Thursday, October 20, 2011

Up The Down River

            Today I (Brandon) will be hopping into ye olde time machine once again to bring you a brief tale of dumbfuckery past.
            Five years ago, two friends and I decided to take a water rafting trip. But, too lazy to leave the suburbs of Denver to tackle a real river, we settled for braving the South Platte, which is little more than a liquid landfill in no particular hurry. It slugs its way south, ferrying debris and radioactive fish across the state of Colorado. A couple years back I remember hearing that 500 million gallons of sewage accidentally got dumped into the thing, but I doubt anyone noticed. I digress.
            Anyway, the three of us chipped in and bought the cheapest, flimsiest rafts we could afford in order to embark on our expedition. Along with our bargain bin rafts, rounding out the list of adventuring supplies were: One Styrofoam cooler, one twelve pack of bubbly piss beer, and a stuffed Stewie doll, who was duct-taped to the front of my vessel’s prow as a figurehead. Not being waterproof, cell phones were logically not on the list.
            We parked one of two cars at the bridge of our final destination, climbed into the second car, and drove ten miles upstream.
For the first mile or so on the river, the going was easy. I navigated between concrete pylons and dodged various hunks of floating garbage, while my ass dragged along the rocky riverbed on a paper thin sheet of plastic. Ten minutes and three beers into our journey, our first raft was shanked by a tree branch and deflated into a rubbery, useless windbag, not unlike Jonah Hill. I drank beer and hit on passing joggers while letting the other two fellows sort out the mess. After almost an hour we were afloat again.
After another mild hour, things turned to shit. I learned firsthand about the awesomeness of concrete water dams, by being sucked into one. It was like riding a teacup inside a washing machine. My vessel foundered immediately and I got churned up between a six-foot concrete wall and a swirling tide of filthy water. Strong swimmer or not, I almost died. No shit. Luckily, my piece of shit raft, though brimmed with water, was still buoyant enough to lift me out by my deathgrip. Turns out, my buddies were able to bail in time to avoid the dam’s suction, though their rafts were manhandled. Stewie was lost to sea. I watched the poor football-headed bastard float away downriver, along with my Oakleys, hat, and most of our sandals and tee shirts.
 The river, she is a cruel wench.
By the time we reached the next bridge, only halfway to our original destination (and the car still waiting there), it was dusk, and what blood we hadn't given to the river had been siphoned away by West Nile virus-ridden mosquitos. And worst of all, we’d long since finished the beer.
Not to worry, though. The bridge we climbed out of led to an ill-used toll highway. We rose from the marsh like homeless pirates with rafts in tow, half clothed, and only one sandal between us…and proceeded to walk three miles along shoulder of the pay highway until we reached a busier freeway.
Fortunately, we looked intriguing enough that a state patrolman decided to stop and say hello. As it turns out, we were the first boaters he’d ever pulled over on an interstate highway. And since none of us had any outstanding warrants, the copper was nice enough to offer me a ride back to my car. He wasn’t keen on tying our rafts to his light rack on top of his cruiser, so I got my own private police escort back to the car alone while those suckers had to wait at a gas station in the middle of Redneckville, Nowhere sucking the air out of each others innertubes.
And that, my friends, is why I will never brave the South Platte River again.
Well, that and the inexplicable groin rash from water parasites.
            Also, I hope nobody was deterred from visiting Chicago after reading our last post on Monday. Bryan and I can be a couple of curmudgeon fucks, but it’s all in good fun. My adopted city is actually a damn good place to be. If there’s a major city stateside that’s any cooler, has better food, and is still as livable as Chicago, I haven’t seen it yet. Come one, come all, you tourists. But don’t forget to pack your Kevlar parkas.

Cheers!

-brandon

Beer: Avalanche
Music: Johnny Winter
Book: Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut

68 comments:

  1. I hear the Chicago tourist board is looking for you with pieces of wood with nails in them, your river adventure sounds like a bad 80's movie I once saw.

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  2. You should be happy you are even alive. Atleast you learnt what nature can do first hand I guess.

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  3. What a lot of lovely fun you boys get up to. So how many beers after the adventure (purely medicinal I am sure)
    I just hope if I do ever get to Chicago, you will let me stalk you properly and maybe share a beer. (I might have to borrow one of those vest hehe)

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  4. Have you learned nothing from Deliverance!?! Rafting results in anal rape and playing banjo with a kid missing a chromosome! Nature hates people and wants us to die, that's why we have to kill her first! Off to let my car idle for 8 hours.

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  5. A raging river is no joke...especially ones with toxic waste abundantly flowing like water.
    Too bad Stewie didn't make it, that poor little booger!

    Next time try a canoe, don't go on a float trip with inflatable boats...Will always end in disaster!

    Glad you came out alive! Otherwise, we wouldn't have a hilarious blog to read!

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  6. Sounds like you were literally up shit creek without a paddle. I couldn't resist that. I'm glad yall didn't die, and it must have felt like quite an achievement to be the first boaters that cop had pulled.

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  7. I laughed all the way through this -- one of your best posts ever! Glad you didn't die, dude.

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  8. It was like riding a teacup inside a washing machine. This killed me. Glad it all turned out ok though. Stewie on the other hand....

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  9. Is it weird that I think this adventure sounds totally awesome? Yes? Ok.

    Hmn, maybe taking a canoe would have been better.

    I love (and agree with) Pickleope's comment. I'm too scared to go on nature trips after watching Deliverance. I can't ever get the sound of those squeals out of my head *shivers*

    Hey, look on the plus side: now you can totally say that nearly drowning in radioactive waste gave you super comedy powers.

    Oh, and I don't know which one of you commented on my blog (I think it was Bryan), but if you liked the HTML5 flame thing, I think you might like this other blog post I wrote a while ago on other online drawing tools:
    http://flippy-doodle.blogspot.com/2010/03/online-drawing-tools.html
    (sorry for link whoring)

    A future involving explosive comics sounds totally awesome! Although you will have to layer these on top of your comic with some Photoshop magic, since they don't allow you to upload images before hand :(

    I'm going to write another online drawing tools blog post soon, all HTML5 stuff, and a lot more powerful.So it might have a lot more interesting things for you guys.

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  10. Riding a teacup inside a washing machine eh? I must experience this! lol.

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  11. Dumbfuckery knows no bounds... here's my tale of how the movie "Deliverance" almost got me and two friends killed on the Emory River in east Tennessee the morning after we saw that film. Idiots in action, trying to canoe down a raging river in flood stage...
    True story, and the closest I've come to killing myself so far (but the day is young...)

    http://squatlo-rant.blogspot.com/2010/07/squatlo-story-number-thirteen.html

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  12. Stewie! NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Poor little soldier. If he ever shows up again you'll just have to tie him down better for the next time? I mean, after such an awesome adventure, which included a ride with some cops, why wouldn't you do it again?

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  13. Wow. that sounds like a adventure. Actually we wanted to try rafting this time, but gave up even before reading this post.
    Losing stewie would have been terrible part of the total mishap.
    And about Chicago, I am going to use those posts to avoid guests whom I dont want in my house.
    It was goddamn funny.

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  14. Dude, you've got to be prepared. You cannot go rafting with anything less than a case per person. Don't you watch Survivorman?

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  15. I have not done rafting and that's because I am dead scared of water. I can not swim :(

    And you lost your oakleys...sad...

    But this post was a welcome change, good to read :)

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  16. Nope, you've scared me off for good from Chicago. D:

    Kidding, well, maybe...

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  17. Look at the bright side. In the end, you looked like pirates and survived the attack of the terrible an vicious water parasites. Ok you lost your sandals, but that's a cheap price to pay to become a badass (and probably foul smelling) pirate. Harrr harr harr harr harr

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  18. I went white water rafting once and I fell in. The instructor told us no one ever falls in, I warned her I would. She will never doubt me again.

    Poor Stewie.

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  19. Why is everyone so down on Deliverance?? That is one of the most beautiful love stories I've ever seen.

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  20. Damn, that reminds me of a canoeing expedition I had as a kid. 3 of us wound up pinned between our capsized canoe and a dead fall that had formed after that winters ice storm. By some incredible hulk like effort we were able to simultaneously push the canoe out far enough for all three of us to drop below it and allow the current to sweep us away in hopes that we would not be dashed into the rocks and trees to drown. Good times, good times.
    I will avoid rafting next week in Colorado Springs, sounds like I am not man enough.

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  21. thanks for sharing! :)

    follow me for extreme randomnism!
    http://all-around-toto.blogspot.com/

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  22. I'm so jealous of you right now. I totally wish I was you over there. Or your friends. Like, wow, the time of your lives!

    No really, I'm not jealous. But it makes for an excellent story that's for sure.

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  23. Wow, I thought my wild trips tubing down the Salt River were crazy. Thank goodness you didn't meet any weird rednecks out in the middle of nowhere.

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  24. I've always wanted to try white water rafting but haven't got the chance yet.

    Nice change of pace without the pictures. Good reminder that you guys are just as entertaining solely as writers (brings me back to some of your earlier posts).

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  25. So, it's weird.

    I have a bunch of friends who wanted to go white-water-rafting.

    They are a bunch of gung-ho, extreme guys and gals who wouldn't blink an eye at the though of this. Childs play, for them, anyway.

    I was roped into going, but here's the thing;
    I have a DEADLY fear of water. Like panic attack reading YOUR story.

    So what do I do?
    Convince them all that sky-diving is a FAR better idea.

    I'd never been sky-diving. Had no desire to, but didn't want to look like a weiner in front of these rugged pals of mine.

    LUCKILY, everything turned out fine. I didn't hit the ground in a bone-infused mush, neither did any of my friends.

    But good for you, for hanging out in a river. I will forever go to crazy lengths to avoid it.

    :)
    Jen

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  26. I was game until the groin rash. Then I decided that river rafting just isn't the sport for me.

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  27. Hot dog! I just found your blog and because of this quote "We rose from the marsh like homeless pirates with rafts in tow" I'm following! your are quite a writer and make me laugh! Glad you didnt die in the whirlpool!

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  28. I live in an area that is pretty famous for it's camping and floating. I've never done either though. And don't plan to. Your story just reaffirms my belief that I've been right about this all along.

    Jay

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  29. Shit! That is scary. Always fun riding in the back of a cop car for no good reason too. You boys, never thinking ahead. God love ya.

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  30. I've heard the Platte was bad, now I know never to venture that way. Doesn't sound like much fun. Glad you made it out alive tho!

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  31. That'll teach you to buy cheep ass e-quip-ment.

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  32. The last time I was in Chi-town it was to go to Buddy Guys place. Fabulous time. And lucky you didn't wind up dead on the river. One of the labs I worked in was across from the morgue. Every summer "floaters" would come in. Christ, the stink of a dead, bloated, drowned body is horrific. We'd go home early because of the smell. Every story has a bright side to it.

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  33. Ain't nothing better than some groin rash! ....wait.

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  34. The Jonah Hill comment may, or may not have sent me over the edge. Missed you guys! Haven't been on in a few weeks :-/

    - ash

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  35. Wow, I needed that after the IT conference I sat in all morning.
    All you needed was an "Argh," before the "The river, she be a cruel wench," and I would have been sent back to childhood memories of a the Garfield Halloween Special I watched growing up.
    You guys always deliver :)

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  36. Too late, I will never change my opinion of Chicago that your comics and posts have filled my head with 'blackhawks'

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  37. That's a tale for the grandkids that one. However, 3 beers in 10 minutes - seems you guys need to get back out on the waves and try to better that record.

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  38. It has been forever since I went white water rafting. My family and I used to go all the time in the Poconos when they released water from the dams and got "white water" (SO lame it isn't even funny) but at least we had a good time. No blood, no kevlar, and no major issues...except for LOTS of laughs. Might be time to plan another trip...though yours has me a bit hesitant.

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  39. aw. you had me at groin rash.

    and now, for the rest of my days, whenever i think of chicago i will picture your groin rash and smile fondly.

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  40. You know what else gives you ball rash? Mistakenly grabbing the "triple medicated" version of the "regular" Gold Bond you thought you were grabbing and rubbing that on your junk.

    T'ain't no way to do things.

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  41. I kind of have this mental picture of Stewie's hand rising up out of the river like the last scene of Deliverance.

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  42. Poor Stewie. Lol, sorry Brandon. My trip to Chicago this week was fun enough. Rosetti's charged us too much for pizza, our hotel was fully booked and we were moved to another (luckily better) hotel, I spent an extra 45 minutes on I-290, and it was very windy and cold. Can't wait to do it again twice next month.

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  43. Have you ever been tanking? Or is tanking something that only Nebraskans are redneck (scratch) country enough to try? ...yes, I'm from NE... Anyway, it's kind of like this, only lazier, and more fun. I mean, you're in a cattle tank. So you wouldn't have ran out of beer, because there's way more room :D

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  44. That's pretty crazy. I don't think I'd like being escorted in a police car. I'd be too nervous. Did he at least let you ride in the front seat?

    Angela
    grahamandangela.blogspot.com

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  45. This is why I view the wilderness as a place to stop in between cities.

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  46. ur posts r worth the wait...river rafting sounds adventurous.. ;)

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  47. Sounds eerily similar to the last time I went to the water park.... but with way more floating bandaids and kid pee.....

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  48. Damn, Brandon! That's quite a story. Don't do this yourself, boys and girls! Shit, the only thing missing is a bunch or retard banjo playing bastards!

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  49. Strangely enough, I have a dumbfuckery story almost exactly like this one. Great minds think alike I guess. Mine involved inner tubes and a beaver however. It was also kind of refreshing to see just writing for a change. I love the paint cells but this was pretty good as well. Keep up the good work.

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  50. I consider myself a good enough swimmer, but having someone almost drown me (or purpose) when I was a kid, I try to stay away from crazy water activities. If it had been me in that raft I probably would've followed Stewie into the depths of hell. Btw, next time double ziplock bag that cell phone and keep it in your underwear! It might be a bit uncomfortable having it there fighting for space with your family jewels, but it'll save your life if you run into crazy people instead of nice policemen. ;)

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  51. Man, I have a story that is very similar to that one! I was six and had an excuse for my actions though :) Glad to hear you survived.

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  52. GROIN RASH?!

    Sorry, but you'll never be sexy in my eyes again.

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  53. First time here! I love this blog for the fist sentence! I love beer! :) I will follow you from Italy :)

    http://thinkingincoffeebreak.blogspot.com/

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  54. You came away from all that with a bit of itchy scrot? How did you not end up in some Cabin Fever - skin melting off - nightmare?

    Lucky or what?

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  55. Can't think of anything witty enough to match everyone else but you definitely have a way with words. Next time ask to borrow someone's canoe.Poor Stewie!

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  56. i dont think i've ever gone-a-rafting on a.... no... wait... yes i did. And it was a real river too.

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  57. I haven't tried water rafting which is ironic because for 22 years I've been living in a city known for water rafting in the whole philippines. your rafting adventure is like a life and death battle. LOL, and you beat death!

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  58. Are pirates always homeless or do they just want as many homes as possible and leave old ones behind to obtain this?

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  59. You got damn lucky not to have died.

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  60. I love tales of dumbfuckery! Glad none of you died. I regularly drive alongside and atop the North Platte river too, so it's kind of fun to hear your description of its southern reach.

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  61. So many Deliverance jokes...must resist.

    We used to go tubing all the time. Nothing as dramatic as what happened to you and the water was possibly a might cleaner. Though there was this one time at camp where the sleazy teacher started massaging my friend while she sat on his lap floating down the river...that's rather inappropriate, right?

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  62. sounds like you had a magical time! Reminds me of the time we went kayaking and got chased by bulls, I never paddled that fast in my life!

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  63. All places in the world will you some kind of adventure if you would be willing to take it. I like your disposition in life despite your rafting incident.

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