The Old Hand of Oakdale
For years, my brother Ray has had a pool party at his farm. Friends, relatives, maybe even perfect strangers, come bring food, beverages, kids, lots of kids. Some arrives in RV’s and campers, because the party tends to continue through the second day. There’s swimming. There’s rides on the hay wagon pulled by horses or a tractor. And there are euchre games, lots of euchre games. It’s always a lot of fun. But after what happened last year, I may not be welcome.
My wife, Ray, and I were sitting in those popular white plastic chairs with arms, enjoying the shade of a big tree, talking, and people watching. As the sun moved, we scooted our chairs back to remain in the shade, not noticing we were moving on a slight downgrade. I leaned back and the chair tipped, carrying me with it.
During my backwards flight, I heard someone swearing. I turned to the left and saw Ray and his chair doing the same. And he was giving me a dirty look. Why was he doing the same thing as I was? Why was he mad at me?
Bam! We hit the grass, first with the back of our chairs, then with the back of our heads. More swearing! I was trapped. My bad knees wouldn’t let me move the chair either forward or to the side. The chair’s arms prevented me from rolling sideways. Ray was trapped between me and the tree. More swearing. People came running. After finding out that we weren’t hurt, there was a lot of laughing. (Although, I think my wife was laughing before we said we were okay.) With a lot of help, we managed to get back on our feet. Oh, Raymond was mad!
Ray told me in no certain terms why he was mad at me. I guess when my chair started to tip, I had reached out and grabbed his chair to steady myself. It didn’t work. Instead, I had pulled him over with me.
Two things: What with all the cameras on phones, I wonder how us two old geezers, trapped in the chairs, legs in the air, kicking to get free, managed not to appear on Facebook or YouTube minutes after we landed. And, I guess when I started to tip, I reached out with both hands. The only thing that prevented me from grabbing my wife’s chair also, was the fact she was sitting just out of my reach. It is one thing to be barred from the next pool party, but it would have been something else if I had caused my wife to join Ray and I on our trip.
I hate to admit it, but sometimes when I am sleeping, I can still see Ray falling over beside me. I laugh so hard I wake myself up. So even if I can’t go to another pool party, I at least have my memories.
Pub 6/9/13-SPPP, Bulletin Board
Did you ever see a turtle on it’s back, four legs waving in the air, trying to get back on his face? That must have been how Ray and I looked. I was just reminded that I also caused him to spill his glass of beer.