Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

All I can say is...wow!

Well it was an eventful weekend to say the least.

Let’s see…I stepped up another level in my Mixed Martial Arts training; yeah, I passed my Green Belt test.

We broke out the wakeboard, but it was really windy at the lake this weekend so we spent more time eating waves than riding them. Man, the lake was choppy. It was still fun trying, though.

We pulled the boats in to shore so we might partake of some tasty morsels (you know…to refuel us so we might make even bigger asses of ourselves). When we returned to the boats, mine was full of water. As I mentioned it was really choppy and my boat sits really low in the water. No problem, I thought. I have a bilge pump. I turned it on and…nothing.

We managed to get the darned thing over to the boat landing and as we waited in line for our opportunity to use the landing (yeah, the lake was insanely crowded), we heard sirens and watched the drag crew scramble into gear. Someone went under and didn’t resurface.

The drag crew uses a very bizarre looking, but effective tool; a four foot by two foot oval with hooks lining the inner ring. You had better hope if they come for you with one of these that they catch an arm or leg, because…damn. The hook doesn’t care where it gets purchase, hand, foot, arm, leg, head, eye, neck…well, you get the picture.

I’m down by the dock, not thirty yards from where they’re dragging when I see the lead line go taught. He quickly signals the driver of the boat and they creep forward. One man steadies the opposite side of the boat and another prepares to help, the one pulling in the rope, to pull in the body.

There it is…a hand breaks the surface, followed by a head. I can see that his body is still yellow. The liver still lives, but it is shutting down. His face is slightly purple from lack of oxygen. He was under for somewhere between fourteen and eighteen minutes. Even as cool as the lake waters are, that’s too long. Still they perform CPR. They work on this guy for what seems like an eternity. His head is steadily growing a deeper shade of purple and the yellow is slowing succumbing to a pasty grey as he lays in the bottom of their boat. I can see he’s gone, but still they pound away at his chest.

At last, they gather around in deep discussion. They make a big show of hooking up a cardio monitor and they bag him, an EMT squeezing the bag at a steady pace to make the chest rise and fall. They carry him like this to the ambulance. The thing is, I realized they bagged him for the sake of the crowd. He was dead and even if he wasn’t his brain sure was.

The 27 year old man had tried to swim to the buoys in the choppy as sin lake (about a hundred or so yard) without a life vest. Police also suggest that alcohol and/or medications may have been involved. Now he is dead.

So…we shook it off, and went to work on my boat. Pump fixed we were ready to return to the good times. We engaged in the full gambit of water sports. I even broke out my Sea-Doo for this little camping trip. By the time the sun set, I was almost grateful to see it go. I crashed shortly after.

Now you would think that between the nasty looking hooks and the morbid scene of the day before Sunday would be wholly uneventful. You would be wrong. We just so happened to be bringing the boats in for lunch when we saw the drag crew hard at it…again. This time when they pulled in the body there was no doubt he was dead. I’m not sure what color he started out as but anyone who is smoke grey can’t be in the best of shape. He had been under water for hours before they found him. He was a 19-year-old kid from Mexico. He also attempted to cross the choppy waters in search of the coveted prime buoy perch. Now he is dead.

We actually called it an early day and returned to camp just a few hours after that. The sun was starting to set so, we built a nice fire. Let’s see camping and a camp fire…oh, yeah it was time for s’mores. Just as I catch a marshmallow on fire, I hear shouting and arguing from the camp next to us. I quickly finish the s’more and pass it off to one of the waiting children and try to sneak a peak at what’s going on. Suddenly, I hear my wife calling for in a panicked voice. I’m running through the campsite at full trot, by the time I get to the fight, several people were already restraining the drunken idiots.

Other than that, it was great weekend. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of spills and a lot of new material for my books. It was definitely a memorable Memorial Day weekend.

How did you spend the holiday weekend?


At 6:15 AM, Blogger lime said...

gads, that had to be awful to watch the hooks drag in a couple of bodies. and drunken idiots to top it off!

i am glad you got your boat pumped out and the rest of the time was great fun. sounds like a blast.

we had a graduation party on sat. a picnic on sun. and a smaller picnic on mon. good time.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Well, I'm glad you had a good weekend.

It wasn't a holiday here, though. Same old, same old.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Lime, it was an experience. As for the boat, I have a love hate relationship going on with it this year. :D

The picnics sound like fun.

Sandra, that blows. I forgot that you guys didn't get this holiday...

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Breazy said...

we spent part of our weekend camping as well . I am sorry to hear that not all of your holiday weekend was the berries ! Makes you feel sorry for those two young men but at the same time a person shouldn't try to swim in choppy water in a crowded lake . I hope you have a wonderful week !

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Bernita said...

Made it interesting, James.
Gardening here. Haven't dug up anything but weeds so far.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thanks, Breazy. You have a wonderful week yourself. :D

lol, Bernita. I've pulled two, count them two tomatoes from my garden so far, but there are a dozen or so that look like they're getting close.

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At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Jerry said...

Good grief. Do you know how to have a good time at the lake or what? Not one but two dead bodies?

I always found it interesting how the lakes are so crowded from Mem Day Weekend to Fourth of July. Then it's just deserted after that. That's when the water finally gets to be warm. I'm hoping to be in Oklahoma over the 4th of July.

At 5:40 AM, Blogger For The Trees said...

I had a wonderful weekend. The home health care aide was off for two days and I spent Sunday and Monday taking care of Sherry. Thankfully my buddy Jim came by several times and we drank iced tea on the front porch in between my having to go take care of her.

Quiet, no traffic, peaceful. I enjoyed myself in spite of the caregiving/caretaking duty.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Jerry, that's a fine time to be in Tulsa. Hopefully, you'll get to see the big fireworks display over the river.

Glad to hear you enjoyed the weekend, Forrest.

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