Friday, May 1, 2015

One-Eyed Jack and the Kayak

Cloudy. Cold. Seventy percent chance of rain.

"Great day for kayaking," he said. "You'll fall in and freeze to death."

This from the Voice of Reason, better known as my husband. He was concerned about me, the water temperature being 49 degrees and all.

But I make it a point not to listen to the Voice of Reason.

"Nah," I said. "It's time."

He shrugged and helped me load the gear into the truck.  

You might remember the kayak, a.k.a. My Damn Boat. Made of recycled two-liter bottles, purchased online from a big-box store, it is the only vessel the VOR would agree to, and so I bought it my damn self. It's small and inexpensive and shockingly, aggressively yellow. But it floats. Like a good two-liter bottle should.

I'd been waiting weeks -- WEEKS, I tell you -- to use it. Nothing was going to stop me, up to and including hypothermia, so I chose to sail for the first time at a friend's pond, figuring that if I fell in, it would be easier to swim to shore in a smaller body of water, before I drowned or froze to death.

Positive thinking: I gots it in spades.

Arriving at my friend's place, I pulled the kayak from the truck, then paused to glance across the pond. It looked choppy. It looked muddy. Most of all, it looked cold.

Great day for kayaking, he said. You'll fall in and freeze to death.

I pushed the boat into the water.

Hopping in, I paddled to the center with ease. I'd only kayaked a handful of times, but it was pretty much like riding a bike, and I felt happy to be out of the house, happy to be out of my cubicle, and most of all, happy to be alone.

Except, as I soon figured out, I wasn't. Alone, that is.

Because I felt eyes on me. Dozens of pairs of eyes. And I heard something.

"Peep-peep!" they said. "Peep!"

I headed to the far shore, drawing as close to the noise as I could.  There in the marshy weeds, I saw them, and they saw me.

"Peep-peep!" they said. "Peep!"

Frogs. Frogs for days, frogs galore, peeping away in pairs. And oh, were they busy, dozens upon dozens of them, "upon" as in on top of each other, "upon" as in cheerfully mating and supplying the better part of Ohio's frog needs for the next year.

I'd floated into the world's largest frog orgy.

They didn't seem to mind, though. Usually frogs will dive right underwater upon seeing a human, however these guys and gals weren't the least bit worried about me, engaged, um, as they were.

I made my way around the shores, noting the amorous couples and naming them according to their appearance. Here were Mike and Molly, a couple of middle-aged fatties going at it on the north shore. On the west side, you had a lithe young Brittany and Kevin swimming in angry circles, their arguments turning into splashy make-up sex. Things were really swinging in the weeds of the south shore with tons of randy couples: Angelina and Brad, Will and Jada, Miranda and Blake . . . and many more, all of them getting it on in close proximity, everybody having a grand old time.

Except for One-Eyed Jack.

As his name suggests, he was a frog of one eye. There was a bump where the other eye should have been, but the eyeball itself was curiously absent, not plucked out so much as just not there -- a birth defect.

And, like so many of his one-eyed brethren in the animal kingdom, Jack wasn't having any luck in the love department. He squatted in a little cove, all by himself. Bereft. Forlorn.

Alone.

"Peep-peep!" he cried. "Peep!"

Ah, but there was nothing I could do for him. So I kept going around, marveling at the ease of kayaking, and the fact that I'd made it into and around the water without getting even one foot wet.  As long as I kept my body in the vessel's middle and made no sudden moves, the boat remained stable and true.

Huh. Stay centered and still, and everything will be OK. What a concept.

Before long, the sun came out, tentatively at first, but soon hot enough to burn away the clouds. I circled the shore several more times, visiting Mike and Molly, Blake and Miranda, Angelina and Brad, etc., all of them in the same spots and busily engaged in frog-producing activities. I stayed out for two solid hours watching celebrity frog porn, and I am proud to report I neither fell in nor froze to death.

I had a great day, paddling My Damn Boat by my damn self. In fact, despite the weather forecast and the dire predictions from the Voice of Reason, it had turned into a fantastic day at the pond for all of us.

Except for One-Eyed Jack. You'd think Jada, Miranda, Angelina, Molly -- hell, even Mike -- would take pity on him. You'd think some frog somewhere would give him some froggy love.

I mean, really. Those fucking frogs.

But no. It was not to be. Poor, poor One-Eyed Jack.

"Peep-peep!" he cried. "Peep!"

That guy got nothin'.




19 comments:

  1. lololol! funny, and a good read, as always :)

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    1. Thanks, Gale. I worked hard on this one, almost didn't post it thinking it wasn't good enough. It's different from the stuff I usually do.

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  2. Replies
    1. I mean, really, Pearl. He got nothin'!

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  3. Am I the only one that feels soooooo sad for One Eyed Jack that I could cry? :'(

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    1. Nope. Not the only one at all. A bit misty here too.

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    2. I felt bad for him, too.
      I'm sure a One-Eyed Jill will come along.
      Maybe.
      Someday.

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  4. I feel one eyed all of a sudden:/

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  5. We have lots of one and even three eyed fish in the local river. Probably the frogs are the same. One eyed Jack should hop a plane west! And in California, male frogs grow female parts and mate with each other. It's the atripine in the water, they say. One eyed Jack might could use a long tall one of that.

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    1. Wow, that's fascinating and freaky all at the same time, Strayer! Now to Google atripine.
      Maybe he should hop that plane...

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  6. Poor frog. I once dated a guy with one functioning eye. He got nothing, except some good smooching action. Frogs: gotta kiss a lot of 'em.

    I love how you can create an amusing story out of something as disturbing as a frog orgy.

    Happy weekend, Dawn.

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    1. That is the dang truth. Lord knows I kissed my share. Didn't kiss One-Eyed Jack, though. He got nothin.

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  7. Maybe he just couldn't see where the girls were...
    I'm sure he has a great personality.

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    1. Ha! That's it, Lauren! He just couldn't see the girls. Mystery: solved.
      :)

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  8. Good story and its only too cold to get on the water when the water is frozen... and then there is ice sailing! Down here, I don't have to worry about paddling year around, but when I lived in Michigan I also paddled year around, taking a winter trip or two if the river was open--but I find that I like to paddle a canoe when it is really cold, the kayak is much to easy to slip getting in or out. As for the frogs, :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips, Sage! Guess I'll kayak until the water freezes solid, then.

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  9. Good for your. "Reason" is the booby prize. :)

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