Monday 1 August 2011

I Look Forward To Tonight

I met a neighbour this morning when I was taking out the garbage. We got to talking about the city and what an ass the garbage man is. He lives a couple of doors down on the other side of the alley. The neighbour does, not the garbage man. His wife, Judy and their two boys moved in about a month ago and I think I remember seeing them painting the fence when Buster and I were taking a walk last week.

His name is Jeff and it seems that we have finally gotten a good neighbour. He asked me if I had any plans for the weekend and I told him nothing other than yard work, as Louise and I preferred to stay off of the road on any long weekend. Jeff then asked if I could swim. Perhaps he isn’t such a good neighbour! I told him that I could, but I wouldn’t be winning any races or crossing Lake Ontario anytime soon.

He then told me that he has a boat in today’s Heritage Day River Race and wondered if I wouldn’t mind going with him. Well, I hemmed and hawed and told him that it is awful short notice. He just laughed at me and said “I’m not asking you to the prom, it’s just that my brother was supposed to come with me, but he broke his foot yesterday. Besides, we have already raised $3000 for Children’s cancer and it would be a shame if they didn’t get the cash.”

You know, I couldn’t think of a good reason why not so I just said “Where and when?”

“Here and now, just as soon as you can get some shorts on.” Was Jeff’s reply.

I went in and changed, telling Louise what I was up to. She thought that it would be fun, but that I should be careful. I went out back and Jeff was in his truck pulling a trailer with the boat under a tarp. We drove to Edworthy Park which was where the launch is to take place. Jeff told me that all of the registration had been done the night before and he had called in my name while I was changing. How did he know my name?

He said that the boats were in different classes and the ones that were expected to be slower would launch first. “We are number two.” He said.

“Number two? What are we in, a cement block?” I watched as he pulled the tarp off of a totem pole.

“Just give it a push when the bottom reaches the water.” Jeff said.

“What the Hell, how are we going to paddle this thing?” I was starting to panic. He laughed and told me that since it is a river with a current, all we had to do was steer.

“We don’t have to win, we just have to finish and what is more natural than a log floating down a river?”

Hey, he has a point. I’m back on board. The next thing I know, I am astride the front of the totem pole, holding on to the eagle’s beak and Jeff is sitting on the back smiling and waving. Just about five minutes into the race, the beak and wings broke off of the eagle and the totem pole spun around. Now, Jeff and I were up to our armpits holding on, watching my paddle float away. We were drifting towards the shore and Jeff yelled out to start kicking away from the shore or else we would be disqualified.

I was ready to pack it in, because that water was freezing! “Think of the poor sick kids!” Jeff cried out. Okay, in for a penny in for a pound. I looked around and there wasn’t a boat near us. In fact, I didn’t see any boats at all. I spotted a sign that told us about the weir that was just around the bend and to get our “rafts” out of the water. Shit, we couldn’t steer this anymore that you can reason with a cat.

I looked back at Jeff to ask him what we were going to do and he was gone! Prick! Well, I am out of here! My life vest snagged on a branch coming out of the log and I can’t get it loose! The sound of rushing water is getting loader and I am getting more and more panicky. I start going through the rapids and see the weir, except that it is more like a twenty foot waterfall than a “water calming weir”. Stupid damned city!

I can’t believe I am going to die! As the front of the log is suspended out beyond the edge of the falls, I can look down and see the jagged rocks through the mist. Time is going fast and slow at the same time and I hold on to the log with all of my strength in the hope that somehow I will survive. The log goes vertical, I lose my grip and fall away from the...

I don’t often dream, and when I do I seldom remember them, but this one was fun for the most part. I wonder why you can’t die in your dreams. Oh well I look forward to tonight.

1 comment:

  1. you dog I fell for the whole ,hook ,line ,and sunk...