Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Good Ole Days
You know that you’re getting old when you started to think of the “good ole days‘. I was sitting here a few minutes ago thinking of how I used to head out and play on my jet ski after work. I would pull it to work in the morning and park it in the lot taking up two spots. I would look out my window, wish I was on it, and then turn to look at the clock and saying, “Only 8 more hours until the end of my shift.” Okay maybe it wasn’t that bad but like a kid on the last day of school. I would watch the clock more on those days.
I loved that water slide on wheels. I had a girlfriend back in the day, that loved to ride the ski as my as I did. We would go out and take only gas and disappear into rivers and lakes. We enjoyed the sun. The problem would occur when we got hungry. However, we had a great way around the fact that we brought nothing but gas.
We would park ourselves near people that were cooking on the beach. We would get acquainted and offer rides, then offer to let them go out on the ski. They would always offer food, we accepted.
We ate everything from hamburgers and hot dogs, to Mexican barbeque. We ate well. The some people might think we were mooching off the kindness of strangers. But what we were doing was offering a way for people that normally were stuck on the beach a chance to ride a jet ski.
One of the last summers I rode the ski, I let my new girlfriend ride by herself. I taught her how to ride it, showing the safety features and how to right it if it flips over. I thought I had gotten good at showing people how to ride it. I was wrong of course.
I watched as she headed out on full throttle towards the other side of the lake. She couldn’t figure out how to turn the ski and ended up on bank on the other side. Thinking back it was kind of comical watching her ride up about a 45 degree bank and end up 12 feet on to the shore. It looked like a motorcycle from a distance. I rode over and this little 120 pound woman was lifting the front end as she struggled to get it back in the water.
I stopped the borrowed ski, and checked out the bottom of my craft. The sky was alright, a fact the really surprised me. I then remember to ask how she was. I figure she was fine after all she had drug the ski back 10 feet towards the water. I was never clear how she was able to do that.
She was upset, “You tried to kill me on the ski of yours.” We figured out on the end that she was used to bicycles. She didn’t understand the turning a jet ski requires throttle to force the water jet a different direction. Unlike a bike, turning as the bike coasted down a hill.
There are many tales set around that ski: My oldest brother getting washed out to sea. A girlfriend almost got washed over a damn. A friend of a friend used it to torpedo another man’s boat. I almost lost my right foot do to an infection suffered from a cut; I had received as I mounted my jet ski in the Tri-cities. The October blog post. (Step up or Sit Down and Run.) The story of how my brother and I became almost died in the breakers in Ocean shores. But you know if I were to get a jet ski and call up any of the above people, and ask them you want to go out on the water. We would be on the water in less than an hour, enjoying out day and mooching of the crowds of on lookers.