Thursday, August 19, 2010


David and I own a canoe, which we primarily use as a wildlife habitat for spiders. We store it upside down in the side yard, and on the rare occasions we drag it out to use it, the sheer number of spiders inside makes me want to move to Antarctica. Where did spiders live before human evolved sufficiently to make canoes? Spiders owe the human race big time, and frankly I don't think they've reciprocated very well. Yes, I understand they eat disease-causing insects, but c'mon spiders, what have you done for me lately? I think they should move up to snaring rabbits, or maybe those well-dressed Mormon boys who give out religious pamphlets. Also, election season is coming up. Maybe I could train the canoe spiders to pounce on anyone who comes to the door with a clipboard.

We don't go out in the canoe very much, in part because we have two kids who we don't trust not to tip over the canoe, and in part because we have two adults who we don't trust not to tip over the canoe. In one of our first outings in the canoe ten years ago (pre-kids), there was a mortifying incident that involved an overturned canoe, a 911 call, freezing cold lake water, and me saying to David, "Screw what you learned in Boy Scouts in 1972 -- I am not staying with the boat when I can make the pier." I later looked up the water temperature in the lake to see how long it would have taken us to get hypothermia, and it turns out that to be in any danger we would have had to float in the lake all day, or maybe the better part of a week.

These days my sister uses our canoe more than we do. She is doing the speed-dating thing so is always looking for a fun get-to-know-you first date activity, and taking the canoe out on the lake fits that perfectly. I am happy to be doing my part to facilitate her getting some action. I know of no nobler cause.

For a short period we also owned a paddleboat, which I had borrowed from a friend who then wouldn't take it back. That's generally a bad sign, right there. Apparently my friend had bought it at a yard sale for $1 which, as we found out when we got it on the water, was about 99 cents too much. The boat weighed approximately 8,000 pounds (give or take a spider or two) and once in the water we couldn't get it to do anything but go in circles. I dumped the paddleboat on the curb with a FREE sign and the punk kids who rent down the block snapped it up. Last I saw the boat, they had spray painted a skull and crossbones on it (by the way, the boat is bright pink) and named it U.S.S. Badd to the Bone. They will find out how badd the boat actually is if they ever bring it to water. These kids are actually quite obnoxious -- they throw loud parties and leave trash around. Spiders! It is time to do your duty.

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