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Banbury Cross

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Post details: Life Jacket Required

Life Jacket Required

Two posts ago, I made an observation that Czech women are more likely to trust men than the American ones. A friend of mine from NJ took a bit of umbrage at that pronouncement, so in the interest of ensuring the Equal Trusting Opportunity regardless of country, continent or planet of origin, I decided to perform a simple sociological experiment.

I went to one of those free dating sites that abound on the Internet and made a quick search within 5 years of my age and 25 miles of my domicile. No sooner had my game plan started to solidify than I was served a table of about 15 photographs from which I chose the most adventurous looking she-daredevil and initiated the Instant Messenger chat session. After an exchange of about 5 or 6 obligatory pleasantries, I brazenly suggested going on a canoeing trip; not at some unspecified point in a distant future, but tomorrow, as in less than 24 hours. Please note that it is one thing to meet a stranger at a cozy cafe, but it is a completely different ballgame to be with him on a remote stretch of a river, with no cell phone reception and no River Patrol in sight. To my unmitigated surprise, the adventurer named Valerie agreed. It wasn't the most emphatic yes I had ever heard, but it was a yes nonetheless.

We met at 9.30am in the parking lot of the Fair Oaks Marriott hotel. The day was bright and the sunny weather ushered in a fairly relaxed atmosphere to begin with. Additionally, my light clothing betrayed no signs of axes, knives, machetes, guns or bazookas, which must have erased the few lingering doubts Valerie had about her near term life expectancy. Without any problems, we reeled into the parking lot in Bentonville, rented our canoe and by the time we were through the Compton Rapids she was comfortable enough to take a swim in the river and then change into her shorts right there - in the middle of a moving canoe.

Having successfully completed the procedure which looked more like she was morphing from a caterpillar into a butterfly, Valerie took a comfortable repose in the bottom of the canoe. As we scooped some water in the rapids, this had one unintended consequence for her own bottom. The river water started silently seeping into her shorts and after a while they were almost as wet as her swimming suit. The river water is usually full of unseemly microorganisms with fancy Latin names, so staying in the wet shorts would pose an obvious health hazard. To cope with the problem, she made a little nest out of our life vests, and, wearing only my T-shirt, initiated the drying sequence. She slumped in her improvised lair so completely that only her head and her legs propped against the siding were visible from the shore. She then placed the shorts on the canoe's bench for the sun to do its magic and on occasion she picked them up and held them in the oncoming breeze as a flag of defiance. If someone was filming this scene from a chopper above they'd think we were enacting a Monty Python episode, or an emergency trip to a local gynecologist.

The Duchess of York would probably disapprove of such conduct and even think of it as scandalous, but the river has its own moral code. If you are miles away from the nearest changing booth, you have to do with whatever you can find in your boat and hope no one is filming it.


Comment from: Lucky [Visitor]
Is it a reflection of trust, or not having physical inhibitions, nor concern of physical intimacy with strangers. How different would this be from following someone home from a bar? I think the trust is questioned an area where there is more vested interest.
Permalink 07/11/08 @ 01:23

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