Wednesday, March 14, 2012
4th of July (GBE 2- Shennanigans)
Another hot Friday night at on the patio at Good Ol’ Days and we were at our normal spot on the patio. The evening was warm and the beer was cold. We had hung together since elementary school and now that we were in college, little had changed. Friday and Saturday nights were spent at a table in a bar somewhere. The fact it was the Fourth of July weekend just made it more of an excuse to down pitchers of beer and eat Flower Pot sandwiches.
The tab was on its second trip around the table, when the discussion turned to what everyone was going to do the next day. There was going to be a pool party, but that didn’t start until later on. Someone said we should float on the Chattahoochee River. And in the drunken fog, that sounded like a damn fine idea. We had access to a couple of six man rafts, so equipment wasn’t going to be problem. Transportation back would be. But we would call someone when we got there. Everybody agreed to meet at the boat landing at noon the next day. And bring beer, damn it.
Saturday broke bright and dry as the hung over, the bedraggled group gathered at the boat ramp. Somebody had enough brain to bring an air pump to inflate the raft, but nobody had brought any life preservers. There some talk of scrubbing the trip and getting some sleep. But in the bravado of the drunk, we went on.
Drifting drunkenly from bank to bank, we were about a mile into the trip when the raft was became a lot softer. We pull ashore and have another beer to figure out the situation. A leak. Duct tape appeared and I did a quick patch. We were all pretty toasted at this point, but we sallied on.
Being 4th of July, there were a lot of rafts doing the trip. And since this stretch of the river is a Federally Protected waterway, the Park Rangers checking the various rafts for safety equipment. As the Ranger’s raft floated a few feet away, one of them called out: “You boys have preservers on that craft?”
To which the drunkest of us called out “%&*(, ^&*(%()))!”
The rest of us wanted to throw him out of the raft. We knew what was going to happen next.
The boat made a beeline for us. Two uniforms peered down at us. One of officers asked our drunken friend: “What did you say, Boy?!” The drunken fellow was silent, sullen, and defiant. He proceeds to give us the safety lecture, and then took our names for the No Floatation Device citations he was going to write. When it came time for our drunken friend to give his information, he just said “%&*(.” That was the last straw. We all helped load him into the Ranger’s boat and they told us where we could pick up him up when we got finished.
About 100 yards up river, our drunken friend decided he wasn’t going to go to the tank and took a leap out of the boat. As he did, his foot caught the other officer up the side of his face, causing a nice sized fat lip. The ranger jumped on his back and shoved him down into the rocks. He was pretty beat up when we bonded him out the next day. The rest of us went on to the rich girl’s pool party and we never did get the citation for not having the floatation devices.
The moral of this story is “Friends don’t let friends drift drunk.”