Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ice, Ice Baby
Or more aptly titled:
Papa: The Man, The Myth, The CEO of ICE

I am sure this story will not come out half as funny as the reality of it was, but I am going to try to do it justice anyway.

About two years ago Tobey and I bought a canoe. I was so excited we finally had a canoe. Memories of my childhood flooded back and all the times we had out fishing on that old canoe. I was looking forward to my children sharing in the same experiences. We had looked around at the only store we could find that sold canoes in our area and we settled in on this one from Mad River Canoes:

Now don't let us fool you, we are not novices. We sat in the canoe at the store to get a feel for it and everything. The salesperson even encouraged us to do so. That canoe sitting on the showroom floor was marvelous, it was just about perfect. We all took turns sitting in it. We pretended to paddle. We pretended to fish. Heaven I tell ya, she was just heaven. There was just one tiny, little thing we didn't contemplate. Just a little teeny-weenie thing really. The sales room floor was not made of water. Ergo, the ride we received from the canoe on the test drive of the salesroom floor was nothing like the ride we would get in the wilds of nature, in yanno like water.

Who knew? Certainly not us.

We make the deal and purchase the canoe. But canoes are a lot like a new outfit. You can't just get the canoe or say a new dress without accessories. You have to get paddles or shoes. You have to get special seats or earrings. You have to get straps to tie the thing to the Shrek mobile. And finally you have to get these styrofoamy blocks to hold the canoe off of the top of the van. Cha-ching. Cha-Ching. Cha-Ching. Oh and don't forget we decided to do a little plastic surgery on Shrek and got a roof rack installed solely to hold the canoe up on.

After we spent $4 million dollars, we took the Titanic with us on a few camping trips. The first trip was to Parramore's Campground where the river was running so swift it was almost impossible to even launch the thing. It didn't help that some old guy camper insisted on helping try to launch the canoe, sideways he insisted. She went in the water that one time during a 4 day camp out and never touched water again that whole extended weekend. Everyone was too scared to get in her because she was the most unstable thing on the planet. Try and picture Sarah Palin as a canoe and you will get the picture. Pretty yes, usable no and stable: not on your life!

Our next trip with the Titanic canoe was when we went camping with Papa at Collier State Park, a.k.a. mosquito alley. This camp out was such a nightmare that Papa and his posse bugged out early. Bugged. Get it? Bugged. I crack myself up sometimes. Anywho - You could see the mosquito's coming at you in massive, gray, buzzing sheets of fleshing stinging owiness. We ran out of bug spray twice. It was also just a tad warm. Warm and buggy do not make for a happy Mrs. Oh camping. Top that was Papa bugging out, the weekend was a complete wash out. We offered for Papa to stay and ride home with us, but no, Papa couldn't get out of Collier fast enough.

During his short stay at Collier, we headed from our site to Papa's and saw this:

Yes ladies and gentlemen, that is an a/c unit on top of a Styrofoam cooler blowing into the tent window. I made Tobey pretend like I was taking picture of him when all I really wanted was a picture of that window shaker on the cooler. Redneck ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. That tent had more air in it than a balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

But I have digressed. Back to Papa and the Titanic er canoe.

We took a day trip with Papa to Weedon Island.

Tobey and Barbie

We hiked the trails while Tobey and Barbie took the canoe out for a spin. At the end of the day and after much begging from Papa, we let him take Chewie and Barbie out in the canoe. I knew there would be trouble from the get-go.

Chewie, Barbie and Papa aboard the "Ship of Dreams"

Papa and the kids loaded the canoe up and we shoved them off. They began to paddle along and head under the pier. Where they hit the pilings, several times. Apparently none of them could steer to save their lives. Couple that with an unstable canoe and you got a recipe for disaster. Titanic level disaster.

They finally cleared the pier and head off into the mangroves. A short while later we see them coming. In the boat lane. Yanno, the lane where the big, yacht-type, gas powered boats travel. I was waiting for them to crash into one of the luxury liners. Luckily they averted any such accident but just barely. Apparently God had a little something else planned for them. While in the boat lane some nice passengers on one boat that rode past them, asked if they needed a tow though, wasn't that nice?

So they paddled down stream again and we lost site of them in the mangroves. Tobey and I were enjoying ourselves on the dock when his cell phone rings.

It's Barbie.

Barbie who is in the canoe.

Barbie is scared the canoe is going to flip over.

Tobey advised her to get off the phone and sit still. Good advice. Glad she had a phone to call us on and get said advice. Papa left his phone with me, his camera though...well, he'll have to complain tell you about that.

A few minutes after Barbie calls, we see the tip of a canoe appearing from a grove of mans. Then quite suddenly the canoe prairie-dogged back into the grove and out of sight. This happened a few times and Tobey says, "Here they come". After watching the canoe dog back and forth it ventured out enough for us to see that no one was in the front of the thing. Tobey then yells, "That's our canoe!" I replied with an ever observant, "That can't be our canoe, no one is in it". Tobey says, "They flipped the canoe" and runs from the pier to the launching area. I don't know what he thought he could do at this point. As for me, I decided to take pictures.

The final prairie dog maneuver out of the mangroves.

Yep, Papa, Chewie and Barbie managed to flip the canoe. Chewie and Barbie's cell phones were ruined as was Papa's not-so-super-model camera. In the millions of times I have been in a canoe I have never had one flip on me. Ever. Papa must have some mad canoe skills or maybe Barbie's 13 car accidents jinxed them. Who knows?

Papa tells the tale of hoisting Barbie up by the waist of her shorts to get her back in the canoe. Once we saw them in the canoe we knew Papa was giving them the what-for. Neither Chewie or Barbie were moving at all and Papa was doing all the paddling.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. Barbie did sustain a few cuts on the bottom of her feet and we heard her complain about that just as long as Papa complained about losing his camera. Which was a very long time. Heck, I still hear him moan about it from time to time even today.

Needless to say, we hate that canoe and it will one day be on Craigslist for some poor soul to purchase. I'll even set it on the ground for them to try out, so they can see how stable it is. Maybe they will be stupid enough to faux paddle like we did. In the meanwhile, be sure to copy this logo for use on your blogs, facey spacey's or stationary. It is the logo for Papa's club ICE where he is President and CEO.



Cute....But i think mosquito alley was after....because i think you bought me the gazebo to replace the camera.....

Oh Mrs. Oh
Tell me it ain't so.
Tell me that ain't Papa (and who?!)using that cold air to go.

Cuz if it's true,
then I'm so blue,
his big-talkin' self
is all hullabaloo.

No - their site was further down the road. The rednecks were actually a bunch of 20-somethings that cooked Chinese food at their campsite. This was in the glory days of the ugly tent and using an axe as a spatula.

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