Small, Shallow Thoughts
Nick Callanan attempts to amuse youHelmets Are Good(by Nick Callanan)
So my buddy has just gotten himself a remote control fan. It’s pretty cool. He and his girlfriend can sit there on the couch and change
the speed from low to medium to high (“hee hee…let’s call it ‘Hurricane,’ honey.”) and even turn on the oscillation (“Hey! Don’t hog the
I was over at their house and I got my hands on the remote. It’s white with big buttons and a digital readout. (“It’s so ugly, it looks like an exercise machine.” “No, honey, remember, we don’t have to worry about sweating because ‘Hurricane’ will cool us down.”) That’s right, buddy, Hurricane.
After spending a full half hour singing the praises of this new and amazing device (“I proclaim this remote control fan the Greatest Invention Since The George Foreman Grillmaster.”), we naturally began to imagine what they’d come up with next… at first, we imagined remote control fans with buttons for “tilt” and “roll over here a bit closer and while you’re at it bring me a lemonade.” Then we imagined fans that didn’t need remotes, but actually read your mind. (“Sorta like those million-dollar-suits they’re building for The Marines: they just know when you need cooling down.”)
Then we imagined those fans would be part of a futuristic, ultra-interactive house that can keep track of your blood pressure while cooking you breakfast... and do everything else too. (“Computer! I command you to tell me the meaning of life…NOW!”). In this house, we imagined, there would also be an Instant Human Transporter (“Beam me to the river. Drop me on the water.”). And then, suddenly, with a push of a button I was there…
…sitting, in Taster Eddy, about to take my third ever Kennebec Gorge run. I was with Cory and Chuck from Jackman and Tyler from Bingham and Luke and Nick B.
I entered the current and things began moving very fast…
Below Chase Stream Sluice on river right, I caught an eddy that wasn’t an eddy at all, got pinned on an exposed flat rock, slipped off, flipped over, bounced my head off some rocks underwater, tried to roll and my knee slid out of my thigh brace, tried one more roll with knee pushing through skirt and head bouncing off other rocks than before. Missed it, pulled skirt and swam directly into long, 8-inch thick fallen tree strainer. My boat became pinned, my paddle began to float away, I dove for paddle, breaking tree branches in process, got paddle, scurried to shore along tree trunk, leaving boat pinned (“Uh… that could have gone a little better.”).
Then, Cory paddled into the eddy behind the strainer. He got out of his boat and wrestled my boat from the tree pin. (“I was gonna do that but, well, it’s just… for some reason I can’t seem to remember anything about who I am...I do remember rocks, however, lots of rocks.”) Things should have slowed down there, but they didn’t.
I got into my boat, followed Cory out of the eddy, and perhaps still delirious, promptly got flipped over, now about 3 waves above Big Mamma. On my 3rd or 4th attempt I rolled over. Cory was paddling furiously upstream towards me, “What the Hell,” I said to myself, “Thanks for the back up,” I said to him, “Big Mamma,” Nick B. yelled to me from an eddy. I looked up and paddled at the right side of the meat, making it through and just scooting by the diagonal on the other side…
…“Yo! Nicholas!” I felt a cool breeze on my face. It’s your turn with the remote again.”
“Whoa, I think I just drifted off when we were talking about that Star Trek stuff…”
“You want the remote or not?”
“Huh..? Uh... oh! Yea, you know I do! Give it here.”
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