Air temperature: 66°.
Water temperature: cold.
Debt owed: $140.
The bet: Swim from the dock to the nearest boat 200 yards away.
The payoff: $140 debt wiped.
The fool: our nephew Matt.
Time: 2pm Friday, September 19, 2008
Play by play: Steve: “you swim to the nearest boat and you don’t owe me anything from the poker game last night.” Matt: “you’re on.” Barry and I: “Cool! Can’t wait to see this! Everyone,,,come on down to the water, this is gonna be good.” Matthew goes into the house and puts on swim trunks 2 sizes too big for him. He begins the long walk to the dock at the end of the property. He mumbles “That boat looks farther out than I remember. I bet the water is cold.” Many people reply with “Come on, don’t chicken out now.” We are all thinking about how much fun this story is going to sound later. If he doesn’t swim, it won’t be nearly as much fun.
The long walk out the dock is full of “Watch for that rip tide!” “Did you bring a towel? It is going to be freezing when you come out.” “You have to swim the whole way out and back to work off the bet.” And the ever-popular “I can’t believe he is really going to do this.” Everyone has video and still cameras at the ready. For a long while Matt stands at the edge of the dock contemplating what can only seem like a really bad idea. He looks over one side of the dock to the other. He continually says “that is really far out there.” Steve is getting tired of waiting for the big jump. Finally, as Matt looks over the edge of the dock for the 100th time, Steve reaches out his arm and “lovingly” SHOVES Matt over the edge and into the freezing water. I have never, ever seen Matt move so fast. He swims like he has never swam before. He gets about ½ way to the boat and starts to come back! NOOooooooooo we all scream, you are halfway there! Don’t stop now. He keeps going, but only for a short distance when he begins the swim back to the dock. He gets back, climbs up, and is shaking from the cold water and air. His wife brings him a towel and he yells about how he almost died! WHIMP! Then we all ask Steve how much he will take off the debt for the ½ way point. Steve said “first, I had to PUSH him in, he only went half way….I’ll take off 5 bucks!”
I love our family get-togethers. Where else can you get such adventure?