Tubing: Up The Down-side!
I went ‘tubing’ the other day. For those who are not of the outdoor persuasion, let me tell you just what that is, in case someone tries to talk you into making the same mistake I did. Tubing is sort of like going canoeing…without the canoe! It’s what you’re doing when you’re floating leisurely down a peaceful scenic river while sitting in an inner tube. What could be more idyllic, more relaxing, more…miserable!
Let me say from the beginning that I personally have nothing against boats or swimming pools myself. Either would have been preferred to floating down a creek in nothing more than an inner tube. Like a lot of other people who made bad choices, I had come under the influence of the misguided masses.
“It will be fun,” they said.
And to think that I believed them! These were the same people who had pretended all those years to be my friends. It was just another example of mass hysteria overriding individual common sense.
“I don’t think so,” I protested while groping for an excuse. Next thing I knew, we were all beginning our perilous expedition. So much for my resolute determination.
At least the scenery was nice, other than the fact that there were a lot of stumps and logs in the creek; some visible, others lurking beneath the surface. All of which made it somewhat hazardous, especially considering the mode of transport. When you’re ‘tubing’ you’re basically floating along down the creek sitting in an inner tube, which has no bottom, thereby leaving your bottom exposed! That’s not a good combination in view of all those submerged logs and stumps hidden underwater. So your just floating along blissfully unaware with your bottom poking out. That’s sort of the equivalent of searching for a lost thumbtack…barefoot! Along the way I met a log and we became ‘intimately acquainted’ without being properly introduced! I suppose it was nature’s equivalent of a visit to near-sighted proctologist.
Aside from absorbing massive doses of ultraviolet radiation which inflicted painful third degree burns and losing all feeling in my numbed posterior, it was an enjoyable experience. Did I mention the frantic bouts with mobs of pesky insects? Once, I just laid there helplessly drifting along, unable to move, while two mosquitoes dueled over my soon-to-be corpse. The whole ordeal made me realize that the concept of ‘roughing it in the great outdoors’ is vastly overrated. If you enjoy being wet, cold, tired, dirty, and itching in places you can’t even scratch; then the outdoors is the place for you; you and all the other gluttons for punishment. I’ve arrived at the conclusion that it’s all a contest to see who can endure the most discomfort while pretending to be having the time of their life. If you admit that you’d rather go home than prolong your agony, you lose. I would have much preferred to view the scenic beauty from the comfort of my recliner while sitting in front of the television.
What can I say? Being miserable has never been my idea of having fun.
The one thing about tubing is that it gives you lots of time to think, about important things like…how much longer do we have to endure before we get through? Or, how many days will I be in intensive care before I recover from this nasty sunburn? Before it was over, I may have momentarily lost touch with reality. I think I was even hallucinating about…fish. And why not? Wasn’t I intruding in their habitat? I could just imagine them swimming around beneath us as the fish go about their usual business.
As I grappled to retain my diminishing sanity, I found myself wondering what the fish thought whenever a group of us ‘tubers’ passed by overhead. You know? From their perspective.
“Do you wonder if fish talk?” I blurted out loud to no one in particular. “I wonder what they would ‘talk’ about?”
“He’s babbling again,” I heard one of my friends whisper to the other.
“Delirious,” agreed another while twirling her finger about her head in little circles!
That’s when I thought I heard the fish talking!
Two fish swimming along in the creek, one suddenly exclaims to the other, “Ugghh!”
“What? What is it,” said the other?
“Don’t look up! There goes another ‘butt’ floating overhead!”
“Ugghh,” the other fish protested! “Now that’s a disgusting sight! I hate it when those ‘tubers’ go by.”
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