This post is not about a political stance. So it's totally cool if you don't agree with mine, but if you're willing to agree to disagree, and might enjoy an entertaining story and maybe even a laugh at our expense, continue on. Or, exit now if you're already mad. No hard feelings.
It's September and this will be the first blog I've posted in 2020. But, see, I try to keep my blog humorous and let's be honest, there hasn't been very much humor in 2020. I mean, there's been 'ha ha they're trying to mandate our lives away and I'm suddenly responsible for homeschooling my child' humor but is anybody really laughing? Probably not. Forcing a blog isn't my favorite thing, so I usually wait to feel a spark when something needs a blog of it's own, and that just hasn't happened for me this year. Well, until Labor Day weekend that is, when we almost caught our boat on fire. See what I did there? Spark...boat on fire? Forget it. Let's start from the top.
Our lake was putting on a Trump boat parade. (You've come this far, don't get triggered now.) So naturally, Ron designed PVC flag poles to fly flags off the back of our boat.
Because we're incapable of keeping things simple, he also ordered a giant train horn. Get it? Trump Train? No need to get testy, I'm just making sure.
He and Zac spent 2 days wiring this thing together. I don't understand anything about it, but it involves a giant boat battery and large compressor, all of which are down inside a huge cooler strapped to the back of the boat. That setup became necessary the first night when we were given instructions not to touch certain parts of the battery because it'll "light you up" and seeing as we have four children under the age of 6 and one Sassy who is prone to getting electrocuted, it was decided that further safety measures were in order so as not to light anyone up. Mainly me. We all know it'd be me.
This train horn is (((LOUD))). Like, heart-stopping-brace-yourself-your-brain-believes-there's-a-train-on-the-lake loud. Kayakers hate us. Fisherman want us dead.These are things we found out in the first 10 minutes of our trial run the day before the parade.
On parade day, we arrived at our dock at 9am. Two hours early because the previous evening Ron dropped one of our flag pins into the lake under our dock and he had to fish it out with a giant magnet on a long rope, but that 's the only thing that would go wrong that day, said no Courter ever.
We'd arranged to leave our dock at 10am on the dot because there will be no running late, speeding through the crowded lake, being called assholes for us that day. More lies.
We left our dock on schedule and since our 15 foot flags on the back of the boat prevented us from going the fast way under the bridge, we began our slow trek through the canal. No biggie. Plenty of time.
No good comes from but then.
But then, Zac tried to honk the horn and nothing happened. Not one sound. We stopped the boat and the boys went to work checking every wire and finally came to the conclusion that the battery was dead. Wait, what? A battery needs a charge? Since when I ask you in outrage?
We were left with a choice. We either arrive on schedule and participate in the parade without a train horn or we frantically tear down our flag poles and speed the fast way toward the bridge to race back to our dock to jump start the dead battery, veering around Trump boats headed in the opposite direction toward the parade, while Ron yelled incoherent words to them about train horns and batteries, lest they mistakenly think we might be ridin' with Biden.
Guess which one we chose.
The not being called assholes thing was out the window and it wasn't even 11am.
Since Ron has a reputation of requiring no less than a 14 point turn to pull our boat into our slot, Zac jumped from our boat onto our dock while Ron continued his boat parking dance.
The boat police would have another field day with us, but on the upside, I wasn't drunk and we didn't bring our unleashed dogs, so it's almost like we're learning lessons.
Zac came back with his jumper cables and he and Ron went to work on the battery- stuff I didn't understand about jumping the battery, swapping the horn and the boat batteries, whatever. They'd be fine. But I had to pee. The port a potty was a good distance from our boat and nobody was around because boat parade and so why not just climb onto the front of our boat and squat off the edge while all the grand babies peer over the side at me waiting for Sassy to fall in the lake. But fear not kids, Sassy's got the balance of a cat. What she doesn't have is x-ray vision that would've showed a lady walking around the corner of the docks and headed in our direction. Sweet mother of nooooo...
I'm 48 and have birthed 4 kids. There isn't a Kegel in the world that could've stopped my pot-of-coffee flow, so I did what any normal person would do. I looked her in the eye and casually said- "I'm sorry. I'm peeing." You know, in case the squat and sounds of a stream of liquid hitting the lake water didn't give me away. On a scale of 1 to please shoot me, this moment scored a 9.
In the meantime, Ron had gone to our car to get something the boys needed, when Zac- my level headed one- began frantically saying, 'This is getting hot. Hurry! RUUUNNNNNN!!!' and smoke began pouring off the back of our boat while the cables melted onto our back seat and burned into our boat deck.
And Ron ran.
Everyone has permission to lose their sh*t, because if Zac panics and Ron runs, THIS.IS.NOT.A.DRILL.
Apparently, Ron put the wrong ends of the jumper cables on the wrong parts of the battery. Turns out that's not so minor of a detail.
I still don't understand how they fixed this situation, but burn marks aside, they eventually had everything running, and by11:30, we were speeding back under the bridge with a working horn. We were half an hour past the meeting time, but the parade didn't start till noon, so smooth sailing now, right?
Hold our boat battery. (No, don't- you might burst into flames.)
We maneuvered into a spot amongst over a thousand other Trump boats, put our flag poles back up, and to the delight of everyone, we began honking our horn. Totally worth the almost fire.
As the parade began, we pulled out the drone, because that's what we do. Zac is the master drone flyer, so he flew it high over the parade and even directly in front of various boats while people waved. We got some great shots of our boat and all of us in it and it was awesome.
That's right. I said it.
BUT THEN, Zac told Ron to put the boat in neutral so he could land the drone. But we're in the middle of a parade, so putting the boat in neutral seemed unwise. So he didn't. And when Zac tried to land the drone, it got tangled in a Trump flag and landed with a plop in the middle of the lake while people in surrounding boats gasped, everyone on our boat stood in stunned silence, and I burst into tears because somebody had to.
We finished out the parade uneventfully, almost like our day went smoothly. Except for that part at the end where the lake water turned into ocean-like waves, splashed over our speakers, and our horn started sounding like a sick goose. But at least they made it through the parade. Unlike our drone.
Later at home, Ron pinged it's location and there it sat in the middle of the lake with the words "Been missing for 3 hours" and I almost cried again. So with pool nets and his trusty rope magnet, he took Caymen and Zac back out to retrieve it. Hey, we found a missing anchor in the middle of Norris Lake without a GPS, so it would only make sense that we'd find our drone.
Unfortunately, not all stories have a happy ending. Life lesson time, kids. Occasionally, despite the best of intentions, you get caught peeing off the front of a smoking boat and lose your drone.
On the upside, nine days later, Ron was finally able to retrieve our lost drone footage. Not bad for someone who periodically gets mistaken for an asshole.