Saturday, December 5, 2009

The World's Most Dangerous Sport

It was December the third and I probably should have been building a snowman on my front lawn. This is Canada after all, or it used to be. There was no snow because it was plus twelve degrees. It was also raining and windy. Hmmm, sounds like a good day to windsurf on the Bay of Fundy!

When I mention to people that I windsurf in December, they all give me the same look. It's a reassuring that says 'yes, you are the Village Idiot...and no tears will be shed when you remove yourself from the gene pool'.

Windsurfing in the Bay of Fundy, in December, sounds gnarly, but you know what? (insert drum roll here) isn't. The water is surprisingly warm, and if you're wearing the proper wetsuit, then it's actually very comfortable. When it's twelve degrees outside, it's not all that colder than this past July. So what's the big deal? Where's the danger?

I'll tell you where the danger lurks, it's in the parking lot of the Lancaster Mall in Saint John. I pulled into the Lancaster Mall to grab a coffee before windsurfing in the bay. I was stuck behind a car that was driven by someone suffering from indecision. At every parking lot junction, they pondered their options, much like one might ponder running from a bear or pretending to be dead. Was it 'run from a grizzly' or 'play dead' for a grizzly? I can never remember, that's why I windsurf on the Bay of Fundy. In any event, the driver ahead of me had a hard time deciding what to do.

As I was exiting the mall parking lot, another car pulled in front of me. This one was driven by a one-eyed seeing eye dog who apparently didn't notice my kiwi green station wagon with windsurfing gear piled high on the roof. What's a guy got to do to get noticed? I swear I'm going to paint my car hot pink with a great big giant lime green Gazoo likeness on the side. I'll do it when Wendy is away in January.

I was almost t-boned by a dark Pontiac Firebird on the way out. Damn you Michael Knight and your talking car. I spent a grand total of two minutes driving in the Lancaster Mall parking lot, yet I felt my life was in jeopardy three times. Windsurfing in the Bay of Fundy would be a welcome relief from the world's most dangerous sport...road rallying on seniors' day at the Lancaster Mall.

Now, don't misunderstand me, I'm not dissing seniors' driving.

Okay, I am.

The Firebird, at least, was not driven by a senior. It was driven by a young dirtball. All Firebirds are driven by young dirtballs. Funny how that works. It's as though it was prearranged, like a secret handshake among members of the Loyal Order Of Water Buffaloes. It's also amazing, almost unthinkable, that the Firebird was once considered a 'hot' car. Now I laugh every time I see one, except when they try to skewer me.

So I left the dangerous Lancaster Mall, which isn't really a mall, and went to the Bay. The Bay was uneventful, all things considered. The only real danger, and it's not really a danger, happened when I tried to take my wetsuit off. It always happens. At one point during the transaction, I was half naked and my legs were still pinned by the clingy wetsuit. I tried to cover my 'parts' with a towel, but it was rather windy. It's a great spectator's sport, like baseball with an extra orb. It would have been a great time to rob me, though you couldn't have stolen my dignity because, at that very moment, I had none.

It actually got worse. Once the wetsuit was off, I tried my best to dry myself off with the moistened towel. It's almost impossible to get 'things' dry in this environment. When I tried to put my underwear on, my skin was still damp from the ocean water. Certain 'things' like to stick to the first piece of cloth that they touch, so if you don't get all your ducks in a row, then it can be quite unpleasant.

These certain body parts behave much like ducklings. You've all heard stories of ducklings being hatched in the presence of a human, then thinking the human was their mother. That's what it's like when you put a salt bathed body into underwear. The 'ducklings' stick to the first thing they see or, in this case, touch. Even if it's a leg hole!

The Lancaster Mall was dangerous. Driving across Saint John's harbour bridge while trying to make 'adjustments' to my salt water wedgie was dangerous. Windsurfing in the Bay of Fundy in December was a piece of cake.

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