You try NOT feeling funky while listening to “Use Me” by Aaron Neville. Can’t be done. Sorry. My intention was to write about my kayaking experience this morning, but I can’t think with this song playing. Try NOT twitching when he sings “baby” (or more accurately, “babeh”) and the organ hits that “bap” note: Babeh – bap – babeh – bap – babeh, babeh, when you love me I can't get enough... see, you’re twitching, aren’t you? Well, you should be.
Okay, say you own a kayak shop that does, I’m guessing, pretty good business here in the PNW, the land of really, really seriously recreationally outdoorsy people. But you think to yourself, “how can I drum up more business? How can I convince more people to take up kayaking and then consequently need a kayak and consequently buy my kayaks?
Well, if you are Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe, you line up all your kayaks and canoes on the beach of a local lake and then invite the Public (and when I say the Public, you can picture them, right?) to come down and take any of them out for a spin, no questions asked, other than “did you sign the waiver?”.
No questions like “do you know how to steer this two thousand dollar kayak?” or “are you currently on any psychotropic drugs?” Just “here’s a paddle. I’ll give you a push.”
It really has to be seen to be believed. Yes, we witnessed some mild mayhem. Some folks left wetter than they began.
We took a half-hour class (not required, mind you) on how to put on our PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices for the uninitiated), get in the kayak, hold the paddle, take a stroke and turn. Then we started jumping in kayaks and slipping into the lake. Luckily, I learned enough in the class to maneuver around the fifty members of the Public with less experience than me (said experience consisting of the previously mentioned half-hour) attempting to sample similar kayaks in the exact same square foot of the lake which I was currently using. I seemed to always be in the most desirable portion of the lake. That’s me. Trend setter.
Of course, we are both convinced that we need kayaks to go with our road bikes, mountain bikes, time trial bikes, surfboards, dirt bike, in-line skates (dusty), horse shoes (no one will play with me – I think they are chicken), hiking shoes, and track bikes.
Drew is excited. He loves anything that involves expensive equipment and any kind of propulsion. You would think working with $800,000 fire engines would keep that urge down to a low simmer, but I think the operative word in that phrase is “working.”
Speaking of which, Captain A is back at work. Yes, he took time off this morning so he could accompany me to the kayak event. Captain is serious about recreation. I guess that’s why we live in the PNW.