Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pointless Summertime Musings

In our public schools, the buzzword is tolerance. We must all learn tolerance, or whatever. If we are an intolerant people, then I suppose becoming tolerant is a necessary step. It is not the destination, though. My dream is not to live in a world where we tolerate our fellow man in spite of his differences; my dream is to live in a world where we love our fellow man because of them. The differences between men add value to my life.

The same goes with paddles.

If I learned one thing in my days of fossil-fuel-powered sports (thank Whoever for helping my transcend those boorish, earth-destroying activities), it is that you never change more than one thing at a time. I didn't re-jet the carburator, change the cam timing, advance the ignition, and go to a hotter spark plug just because the engine in my Datsun hesitated a bit coming off idle. Paddles is different, though. With paddles, every adjustment costs $250. I measure twice, adjust once, adjust completely, and relish the huge difference for the value it adds to my life.

A 45-degree, orange paddle with a standard-sized bent shaft is to a 30-degree, green paddle with a small-sized straight shaft as baseball is to cricket. They both go good with beer. My orange-paddle roll had not failed me a single time since that dark swim on the Frog nearly a year ago. I was determined to never let that happen again. I practiced and practiced until I had convinced myself there was no possibility of me ever missing a roll again. If I had a paddle in my hands--any paddle--I would be able to roll! I tried my brand-new green paddle out in the treacherous waters of Beaver Lake today and swam three times in an hour. It felt like I was using a tennis racquet. It was a very humbling experience.

As I was diagnosing the exact cause of my roll meltdown, I got to thinking about paddle-diversity and tolerance and stuff. The worst thing in the world would be for me to hate my new paddle or be afraid of it just because it is different. I don't really want to tolerate it's differences either. What I want to do--what I choose to do--is to love my new paddle because of it's differences. If I can't roll with my new paddle, it it not the paddle's fault. My green paddle has no duty to change itself to be more like my orange paddle just to avoid my discrimination and unfair treatment. Instead, I have a duty. I have a duty to learn to roll again using a fucking tennis racquet.

Are we really that different?


Cooper Green said...

Have you tried dressing your paddle in provocative clothing? A little tickle or grope now and then wouldn't hurt either

walter wardlow said...

i have hade no problem of late either finding finding places to lay my money down. but i have enjoyed a greater degree of sucess than usual in not doing so. (remember the U-Haul defination of sucess: any measurable progress toward a worthwhile goal)

bulletholes said...

I'd trade it in for some of that Bubble-Gum that lets you breathe underwater.

Dave Mows Grass said...

When I'm upside-down on the Cossatot getting my face ripped off, I'm not thinking about foreplay; I'm thinking about rolling. We'll tickle and grope later in the tent. Hi, Cooper!

Don't worry about the money, Walter. Whenever the garage gets too full you can sell all your shit on ebay or have an auction or something like we did. Then you can buy more.

Never seen that bubble gum. Someone told me you can eat a bunch of pop rocks and breath for a little bit. Hey, Bulletholes!

Martijn said...

Martijn useless comment # 4,195: fabulous story Dave! With a laugh, a tear, a morale and priceless cayaking (read: life) lessons.

Dave Mows Grass said...

Good to see you, Martijn! Yeah, I'm still making peace with this new paddle. I swam twice the other day in effluent discharged from the Fayetteville Sewage Treatment Plant because of that useless paddle, but I still love it. It's just different. You're right, swimming in shit is a priceless life lesson!