Jaws

Saturday was the first day of December. December. A definitive winter month. Instead of bundling up in a scarf and sucking down hot chocolate, I went kayaking in shorts and tank top. It was 80 degrees and the air was so thick with humidity that it was chewable. Things are thick and warm down here. I’m so pleased.

Anyway, back to kayaking. A couple of my friends just returned from a six month research stint in Thailand. Fully grant-funded. At a resort. Six months in Thailand at a resort. Did I mention they got paid for it? BASTARDS. Anyway, since the weather was so warm, they asked me if I wanted to go kayaking. When they said “hey we need to hang out” I was thinking more along the lines of hang out with alcohol, not exercise. But because I missed them, I agreed. They had an extra kayak (Because the one I had was so cruelly stolen. More bastards) and we took off for the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail.

I haven’t been kayaking in this area in about five years. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures because I couldn’t risk taking my camera. I have a bad history with that area. In fact, it is the location of the most traumatic experience of my life. Wanna hear? Good, because you have no choice. Well you could just close your browser, but if you keep reading, then you have no choice.

Once upon a time, I was dating a guy who was super outdoorsy and we spent all of our free time fishing and kayaking in that area. It was really fun (and I’m not even lying about that). One Sunday the area we normally launched from was closed.The closest area we could find to legally park and get in the water was much further away. We had been kayaking a lot, so the distance wasn’t really an issue, it just involved crossing a shipping channel. The areas we normally paddled about in were only a couple of feet deep (ideal for Redfish) and had slow moving water. The shipping channels are much deeper (obviously) and have a relatively swift current.

I was pretty nervous because, as you might imagine, I am quite unsteady and mostly off-balance. He assured me that I would survive and gave me some form of “grow a pair” pep talk. So, I plowed forward.

And it was fine. Everything was just fine. We made it across and had a nice day fishing. Eventually, it started to get dark and we headed back. The water was a lot choppier this time and halfway across the channel I lost my balance and fell out.

Normally, one would just crawl back in the kayak and go about their business. But, since we bought our kayaks at a scratch and dent sale, they were missing parts. Those parts were plugs and the cover to the storage area. Those parts were also backordered. For six weeks. Thanks Academy. So I could not climb back in because there was so much water in the body of the kayak that it was partially underwater. Like the Titanic.

I spent about a minute freaking out about the sinking situation before he yelled at me that I would just have to swim it back. Fine, whatever. I was wearing a life jacket and it was only about one hundred yards to the shallow part, I wasn’t going to die. Unfortunately, just as the warm feelings of likely survival began to wash up over me, I realized it was dark. It was dark and I was in the water. Salt water specifically. Thrashing like a cat in a bathtub. So, the possibility of life was quickly overclouded by my imminent and certain death via this guy:

Being the calm and collected person that I am, I started hysterically screaming and crying because, like men, sharks are afraid of tears. I tried to swim towards my boyfriend, but he threatened to jab me with his paddle. RUDE. Apparently he didn’t want to be tipped over too. After much hysteria, he eventually agreed to pull my kayak back for me while I held on and cried.

(source)

I lost my fishing pool, my sandwich, my paddle, and my water bottle. The sound of his laughter kept me company for the entire journey. He could corroborate this story, but as soon as I got on dry land I killed him and buried the body. I know it was ridiculous, but water is scary at night, even without sharks. And that’s the story of why I didn’t take my camera. The end.

Thankfully, my kayak on Saturday had all of its parts and I survived without trauma or tipping over. My upper body is still in excruciating pain, but I’ll take this as a sign that I should use it more. I soothed my PTKM (Post-Traumatic Kayak Memory) with this fantastic beer.

It tastes like peaches and pecans. Incredible.

I also finally went to see Lincoln! I LOVED it so much. It was so so so good. I want to go back because there was just so much to absorb.

When we were leaving the theater I heard a GROWN MAN tell his date/girlfriend/wife that he wished that there had been more war stuff “like Lincoln fighting and stuff.” Oh goodness. Goodness goodness.

Please feel free to share your stupidly traumatic stories so I can feel better about myself.

59 Comments

Filed under Amazing Feats

59 Responses to Jaws

  1. SANDRA

    I woke up this morning and there was no peanut butter in the house. Traumatic. For reals.

  2. HMC

    I have a similar nautical traumatic experience: my sister and I were in Canada lounging on an inflatable whale on a particularly blustery day. It was so windy that we started to drift towards a lighthouse at the end of a looooong stretch of breakwater, and I refused to get off of the whale because there was too much seaweed. Crying hysterically and screaming for help, my mom had to swim out and rescue us, and I made my sister paddle while I stayed on the whale (lest I touch the seaweed with any part of my body). Needless to say, my family was not pleased with my diva-like, non-seaweed touching behavior.

    • Reese's Runner

      Ahahahahahaha that’s fantastic. I feel the same way about seaweed. That story made me laugh so hard, thank you.I would totally do that to my little sister.

  3. That seems more like a cautionary tale against dating a douche who laughs at you instead of not bringing a camera kayaking.

    You need to find a guy who would give you the kayak from under his butt if you needed it.

    You’re welcome for this life advice.

  4. Faith

    Kayakaing is always an….adventure.

    I went white water kayaking with two of my off-their-rocker friends who routinely run cat 5′s…I BEASTED a tame little cat 2, at which point they told me I should try the cat 3-4+ with them. So I did…two minutes later, I was upside down trapped in the boat, couldn’t roll the kayak back over, so I pulled the emergency cord to release myself. I couldn’t hold on to the boat and ended up getting swept downstream for what seemed like 5 minutes as my legs got bashed against all the rocks. I was so bruised and swollen when I got out of the water that it literally looked like I had a second kneecap coming out the side of my leg. Awesome.

    But peaches and pecans? Is that too good to be true?

  5. Dave L

    I may have to go against my long-standing rule of loving all things Shiner. Peaches and Pecan flavors in a beer? I’ll go with a slice of lemon in a wheat beer, but that sounds too sweet for beer.
    In my ute (youth) I had some friends that would go out to the Corpus Bay at night with beer, one surfboard, a past-its-expiration-date big ole fish from the market, and some heavy duty fishing line. They would roshambo to see who got to risk life/limb. The loser would put a hook through nasty fish, put it on the surfboard, and paddle out as far as they could. Drop the fish, paddle back really fast, drink beer til they caught a shark. Always caught a shark…
    I never partook, but the stories of nighttime panic, paddling a blood-dripping surfboard in shark-infested waters, were always good for a laugh.

    • Reese's Runner

      It’s not really sweet, but you can definitely taste the peaches. Just try it jeez. And I have friends who do that, obviously I do not partake. Insanely ridiculous.

      • Dave L

        Don’t you “jeez” me! Awright, I’ll try it. Shiner 1/2 Marathon in two weeks includes a brewery tour…I’ll check it out!
        So, really – that’s a “thing” in Corpus? I do/have done a lot of really stupid things, but always figured those guys were

  6. I want to try and see Lincoln this week.
    I almost fell off the back of a snow mobile once. One a frozen lake. Not my fondest memory.

    The Kidless Kronicles

  7. I loved everything about this post. Everything.

  8. Justin

    I love this story. I also love how bardot is eyeing your beer. She’s such a damn mooch.

  9. Tess

    Definitely should have given you the Kayak. That sounds terrifying. But I am terrified of water in the dark.

    Also saw Lincoln. My life will never be the same. OMG. SO good. Watched Oprah interview Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field. It was incredible. Now I want to see it again. Amazing.

    • Reese's Runner

      How awesome was Sally Field? Has there ever been anyone as incredible at fretting than that woman?

      • tess

        Sally Field was seriously amazing. She said in the interview she had to fight to get the job. Spielberg thought she was too old because she’s 10 years older than Daniel Day-Lewis but when they tested there were just sparks. I really felt she truly owned it.

  10. Kayaking sounds… fun…

  11. I took my friend Annie canoeing once, and let her be the one in charge of steering while I was in the front. Bad idea. She ran us right over an alligator. Like, over it’s back as I was trying to stop the canoe and yelling at her to turn. It followed us for a little while afterwards, but I think her screams of terror were enough to keep him from trying to get his revenge for being rammed by a canoe.

  12. Thanks for seeing Lincoln and giving your thumbs up. After reading the terrible reviews in the newspaper, I was afraid to spend the money to see it in the theater. I told my fiance I would wait for your review before deciding; and now I can go! Yay!

    Glad you lived through the kayaking. I’m a bit dramatic when it comes to trying new things and I’ve always told my fiance I would probably tip over and die if I tried kayaking. Well, we went one time this summer and I lived. Whew!

  13. Kat

    Thank you to you and everyone else with horrific water-related stories (seriously, AN ALLIGATOR????) for reminding me why I’m living in a land-locked state.

    True story to make you feel better though:

    When I was about 10, we went to my grandparents’ house for Christmas. They had cable (we didn’t), so I took every minute I could to watch whatever was on. It was AWESOME. One of those times, Jaws was on. But just the part where the guy gets pulled off the boat and into the water and eaten. Then I turned it off and silently flipped out for a bit. Then forgot it.

    Fast forward about a month, and my mom decides that my genetically broad shoulders mean that I’m going to make an awesome swimmer. So she puts me on a team back home that practices at a pool that has a VERY deep end for learning to dive and whatnot. In the middle of the pool there’s a drop that goes from about 4 feet deep to about 30 feet deep in the space of about 6 feet.

    Needless to say, my 10 seconds of watching Jaws decided to resurface with toothy vengeance…every time I would cross over that drop. As soon as I got into the deep end (of a chlorinated, perfectly clear pool, mind you), I would lose my shit and start swimming like my life depended on it. (Seriously, pool sharks are a thing.) None of the grown ups caught on to this – they thought I just got super competitive halfway down the pool.

    So they put me on the “elite” team and threw me into a meet at some other pool that was only 4 feet deep the whole way across. Wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t flip out and ended up just derpa derping my way across. They thought I choked under pressure and couldn’t handle real meets. I can still see my mom’s disappointed face (and feel the resulting confusion) today. If she’d only known to have something/someone touch my feet at any point in the race, I would probably be an Olympian now.

  14. I think they made that movie with Lincoln. It’s called “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Or he could go for the even lesser known “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.” When a movie has “vs.” in the title, you know it’s a good one. My favorite is “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.”

    • Reese's Runner

      That is so true. Using “vs.” is always indicative of a high quality movie.

      • And although I know you have an intense fear of sharks (which I would as well if I lived anywhere near salt water), you should give “Mega Shark” a try, mostly because ’80s pop sensation Tiffany is one of the main characters.

  15. I saw “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” this weekend, and I think it has ruined “Lincoln” for me. There’s no way I’ll be able to picture him NOT fighting vampires Matrix style…

  16. You tell the best horror stories.
    My traumatic story was in high school, it’s a near-death experience. I was 14, freshman in high school, and was playing water polo (to impress a guy, obviously). At the end of practice, we have to put covers on the pool to try and keep the water warm. One of the covers got stuck and one of the seniors told me to go and unstick it. I had to swim UNDER the cover to the other side to unstick it. I didn’t think this would be an issue, until I started to run out of air and couldn’t breathe anymore, while I was still under the damn cover. When I went to lift the cover, it would NOT lift. Why??? because the universe–smart thing that it is–created something called SUCTION. So here I am, stuck underneath a pool cover, completely out of air, and I start to see my life flash before me–no joke, I pictured school officials finding my lifeless body the next day as they rolled out the covers and my poor parents. By some miracle, I ended up finding a crack in between covers, and I took the biggest breath of my life. I of course started hyperventilating, and seniors had to pull this freshman out of the water. To make matters a million times worse (you thought the story was over didn’t you?), I still hadn’t figured out how to properly put in a tampon at this point, because I grew up with a mom who thought tampons would make me lose my virginity. So instead of actually inserting a tampon, I kind of just aligned it parallel to my womanhood and hoped that my, uh, lips would hold it in there. This doesn’t work in water, because, DUH, it absorbs water. So as they’re pulling me out of the water, my freakin tampon is bulging in my bathing suit.
    I think I should win the award for way most traumatic story. The end.

    • Reese's Runner

      You win. Holy shit. I just died a little for you. Wow. I’d rather face a shark than that.

    • Wow. I would have switched schools. Seriously…. You win a life’s worth of stories. Yikes.

      • Tess

        Oh my. Yes. You definitely win. So so sorry. :( I hope you have gotten some therapy for that one. I might need some therapy for that one.

    • Justin

      Tooo bad they didn’t have google back then…you could of just googled how to put a tampon in…saved yourself some embarrassment. But as a guy all I can think about is one thing, and it’s far too inappropriate for this blog. Cely will beat me. Either way. Sorry about your epic fail. At least you landed yourself a man.

  17. Marcy

    I think I need to adopt you as a sibling so my dad has someone to talk history to. He tried to engage me in convo about some historical book he was reading. I am not a history nerd. He is. I can now tell you what your future will look like. He just retired and seems to spend most of his time reading historical books and going to art shows and things like that. This could be your future.

    • Reese's Runner

      Does your dad need a non-romantic life companion? Because his life sounds PERFECT.

      • Marcy

        “non-romantic life companion”….hilarious. You can be adopted into the family as my sibling. This way the non-romantic element is clear and you can still talk about history and things like that.

  18. Minh

    Your ex-boyfriend could have carry you to the other side on the bow of his boat. But then again, he shouldn’t let you go out in a dead trap of a kayak in the first place if he was properly train.

  19. My husband tipped his kayak in the murkiest part of the lake and it started to do that Titanic thing. He had to swim through the grossest, blackest water and weeds and frog eggs to get to shore. When he finally made it he realized he lost his wedding ring. I couldn’t even be mad because he smelled like swamp the rest of the day. No sharks lived in the lake, thankfully!

  20. I loved Lincoln, and because I am an American idiot who is NOT used to a movie with 100% speeches and no action (omg, the dialogue was so amazing), I have to go back and watch it again to hear all the things I didn’t catch. I tend to get stuck in a scene, still thinking about it while the movie has moved on without me. So I absorbed maybe 68% of the dialogue.

    Can we talk about Tommy Lee Jones? I need to find a book about that representative.

    • Reese's Runner

      Have you read Team of Rivals? It’s not about Thaddeus Stevens, but it’s a really incredible read about Lincoln and his incredible mastery of politics. I experienced the same phenomenon, I spent so much time thinking and piecing things together that I missed a lot. I definitely need the DVD so I can pause and let the wheels (very slowly) turn in my head.

  21. oh, if Lincoln could have only been fighting vampires then that movie would be great. I totally get that. WTH?

    • Justin

      Lincoln would of been better if he didn’t get shot and he beat the crap out of booth. Also did you know that Lincoln shared a bed with a man for many years prior to his presidency. I have a slew of fun facts about Lincoln.

  22. Jason

    Hmm, I don’t think I’ve really had much for trauma. I did just finish eating a salad with a clear plastic fork and right near the start of eating it the tip of one of the tines broke off into the salad. It was a little worrisome when it was getting near the end of the salad and I still hadn’t found it. I did finally bite into it though, so that I could confirm that I didn’t end up eating part of the fork.

  23. casey

    Saw Lincoln last weekend…GREAT MOVIE!
    You know that very dramatic part of the movie where they are counting the votes for the 13th amendment?
    Welp, a guy in the row in front of me actually turned to the person he was with and whispered “omg, do you think they will pass it??”
    WTF?!?!?! Guess he missed that day in 8th grade american history.

  24. Erin

    I got stuck under an inflatable inner tube in a wave pool at Disney World when I was 8. Haven’t returned since.

  25. andrea

    I fell asleep while watching Lincoln.

  26. You are hilarious. Must read your blog more often.

  27. Erika

    My most traumatic moment was running out of Shiner Holiday Cheer because I only bought one 6-pack of it.

    • Reese's Runner

      Well that is traumatic. I grabbed the last case it yesterday at my grocery store. That could have been a bad situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>