Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dive Right In

(Note: Sometimes I wear a more religious and serious hat. I know, I'm as surprised as you! Anyway, I've got a little post up at MMB regarding the similarities between Latter-day Saints and Orthodox Jews that you might be interested in. Pop over when you get a minute.)

As you know, I have occasionally marked a significant date with a major event uniquely my own. Like September 11, 2001, when I learned that terrorism wears a lot of masks, including that of DMV Supervisor.

The Fourth of July is no different. Yes, for most Americans it is the anniversary of that day when Colonial Patriots sent King George the Somethingth a big ol’ psychic finger in the form of a very fancily worded document known as The Declaration of Independence.

(Little known fact: Thomas Jefferson originally called it 'The Neener-Neener Britain Butt Manifesto', which after a great deal of congressional deliberation and emotional speech making on C-Span, was finally pronounced “Freaking Stupid”. Jefferson’s ink well and little nippy bottle were confiscated until he agreed to change the name, which explains why all paintings of him dated after 1776 show him holding a tankard of Diet Coke and giving John Adams a wedgie.)

But for me, July 4, 1985 was memorable for a far more personal reason. That was the day when Fate took a long look around the cosmic plane and decided to hand my husband a healthy dose of karmic justice.

Considering that it’s usually me lined up in the cosmos’ cross hairs, it is particularly gratifying that this moment of “that’s what you get” settled a score for me that had been building for a week.

We had been married for three months, and were on a river trip through the Grand Canyon. For five adventure-filled days, we made our way down the Colorado River. This was July in Arizona, which meant that there were two temperature choices: 120 degrees on the boat, or 50 degrees in the water. At one point we passed through an area of sheer black cliffs, known locally as Brainbaker Canyon. I’m pretty sure I’d have a Ph.D by now if I hadn’t fried my noodle that day.

Every evening, we would camp on shore. While the rafting company crew prepared dinner, the rest of us pitched our tents, washed our hair, and generally tidied up after a long hot day on the water.

Oh, and we would…kinda…go potty.

Now the latrine facilities and the rules governing them were both pretty straightforward: Accommodations were made for taking care of…um…Number Two. But Number One was handled in the river. You just sorta casually waltzed out into the current, like maybe you always chose to cool off in water so frigid even your teeth turned blue, and then, before your essential parts began snapping off and floating downstream, you…you know…went.

I cannot begin to describe the amount of concentration this took. First, you had to completely override the natural instinct to not do what you were about to do in front of other people. Goodness, this was every adolescent’s worst nightmare: You’re in a large group of your peers, all laughing and being extremely cool, and suddenly you discover that you’re marking the landscape. And they can all SEE you!

The self-talk involved in just going into the water in the first place was worthy of a Pulitzer.

Then, as you stood in water that just minutes before had been a fairly ambitious glacier, you had to…well…relax enough to get things moving. This required settling into a nearly Zen-like trance: “Be one with the river. Let the river flow around you. Let it flow through you. Let it flow [insert appropriate preposition] of you. Aaaahh. That’s right. Yeeaaah…”

It was tough, let me tell you.

Well, as a naïve newlywed nitwit, each time I ventured into the river to get a little closer to nature, I made the tactical error of telling my husband my intentions.

So once I was well into the water, he would start hollering from the shore, “HEY!! WHATCHA DOING OUT THERE?? NEED ANY HELP?? YOU CAN’T SWIM, YOU KNOW!! JUST BE CAREFUL, OK??”

Which of course alerted everyone else in the group as to my location and obvious activities.

Evil, evil husband.

He thought he was sooooo funny. He’d be hooting as I got back to the tent (mortified and threatening grave bodily injury) chortling over his clever joke, which to his way of thinking just never got old.

For five long, distracted days I put up with this nonsense. Out to the river. “Encouraged” by my oh-so-helpful husband. Back to shore, breathing out threatenings. Chortling and knee-slapping from funny man.

So one night, I decided to go incognito. I grabbed a bottle of shampoo and announced that I was off to the river to wash my hair. He was still wrestling the tent and only half listening as I headed into the water.

Mwa. Ha. Ha.

I rinsed out the shampoo, and began the Lamaze breathing that made the rest of my river activities possible. Just as things started ‘flowing’, I was startled by a sudden shout and a huge splash just inches in front of me. Down stream, as it were.

My husband had been trying to spook me by sneaking up on me and then diving in while I was distracted. Another favorite trick. Really, he should take his show on the road.

Funny thing was, he came up out of the water coughing and sputtering. While I stood there in stunned amazement, he pulled himself together and said, “Wow! I got a mouthful of water that time!”

Hoo-hoo! D’ja hear that??

Then, as if that weren’t poetic enough, he went on to observe, “Have you noticed there’s a warm patch right here? It’s cold everywhere else but warm in this little spot. Weird, huh?”

I was speechless. All I could do was fix him with a telepathic stare and feel the grin spread across my face as the realization of what had just happened slowly settled on him.

His eyes grew wide, he threw back his head and wailed, “NOOO!!! Tell me you weren’t…AAAUUGH!! cough cough ICK!! spit spit YUCK!! gag gag Why didn’t you SAY something?!”

Well, goodness, what was there left to say?

“Hey, baby, how about joining me downriver for a little karmic comeuppance? You’ll love it, the water’s fine.”

Yeah, it’s fine alright. Especially that warm spot…right…there.


Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

When justice is served it is sweet, indeed.

MommyJ said...

Oh well that is just hilarious!

I'm glad you shared. Every husband deserves to experience something as funny as that, and then have it shared on the internet. :)

Charlotte said...

Very funny story. With a tease for a husband, I can completely relate to the justice of it (I would say I can almost taste it, but that would be going too far).

InkMom said...

You gotta love it when karma works for you instead of against you.

I once went three days without relieving myself in any capacity -- at Wilderness Youth Conference when, as a tender 14-year-old, I just couldn't bring myself to relax enough to pee in the woods when I had no idea how many sneaky boys might be hiding in the woods witnessing my least graceful of poses.


A part of me longs for those pelvic floor muscles of steel. Now all I have to do to let it all go is laugh. Or sneeze unexpectedly.

Darn children.

Shelane said...

I just read your post over on MMB. Beautifully written.

And this one... had me laughing out loud so many times that my husband demanded to read it.

Mallory said...

Perfect! Gosh, you make me laugh every stinkin' time!

heather said...

HAAHAHAA!! Your Hubby sounds exactly like mine. He would do all those exact same things in those exact same circumstances. Too funny!!

Sarah said...

Love this story but it was even better hearing it in person! By the way I have something I am making for you and I need your address, promise this isnt some weird stocker thing. I will not just suddenly show up at your house to reside there forever and ever!

The Garden of Egan said...

Oh, mercy!!! That is justice. And amazingly enough you still have that evil joy a bazillion years later!

On a different note, I really wish I would have had your American History instructor, much more fun than mine. Mine was a liar and didn't get his facts straight!

Love you to death DaNae, you are so hilarious!

Becca said...

um, that was a marvelous story. how many years did it take him to laugh about it?

M-Cat said...

And I am laughing and snorting all over again. My favorite story EVAH!

Lara said...

He got what he deserved. And I'm sure he never ever bothered you about it again, right?

Jennifer said...

ROFLMBO - Stop making me laugh at work, people are staring!

Chief said...

I am so impressed that you were able to perform in such cold conditions!

I laughed and laughed until I realized that I think I live down stream from that very spot!

Loralee and the gang... said...

Yeah . . . justice was served! Love that story!

Hel said...

My husband thinks it is hilarious to pretend he really MUST go while I am sitting on the porcelain princess. He even goes so far as to pull down his pants... (am I sharing too much information?)

It creeps me out every time and I am now wondering after reading your story what HIS come-uppance will be. I think I will fall asleep thinking about that one tonight.

Jessica said...

Any story that involves such a perfect display of karma should be passed down for generations.

Frosty said...

Karma...gotta love it!

Melanie J said...

Oh, yeah. The best part of this is the re-sharing on the internet.

Well, there's people who drink that on purpose as a health thing (and my crazy uncle is one of them). So. . . maybe your husband was ahead of his time?

Travis and Amber said...

hee, hee-now that is funny!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

hee hee hee hee ha ha ha ha lolololol

You are so tamn funny! I lub your guts.

And I lub poetic justice.

And I love that you didn't get your PhD because you fried your noodle in Arizona.

Jess said...

roflmbo.... that is def sweet revenge/justice.... lol....

Love your blog.... you are so funny!!! Especially loved your post on your well spent 45 minutes... you go!!!

Motherboard said...

Even though I knew what was coming, I totally laughed until Moxie joined in.


Migillicutty said...

That is really funny. GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but funny. :)

Amber Lynae said...

Silly husband got what was coming to him. LOL Funny stuff.

Debbie said...

You are funny and crazy and I always love it here!

AS Amber said...

I'm so glad you shared this with us! One of my most fave stories about your husband!

I'm off to read your post on MMB...

AS Amber said...

Oh and your little known fact about Thomas Jefferson had me laughing out loud, too!!!

You're so smart!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

What a great story. It's this kind of kharma that keeps a marriage alive. :)

SCP said...

Haven't you heard we all live down stream!!! Now I have to sell my boat. I can only imagine how many times I have jumped into someones pee...gee wiz!

myimaginaryblog said...

As a couple others have mentioned, I love that his comeuppance is still being perpetuated years later on the internet. And he still deserves it! :) Great story.

Lela said...

Awesome. That is perfect justice.

Homer and Queen said...

Best story I ever read!!!HEHEHEHEHE

charrette said...

Hahahaha! Payback is a wonderful thing.

My husband thought he was hilarious making vomit noises in the car when I was pregnant and nauseated to the point of nearly losing it. (Yeah, he should take his show on the road, too. Except that we were usually already on the road.) I wish I'd had some of your karmic poetic justice...just once!

Anonymous said...

Wow . . . . the moral of the story is DO NOT mess with a women whose bladder is so large she can warm the entire Colorado River!!!!!

Ness said...

AHAHAHAAAA! OH man that story never gets old. Good ol' dad! Too funny!