So there I was, just minding my own business.
Angie and Kristin had decided that they wanted to go parasailing and asked if I wanted to tag along. After I carefully considered the fact that I am terrified of heights, can’t swim and am allergic to sharks, I declined. Then Angie, (the cute little thing) said, “Well you can at least go watch”. So I thought about it and “watching” did seem a safer alternative to “doing” so I agreed.
As it turns out, you can pay a smaller fee and just ride on the boat while the others parasail. I like boats and decided that a peaceful boat ride in the Atlantic while watching my loved ones dangle from a kite 200 ft in the air might be kinda cool.
We strapped on our life vests and waited in the designated area. Now the boats don’t come in and get you because that would be WAY too easy. You have to climb aboard this big inflatable thingy with handles on it. (Those become important very soon). After you are aboard the inflatable, you are told that your group will be gently towed by a Jet Ski out to the awaiting boat for the rest of your journey.
I stupidly assumed that the dude driving said Jet Ski, had the same understanding of the word “gently” as did I. As it turns out, not so much.
He climbed on his “Water Rocket of Doom”, yelled “Ye-Haw!” and floored it out into the open sea.
Now I’m still siting still watching him disappear over the pounding waves blissfully unaware that the rope that attached his Jet Ski to the pool toy I was straddling was rapidly uncoiling.
HOLY MOTHER OF SPONGE BOB!! I’m FLYING! AND NOT ON PURPOSE!!
When the slack came out of that rope, my ears touched the back of my feet and I was being drug through the ocean like a broken fishing lure on the bottom of the ocean at around 267 miles per hour. When I opened my mouth to protest, I was immediately slapped upside the face with a refreshing mountain of sea water.
Then it got bad.
We would crash through a wave and I would face plant directly into the back of Kristin only to be immediately hurled backwards and upwards once more.
To the casual observer, I must have looked like a drunken overweight cowboy trying to ride a 2,000-pound epileptic bull while performing my version of the “wobble” dance.
We finally began to slow down a little so I actually managed to put my shorts back on and regain my seat. Off in the distance I clearly heard another “YE-HAW” so this time I grabbed 2 of those handles and held on for dear life.
This didn’t help A-TALL
Now I had BOTH hands on the raft and NEITHER on my shorts and I was flying midair behind the thing like one of those banners they pull behind the planes. I could faintly hear both Angie and Kristin cheerfully yelling “Yippee!” during my flight.
You get the picture.
After what seemed like an eternity, we finally reached the boat and stopped.
I did my best Jesus impression, and sprinted across the top of the water and pole-vaulted directly into the arms of the Captain. He finally made me let go and told us to go sit in the front of the boat.
I’m not paying any attention to Kristin or Angie while they are getting suited up for the parasail. At this point I have settled into the seat and am busy looking back towards the beach to see if any of my body parts are still there. I’m looking forward to watching Kristin and Angie parasail while I rest comfortably on the boat while waiting for my heart rate to come back down to normal levels.
At this point, one of the crew calls me over and asks me to step into this little racing harness thingy and proceeds to latch it around my waist. I’ve never been in the ocean on a boat so I must say I was impressed by the complexity of the safety equipment they make you wear just to ride on the boat. I mean it’s not like I’m parasailing or anything. I’m just there as an observer. I’m just there to watch and enjoy the boat ride.
Suddenly, I made an alarming observation. This little seat belt thingy he just strapped me into looked curiously like the ones that Angie and Kristin were wearing. Then another strange thing occurred to me. My seat belt thingy was also attached to the parasail just like Angie and Kristin’s.
Clearly a mistake had been made.
When I turned around to tell the dude that I wasn’t parasailing and was just there to watch, he was gone! I looked left, not there. I looked right, not there. That’s odd. He was just right here. Oh, there he is.
200 FREAKIN FEET BELOW ME!
I was parasailing!
Just as I realized what had happened, I heard my daughter let loose with a blood curdling scream that only teenage girls are capable of making.
As I turned to her to see what was wrong, I noticed that her mouth was closed and she was staring amusedly at me. Turns out it wasn’t her voice I heard. It was mine!
Anyway, I actually survived the parasail and as they lowered us back to the deck of the boat, I was amazed! That was actually pretty cool! I had accidentally conquered a fear and didn’t die! I held my head up like a brand new man. There was nothing I couldn’t do. For this one moment in time, I was the king of the world!
My moment of joy came to a crashing halt when I realized that Bubba and his Jet Ski of Doom was parked off the port bow waiting to take us back to land.