Tales From the Tail End - We're Examples for our Children?
- If you look in enough dictionaries under Abnormal Psychology, you're bound to find a picture of some members of the Lumber River Canoe Club, because we prove, time and again, that we just ain't right.
Eleven. Count `em, 11, people went paddling on Saturday, in January. And another group from Central Carolina Paddlers were just down the road on another creek, doing the same. Having to knock the snow off your boat to load it onto a frost covered vehicle; it just ain't right. Unloading your boat at a snow covered creek bank for a put-in, sitting in your canoe well up on the bank and sliding down the ice sheet to launch in the water, it just ain't right. Having to pick-step your way across the ice at the take-out to try and avoid making a snow angel with a canoe, it just ain't right. Not being able to find a good sandbar for lunch because they were all white, worrying about being beaned on the noggin by falling ice as you paddled, it just ain't right. And the people who do it anyway, and think it's fun? They just ain't right!
We were all mature adults, most with a lot of life experience, we're supposed to impart wisdom and set sage examples for the next generations. We weren't a bunch of teenaged, testosterone driven, naive kids, pushing our luck on a dare, we were supposed to know better. Just think of the lessons we were teaching, those of us who went paddling in these conditions, we can never chastise brash youth for stupidity.
Except for me, of course. I went to the put-in, looked at the ice and snow, and thought to myself, what am I doing here? As more and more supposedly mature people without sense showed up, eager and excited about paddling, I began to study them closely. I realized that I was surrounded by a bunch of twitching, drooling, knuckle-dragging Quasimodos. Somebody's got to shepard them, look out for them, make sure they don't do something even more stupid than paddling with snow everywhere, and there was no one but me to accept the challenge.
So I jerked my knuckles up out of the mud and wiped the drool off my chin and accompanied them down a cold river surrounded by a winter wonderland, a swamp in stark relief, on a marvelous, bright January Saturday.
All I can say is this. Kids, it's 11 o'clock. Do you know where your parents are?!?