Abandon Ship

Abandon Ship! It's over, we're done. It's going down and I'll be damned if my crew is going down with it!

Women and children first, don't take anything with you that you don't need. Drop the gun and take the canolis! What, we have no women on board? Well, that's no surprise as Hossmom hates camping and I doubt any wife would want to come with her husband on the first camping trip taken with children younger than 5. But we mustn't think about that now. This ship is going down fast and we must do our part gentlemen! All hands on deck. Get me four guys playing some stringed instruments!

Arrogance. That is where we went wrong. It's where it always goes wrong. And sure, maybe I was drinking a little bit on duty. Just enough to keep the cold artic chill at bay but not enough to impede my judgement. Famous last words. But I was smart enough to clean up the campsite the night before just incase it rained. I thought to myself that if it does, then our stuff won't get wet. We'll put it in the car.

And the tent? Well, I thought the tent would be fine. I knew it leaked some but I didn't think it was all that bad. After all, I put it up the month before in the backyard and it rained. When I checked the day after I saw some water on the inside, but nothing to make me nervous. And now. Now we are paying for it. The squall has come in boys. A tough Nor'easter and it's battered us like Drago fighting Apollo Creed, god rest his soul.

I lashed down the hatches before calling it a night. I tied all the windows shut and put all electronics up somewhere that if it did flood, they would stay dry. But then the morning came. The morning that I wasn't prepared for. How was I supposed to know that the flaps on the windows were merely cosmetic?? Damn't Jim, I'm a dad not a tent engineer!

That's how it started and when it started I thought we could still come out alright. 6:30 am I heard the storm roll in. A vicious beast bringing the Devil's kiss to our first camping trip, the kids and I. The wind picked up like it was warning me. Pack your shit up now and go home. This will not be pleasant. I didn't listen. My arrogance.

The rains came next and they came hard. Big fat drops ripped on the sides of the tent. The top sounded like a drum as the storm raged. I noticed that water was getting in through the mesh covering the windows. I acted quickly but it wouldn't have mattered if I was slow or fast. Our fate had already been decided, I just hadn't realized it.

I began moving things away from the windows. The kids woke up and looked into my cold steel eyes. We would make it through this. We would.

I didn't notice that the flap on the front door was actually acting like a gigantic funnel, pumping all the caught rainwater in through the tiny opening at the middle. It's where the zippers meet and there isn't much you can do about it except pray. But sometimes prayer doesn't work. Sometimes you have just got to take your medicine. Hard, fast and wet.

When I did notice this I quickly abandoned the windows and tried to fix the front. I tried to stop the flow of water but alas, the bulkhead was breached and the water came on. I had hope until that moment. I had hope that the first camping trip with the kids would go off without a hitch. I would be the best and most perfect dad in the world. That hope died at that moment.

I felt a drip on my head. Then another. Soon it felt like it was raining in the tent. I looked up at the ceiling and realized that now rainwater was coming in through the seems. The tent was nothing more than a gigantic rain collector at this point and it funneled it all to one side. All was lost. The USS Over Confidence was going down. So I gave the order. The last order I could give. Abandon ship.

I ripped open the front flap of the tent and stood tall and fast in the face of the storm. The storm cussed me and I cussed it right back. Damn you Mother Nature, you will not best us. We will survive! I looked down at my feet and saw a small river going over my flipflops. This was my greatest mistake. I had put the tent on level ground. However, this level ground just happened to be at the bottom of a small hill. We were in the way of the natural runoff. Touche Mother Nature, Touche.

As the storm swirled around me and the wind swept through my abundent chest hair, I pointed my crew to safety. Some grabbed my hand and pulled.

No. I would not be joining them. Some pleaded and begged. Some bribed me with the thought of a nice hot breakfast at Denny's.

I say again, no.

I will stay. I will stand stoically at the helm of this great vessel and accept whatever fate the gods decide to bring me. I will meet Posidien with my feet firmly planted on my ship, my mind clear and my heart pure.

And then later, I will go have a poptart that I put in the car the day before.

1 comment:

  1. The First Mate applauds his Captain.
    And while there was some crying and goings on while the ship sank, the salvage operation later that day brought was a huge success after the ship was brought back up with ping-pong balls.