all, maybe not everyone was meant to own a f*#@$&! boat.

Published in Funny Times– November 2020

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