Saturday, May 12, 2007

Back Up Until it Sounds Expensive

"Back Up Until it Sounds Expensive" is a Bill Schreiberism. I had the opportunity to try this today.

If you're going to do damage to a vehicle, make sure it's not your own. Or make sure it is your own. I haven't decided.

Today I led an Everglades trip on my day off. The boss is away in Vegas for his 20th wedding anniversary. Manfred our senior guide has driven 5 days in a row, so I get to drive. With the boss away I chose to drive the primo Mercedez-Benz Sprinter. It's nice. Seats 12 comfortably. Great speaker system, room to walk down the aisle between the seats. Great views from every seat.

I also asked MaLe to go on the full day trip for her first time. Since we had only 5 travelers booked it would be no problem. We only go out if we have 4 or more people and when 3 of the 5 canceled at the last minute, I figured we were in for an interesting day. The two ladies from Pennsylvania had gone with us before and knew the routine, so it was bound to be a fun day.
Typically I don't go on the Everglades National Park boat tour. The 1 1/2 hour trip travels through the 10,000 islands in Florida Bay and although it's a nice cruise, once you've heard the boat captains puns, you don't need to go again. But MaLe was along today so I decided to go. While I took care of the tickets inside the gift shop, MaLe and our 2 travelers boarded the boat. The boat doesn't leave without our tickets, so nothing to fear. Until the boat left without me.

Since I never go, the boat captain insisted that I wouldn't be going today despite MaLe's pleas. Slightly shocked, I hung my head like Charlie Brown and plunked myself down on a bench to wait for their return. This became boring after 5 minutes and I drove the primo Mercedez-Benz Sprinter down to Chokoloskee Island to see the sites. There's an old turn of the century general store which has been converted to a museum that I planned to visit. They have old Seminole fabrics and clothing on display, various antiquities from the old rum running and pot smuggling days and a variety of other historical artifacts. There's not much of a parking area. Just a few sandy spots among the Australian Pines and Coconut Palms, so I chose one and began to back in. Checked the left mirror. Checked the right mirror. Slowly backing in and BAM!

$%#%# PALM TREE!

I backed into a palm tree! The slight dent I could deal with but the jolt shattered the glass which exploded all over the back seat of the van.

Think. Quick. I was shot at by an old island coot. An old fart backed into me. A skunk ape hurled a coconut through the window. Ann Coulter finally exacted her revenge against me and head butted the back window....I need an excuse. I need to LIE!

But after coming up with too many poor excuses I decided what I knew all along. I'll tell the truth and accept the consequences.

Tune in Tuesday morning to find out where the truth gets me. It may be expensive.

And what did they see on the boat cruise? Dolphins, Manatees and Bald Eagles!

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