For those of you reading this who live outside of the Chicagoland area, you may not believe it but there is a pretty big boating scene in the Windy City. Although the boating season in Chicago is only a few short months a year, every ray of sunshine is capitalized on!
I’m fortunate enough to have a few friends who have boats. Some of my most fun summer days have been spent on a boat on Lake Michigan. One of the biggest boating days of the year is in late July, called the Chicago Scene Party. If you have a boat, you are expected to be out in the ‘playpen” tied up and partying your ass off.
My first introduction to the party was several years ago. It was cold, it was rainy … it was awesome! The Jello shots were flowing, and I did my first beer bong out of a noodle. Success!
The water wasn’t exactly warm, but it didn’t stop people from jumping in to splish and splash in the water, cutting glass most likely.
To set the scene (pun intended), there are LOTS of boats on the water. (I’m horrible at guessing how many jelly beans are in the jar – I’d say there are like 1,000 boats but then again, I’m a moron.) You may have up to 100 boats tied up in a row with a waterway, and then have another row across it and so on and so on.
As I proceeded to down beer after beer, mixed with the occasional shot, my inhibitions slowly but surely slipped away. I tore off my coverup and decided to cannon ball off the FRONT of the boat. As I was frolicking happily in the Arctic-like waters, I suddenly realized I had a very big problem: There was no accessible ladder to get back into the boat.
Now, there was no way I could slip in between boats, as I would likely face sudden death by being pulverized into oblivion via boat. There was a little two-step ladder all the way at the top of the boat. But there was no way in hell I was going to be able to lift myself out of the water using ONLY my arm “strength” to get me out.
“I’m just going to swim around!” I yelled to my friends. “Leigh, that will take all day!” they called back to me, laughing. Of course, we were smack dab in the middle of the line of tied-up boats. I calculated that, yes, it likely would take me all day to doggy paddle around to the back of the boat.
And I’d also probably drown.
WTF! There was a rather strong, well-built guy on our boat who offered to help me in. He literally had to pull me up out of the water like a friggin’ dead seal he was looking to skin. We were strangers up until that day. I was mortified.
I decided my swimming days were over, and for the rest of the day entertained myself with a few more noodle bongs and shots.
Moral of the Story:
If you have the arm strength of an armless veteran, don’t jump off the front of a boat that has no ladder to make it impossible to get back in. Then cause another partygoer to dislocate his shoulder to pull your overweight jiggly ass back on the vessel.
The kicker was my friend had even warned us to get into the water via the back of the boat only. So what do I do? Make a flying cannon ball leap off the front of the boat.
I never learn.