Thursday, February 25, 2010

A swim in The Duck Pond

Today will go down in history as perhaps the most productive day and most disgusting day of my life.

Sunday will be the last day of a two-week workfest from my parents' house in Stuart, FL, which happens to be my hometown.

Now, this trip wasn't all about working, so I obviously had some things I wanted to do with my family while I was here.

  • Hang out with my sister as much as possible - Check
  • Haggle at the flea market - Check
  • Get my certificate of incorporation - Check
  • Watch the cartoon versions of the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Return of the King. Check
  • Hang out with my dad. We went to see an old friend at a comedy show. And went to the gym together most days. Check
  • Get new shoes. Check
  • Talk with my mom about nothing. Check
  • Go to Santa Fe Grill (formerly Dos Amigos). Check
  • Go to Moe's Southwestern Grill at least five times. Check
  • Drink way too many Monsters. Check
  • Go shopping with my mom. Check
  • Check out a new church. Check
  • Buy a tennis racket. Check
  • Teach my dad how to sell on eBay.
  • Go paddle boarding.
  • Race remote control boats with my sister.
A careful (and bored, by now) reader will notice that the last three remain unchecked. I'm going to show my dad how to sell on eBay tonight or tomorrow, but, I got the other two checked off today and checked something off my life list in the process.

After my sister got back from lunch with my mom, I got us all together with our remote control boats and we headed to "The Duck Pond." The Duck Pond is simply that. A pond for ducks. It's oval-shaped and about two hundred yards long and one hundred yards wide. Oh, it's also about as clean as a prolapsed bowel. I'm sorry, but it's true. I mean, it's filled with ducks.

If you live in North River Shores, like my parents do, and I did for 16 years, The Duck Pond is legendary. And is the chosen site of our boat "races," which are more like collisionaloza, but anyway....

The last time I was home was for Christmas, and my parents gave us the boats as presents. We promptly went to The Duck Pond to race them, and I got mine stuck in the center of a 150-foot long drainage pipe. We recovered it after about two hours, in which my dad wadded into the pond with a pole cobbled together from tree clippers, electrical tape, a paddle, a pool net and the help of our neighbor.

Lesson learned, this time, we'd keep the boats away from the drainage pipes.

So we kept our boats near the middle of the pond. I was using my sister's because it was acting up and sputtering out sometimes.

Like the good sibling she is, she kept my boat near the center of the pond where there is a manmade platform that is attached to the bottom of the pond. This platform is affectionately known as "Turtle Island."

Screw Turtle Island, I says.

Like the kite eating tree that haunts Charlie Brown, Turtle Island snagged my boat. At the same time, my sister's boat was on its last legs, but I tried to knock it off Turtle Island anyway.

Yes...I got her's stuck right next to mind.

On to pinecones.

I threw pinecones at the island until I ran out.

My mom had another idea: Unopened water bottles.

I must take a break at this juncture to ask the PITA folks to keep their leaf underwear on. We fully planned on recovering the water bottles -- all of them. And we did.

But it took about 40 bottles. Yup 40. My arm is still sore.

I actually knocked my sister's off pretty easily and I managed to coax it back to shore before it died. It would not be part of the rescue mission.

Back to water bottles. After many close calls, I literally hit the dang boat dead on. It could not have been a better throw.

So it came loose? Nope.

The dang top flew off and into the water, but the actual boat didn't budge.

That's great, you say? But what does that have to do with paddling boarding, you ask?

Right, so seeing a flotilla of Zephyrhills water bottles did nothing, my sister thought about the paddle boards.

Great. So back to the house we go to get the paddle board.

This was the perfect idea. I wanted to try one of them out, the house was close and my dad says you never fall off even in the ocean. (Cue the foreshadowing music)

Great. I could safely get the boat, the top and all the water boards from the comfort of a perfectly stable board and not have to worry about falling into raw sewage. (Foreshadowing music grows louder)  

I decide to kneel on the paddle board rather than stand, and quickly make my way out to Turtle Island.

I grab the boat, and put it on the paddle board. I get the top and put it back on the boat. Now I'm putting the 40 water bottles on the paddle board. I get all but about five and toss them ashore to my mom.

My knees were hurting and kneeling was slow going, so I decided to stand. Much better. Paddling was so much easier when standi....oh s***.

Poop water. Meet Cody. Cody. Poop water.

I emerge and see the board is a good distance away, so I swim like a cyborg Jaws is after me. The water is freezing, but it's better than the smell.

Safely back on the paddle board, I get the rest of the bottles. Throw the paddle board in the van, and my mom rushes us home where I make myself throw up to vacate the fecal festival that entered my mouth and then chuck myself in a scorching hot shower.

Paddle boards? Check

What's the thing from my life list? Well, ever since I can remember, I always wanted to see someone actually swim in the duck pond.

Check. FML.

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