Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bad Samaritan

A long time ago, I went canoeing in the Fall. It was at a public park in the country where they were hosting a Native American Fall Festival on that day. The weather was overcast with a lot of wind, I thought twice about renting a canoe.

As I was shoving off, there was a family of three adults who were up at the rental shack getting ready to take a canoe out. They were surrounded by two coolers and plastic bags loaded with snacks. I pulled away and paddled to the middle of the giant man-made lake. I wasn't out all that long when the wind picked up. And the sky got really dark. I heard two things: the sound of drums from the Indian Festival, and the faint sounds of people yelling "HELP!" Very surreal. By now there were pretty significant waves on the lake and my canoe was getting blown in the opposite direction of my rowing. Crazy. Over the waves, I spotted the snack family - taking on water and screaming for help. They were waving to me for help...so I stabbed at the water with my oar ....and nothing. The wind took me further away. I always assumed that I must have looked like I was deliberately paddling in the opposite direction, with my head turned around facing them. I had my cell phone (in a sealed plastic sandwich bag in the event I had a boating accident and fell in [I plan ahead]). I thought of calling the rental place...no signal on my phone. By now the family was still seated in the canoe, but it was completely below the water line. Canoes have ballast points at each end to prevent them from sinking completely, so it just sort of hovered there like a sub about to surface...with three wet people looking angry and miserable. And snacks floating EVERYWHERE on the surface. The wind died down and the guys working the rental shack saw the commotion and were already on their way out in a canoe to help. Which ended up being a tow back to the shore where they capsized and were dumped into shallow water. Sans coolers and snacks.

I made the HUGE mistake of sharing that story with my coworkers. The next day I came in to the office and found on my chair a paper Indian headpiece, with a singular paper feather (constructed with a hanging file folder). Written on the band of the headpiece - "Do Not Call To Me. I Will Not Help You."


7 comments:

HalloweeNut said...

Judging by the stuff you've written, your co-workers sound a little mean-spirited!

LJ said...

Uhhh, wow. I hope that's not a true story, and not because I think you were wrong. There's not much you could do given the wind, etc. It's not like you could have saved all these people's snacks, or even 3 people!....I disagree with your co-workers.....

Rot said...

Totally true story.
And to be fair. I get what I deserve from my coworkers.
They were all pretty nice and innocent when I first got that job.

I dish it out ....a LOT.

crudedoodle.com said...

This is hilarious. I love these stories.

Sara said...

Check YOU out: "ballast points". lol, never knew that.

Also, your co-workers always sound pretty freaking hilarious to me. I love your stories about them! It's like The Office except....not. I like it.

The Captain said...

Take it from someone who is on the water 5 days a week, wind and boats don't mix well. You shouldn't feel bad, its not like they drowned or you stole their snacks but left them behind. You tried to help them, the boat rental guys should have not let them go out overloaded in the first place. 3 people and a bunch of crap in one canoe is a little much.

I would have worn the Indian headpiece around the office all day asking them if they wanted to go canoeing with me, separate canoes of course.

Anonymous said...

They tried to put too much in a canoe. In bad weather!
I am glad they were ok, but that is what life vests and swimming lessons are for. Geesh!