If you haven't already started watching this music video, please press play right this very moment. In this song, Alanis pretty much sums up the day I just had. Which is why it will make the perfect background music to this blog post you're about to read. Today was one giant, satirical slap in the face. It was so unreal, in fact, that I felt I needed to share it with the world. Let me start from the beginning...
Today was my first day back on the river since last August, and I was pretty excited to be guiding again. I was the only guide scheduled for the trip, so I rigged my boat and got everything ready by myself this morning. I was so careful to remember the water, the oars for my *paddle-assist, the granola bars, all of my personal gear, and I even packed an extra pump just in case. I was about as prepared as I thought I could be. I picked everyone up on time, made it to the put-in beach before any other companies, and as I was pulling my boat off of the trailer and into the water, I realized I had forgotten one of the most essential elements to operating a paddle boat... the paddles. I stood in shock, after muttering a few choice words my mother would not be proud of, as it dawned on me that I would be transporting ten people on a paddle boat with little to no current and zero paddles. We were, as some say, "up the creek". At least I had the paddle assist. So for the next few hours I rowed my little heart out in order to make it to the half day take-out on time. Luckily our new driver, James, is a saint and brought 10 paddles with him when he dropped off the people for the second half of the trip. Things were looking up at this point.
Once we reached our lunch spot, I realized I had forgotten a second crucial item. I had applied absolutely no sunscreen to any part of my body. I only remembered that I had packed my sunscreen in the pocket of my life jacket after I bent over to tie my bowline and watched it fall out of my pocket, into the river, and under the dock. Needless to say, I was fried by the time we reached the boat ramp.
When I was done with work I was in the mood for some cheering up, and I knew exactly how I was going to do it. It seemed like fate when I found out that not only was Moab hosting a fancy car show, but it just so happened that my family had been storing our '76 Mercedes convertible (powder blue) in Moab at the same time. As it was tradition, I decided to cruise my sweet ride down main street with all the other fancy cars as peopled lined the streets to watch... Never again.
When the universe gives you at least a dozen signs indicating that what you are planning to do is more trouble than it is worth, I think it's safe to assume that whatever idea you had is a bad one. First I had to go on a manhunt to find the keys, then it took us at least an hour to even get the car running, and another twenty minutes to unsuccessfully remove the hard top. Finally, after we realized we were not smarter than the roof of a car, we hopped in and started our cruise. We started down main street, proud as can be of our cool car, and giddy at the sight of the handful of onlookers that actually noticed us. We made it all the way to one end of town unscathed, but on our way back a cop merged behind us and immediately a lump grew in the pit of my stomach. I knew we were in for trouble. Just as I predicted, the cop followed us up until we reached a stretch of the road empty enough to pull over and immediately started flashing his lights. Turns out the Mercedes registration was expired well past the impound deadline. Thank goodness my parents just had it insured earlier this month, because according to the police man it was the only reason we were getting away with a $45 citation.
I'm sure you are all familiar with the phrase, "When life gives you lemon, make lemonade." On days like this, I feel as though this statement should be amended to something more along the lines of, "When life gives you lemons, it also likes to squeeze lemon juice into any unbeknownst paper cuts and hangnails you might have on your fingers."
Kids, the moral of this story is that everyone has bad days, and some people are going to tell you that it's what you learn from those days that really counts. Well I say that sometimes life just sucks for a little bit, and that is perfectly alright. You may not gain any glimpses of the bigger picture, but at least you can write a blog post about it for others to read and laugh at your misfortunes.
*Paddle-assist: a small metal rowing frame attached to the back of a paddle boat that makes it a little easier for the river guide to get from point A to point B in a timely manner when the current is really slow. They're really nice to use when you have other people paddling along with you, but not very effective when you have ten people on a boat with no paddles.