Just Like Ricky Bobby Said – I Wanna Go Fast!
Well, I finally had an opportunity to get out on Lumberjack’s airboat again. It took some doing and a little payola but last Friday was the day. I played hooky from work. If you’re the sort of person who has a hard time putting work aside, then an airboat ride is just for you. There is no reception for most cell phones out there. If you don’t have a VHF radio and or a Verizon direct connect you’re going to officially be incommunicado.
At any rate, the day trip to the Big Cypress Preserve was with Sonny from Pittsburgh (pronounced picksburgh) and his brother Al Gorithm. Right away the rules were laid down. There was a Yankee and he needed to know how this whole thing worked.
The first rule on this trip was that everyone had to listen to the captain’s orders or else. He was a fierce man, with a secret love of baby bunny rabbits, four leaf clovers and all breakfast cereals with prizes in the box. One of us was not scared of him at all.
The second rule is, if there are girls on the boat and their hands are the size of a mans, then they’re fit to hold the rope for the boat so it doesn’t float away. Twitterzilla’s man hands were finally useful.
The third rule about airboat club is that the deck hands should say a prayer before the boat leaves the shore. Pray that the weather is good, the cooler is full of brew, the fuel tank is topped off and pray … pray that the doesn’t drive thru the reeds again and cover his mother with bugs. That’s when her cheerful demeanor departs airboat club.
It doesn’t take too long for everything to start looking the same out there so it would probably be wise to pray that someone remember a GPS or a compass or something, too. That would be the fourth rule of airboat club. Don’t be like this dingo and end up dehydrated, nakey and bug bit because you got lost for a week in the river of grass.
I’m thinking that Picksburgh Sonny probably wasn’t the most precise directional source in the boat. We were going to be invited to the Captains house and I wondered allowed what direction was. I think he just was guessing which way to go because he was pointing at the Miccosukee reservation, which is a no-no for us because the boat has no permit. It’s against the rules and I’m way too cute for jail.
The fifth rule about airboat club is that when the captain takes you to his camp in the middle of God’s country, be respectful. Every man’s home is his castle … so you should treat it as such. Any sound of banjos, harmonicas or flashes of the movie “Deliverance” are no more than one’s imagination.
The sixth rule about airboat club is that when you’re at the captains house you should always flush the toilet and wash your hands when you’re done. Just because you’re in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean that proper hygiene should not be used. That’s how germs would be spread. It’s up to all of us to keep America clean and healthy.
The seventh rule about airboat club is that reading is fundamental. Even in the middle of the Florida Everglades, boat captains who live in camps on islands continually read for self improvement. What does a baby bunny loving, shack dwelling boat captain read? Feast your eyes on that writing material. Some of it is buried and I don’t remember what the titles were. For instance, the red magazine by all of the cockroach droppings … I forget what that one was.
The eighth rule about airboat club is “to each his own”. I know what you’re thinking. That comforter on that futon sofa does not match the southwest print on the occasional chair. This could be the home of a first time home owner. We’ve all been there and used second hand furniture and home accessories … sans confederate flag. Now what you should really be wondering is does he check the batteries in that smoke detector?
The ninth rule about airboat club is do your chores, including the dishes before you go out air boating, fishing or frog gigging. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a big, huge mess at the end of a long day. The tenth rule about airboat club is you should always take time to stop and smell the roses and in the Everglades that means you should sit up to your chest in water in a lawn chair and fish. As a general practice, beer drinking is encouraged to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. Safety first. … and always remember that sometimes you can just sit and do nothing out there, too. We’re not suggesting that a Yankee doesn’t know how to fish or is afraid of fish or anything. We gave him the benefit of the doubt and figured he was just pondering why it took him so long to finally find his way out there to a whole bunch of peace and quite. Later, he confessed that he was actually trying to figure out why his cell phone wasn’t ringing.
If you would like a private tour of the Florida Everglades all you have to do is swipe your card at the pump when the boat is pulled up there and he’ll take ya. That big honkin’ Cadillac engine ain’t cheap to run.
Disclaimer: The author of this blog does not encourage or condone frog eating.
To read the other rules read also: Touring The Florida Everglades