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Monday, July 05, 2004

Learning To Be Superman and Aquaman

"Three, two, one, pull!"
I heard the shouted command and reached for the ripcord. I paused for a split second as my mind contemplated how far above the water we were. The world was slightly fuzzy as I left my glasses down below. I couldn't see any of my body as it was pulled behind me. I pulled the ripcord and felt the mechanism release. For a second gravity had turned off just like a Road Runner cartoon. Then gravity decided to turn back on and we headed towards Lake Schaffer and a boat below us with our interlocked arms. Cindy screamed, "Whoa," as I went "Oh God!" The vertical drop became more horizontal as the bungee cords tightened around our harnesses and started our pendulum motion upward. We swung over the boat with the bikini clad woman at full speed and went incredibly far up again. All motion stopped and we were truly weightless.

After several arcs we started a slight spin. I could see the cottages across the lake and hear the roller coaster passing behind us. I wasn't scared, but I can't say I was having fun either. I was having an experience! Once our height lessened the handlers shouted at us to hand onto a rubber ring they had at the end of a pole. Here's a hint guys: tell us that the swing before you actually want us to do it. We let go of each other and grabbed the ring. It released from the pole and used another bungee cord to slow our arc down. Another ring on a pole was used to guide us back to the platform. The adrenaline had caught up with me as I noticed my hand trembled slightly as if I were in an oral argument. Let's be honest, in the end I am a ground pounder! Cindy and I have an odd friendship: one of mutual respect and agitation. She didn't think I would go up and I had to call her bluff. Would either of us do this again? Only if a bet or challenge were involved.

I had planned on heading back to Indy as soon as we got back her parent's cottage as I thought about pseudo-crashing a 4th party that I wasn't formally invited to. Either no one loves me, or it was couples party, or the grapevine didn't get to me formally as that will happen in a large social group. Yet the neighbors asked if I wanted to go tubing. They even loaned me a swimsuit. Note to self: when going on imprompteau visit with friend at a lake front cottage, please remember to bring contacts and a swimsuit.

It was a big two person tube so the two of us were together again. I noted that I was intentionally leaving a perfectly fine boat as I slide off the stern onto the rubber raft. Between the wake of our own boat and the chop from other boats on the lake it was a bumpy ride. Within the span of a few seconds I would be weightless and airborne as I held onto the tube and then in the seat and plowing through the waves which sent us airborne again. It was a wild ride for a few minutes and then we hit the worst waves as even those in the boat were worried. We were airborne one last time as my feet started towards my head. I decided that I could live with a bruised ego more easily than a torn rotator cuff so as my ass went over my head (always a bad sign of things) I let go. My leg hit Cindy's head pretty hard and I felt sorry about that as I started to submerge. A good thing that I was no longer in the raft with her! When my head finally broke the surface like Excalibur I simply laughed.

As I boarded the boat I said I would go again. You fall of the horse, err..tube, and you just got to get back on it. Someone noticed the back of my calf was bleeding slightly, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. Broken bones heal, chicks dig scares, glory is forever! Dan, the boat owner, was my next co-rider. It was the exact same ride, rough as we ploughed the water and rough as we were airborne and landing back in the water. This time my departure mode was different as I exited while we were airborne. I saw the tube pull away as I cannonballed into the lake again. Since we were airborne when the weight suddenly shifted, or departed in this case, the raft flipped over and dumped Dan in the water as well. I rode the bronco twice and I was done. Others could go this time.

I thought about heading back to Indy to catch the great fireworks show from downtown, but was invited to be on the boat again to watch the Indiana Beach show from the lake. After dinner seven of us boated down the length of Lake Schaffer and anchored about a half mile south of the amusement park. Most of the ride lights dimmed and the blossoms, stars, and streaks commenced. After the 12 minute show we started back up the lake with various homeowners now launching their own cool, yet illegal, fireworks.

Boats are cool; I want one someday! Amazing that what I had intended to be a several hour visit on a late Saturday afternoon became a very good two night adventure. Sometimes when I go with the flow it actually works out surprisingly well.

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