On the beach, part four

I have neglected my vacation diary because I, like many current politicians, have been carrying on an affair. It’s with Dreamweaver. Last night I spent three hours putting a Lightbox gallery on a site that maybe 15 people will see. If only I could have done so while traveling to South America.

Don Funk is the self-professed master of the roundhouse kick. On the final evening of first year of beach vacation, Don introduced this technique. It could not be performed on our porch, which was probably a good thing since he was drunk. No, this graceful athletic movement needed to be completed in the pool.

We went to the pool. Don showed off his moves, many times. Small children were frightened. OK, no kids were at the pool, which is good since Don is a first-grade teacher.

In the subsequent three years, we talked about the roundhouse kick but there was no actual kicking. It could have been because Don hadn’t made it back to the Florabama club to drink a bushwacker, which tastes like milk mixed with turpentine. In any case, we missed out. Don promised not only to display the kick, but to give lessons on the half hour.

It was Wednesday night. On most beach vacations, we would have headed home by then. We usually stayed four nights but this year we had a buy-four, get three free deal. We had worn Don down. He was going to display his might. My wife had her mini video camera, so we were going to get a Youtube-quality production for sure.

A friend had insulted Don, stating that he would not be able to break a piece of toilet paper with his kick. Don moved into action. He grabbed a roll of toilet paper and wrote messages. They called our friends many names. Now I was part of roundhouse kick lore. I would have to hold up the paper.

We went down to the indoor pool, strangely located on the 7th floor. The view was across the street, not of the gulf. Don got in the water and I held the paper up outside the pool. It was apparent, not at all due to Don being a short man, that I would have to get in the water. I would be in the line of fire.

I imagined Don firing through a kick and breaking my nose, or missing the paper and injuring himself, a more likely result. I held the paper a couple of feet above the top of the four-foot level. Don’s first attempt was low. He is not easily swayed. His second kick went through. There was jubilation.

I’ve heard that one of the problems with society today is that people don’t know when to say “enough”. This is true of eating, spending, some distant unmentionable relationships, and very rarely for me, football obsession. I brought my circular Titan inflatables to the pool, and decided that it would be cool to try to jump from the side of the pool and land on the inflatable so that I would be sitting. My attempts were laughable.

Don wanted a turn.

I assumed that he would follow my example. Do the butt flop and call it a day. Don went for another tact. He dove.

The hole was at most a foot across. It was probably designed for a pre-teen. Don’s entire furry body went through the opening. If he tried it again a hundred times he wouldn’t be able to do it again. Did I mention the pool was four feet deep? Don came up, and I laughed (it’s all on video that could be used for many lawsuits if ever published online) as Don held his head. He had cut his scalp. When you’re with kids, the fun is over when someone starts crying. With adults, it’s over when someone starts bleeding.

Don survived, because he’s he tough kind of guy who’s allegedly never had a hangover. We were on concussion watch for a day. The offending inflatables were used once more in the ocean and left behind with leaks. I do not at all consider it a metaphor for the 2008 season.

The best part of a vacation is detaching from the world and your troubles. A week seems like the perfect amount of time to be away. I wouldn’t mind finding out if two would be better.

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