I’ve been to the beach twice that I can recall and to a few lakes in my lifetime. I’ve only been on a boat once and that was my uncle who decided that–the best way to entertain us–was to give our group a collective heart attack.

When I was ten my family visited my grandparents here in Texas during the summer. Now, central Texas in the middle of a blistering summer is not always the best place to be when one wants to be outside. Solution? Go to a private lake. Of course, this wasn’t just my family and grandparents. Some family friends came along, as well as my two uncles (my mother’s brothers). One of them has a history of freak accidents–he set his arm on fire as a kid–and the other was the one with the boat. As for him, well, let’s just say that the family joke is that the only way to keep him from drinking is to buy Light Beer. It’s not that bad, but pretty darn close.

Once we got to the lake, we set our stuff up and did all the typical beach style stuff you do in such a locale. Swimming? Check. Grill? Check. No Light Beer for miles? Pause. Check. It was a tremendous amount of fun. When my uncle decided it was time for us to take a trip on his boat I was excited. I’d never been on one before and figured it would be fun. We piled in and sat at the prow of the ship which was where the seating area was. That didn’t concern me. After all, I’d come to the lake to get wet. A face full of spray just added to the charm. I was still thinking that when we got out into the middle of the lake and took off, right up until my uncle got behind the first boat.

Apparently, when you’re out on the water you can drive your boat behind another’s wake and get a fairly smooth ride. I don’t know if it’s similar to the drag concept with cars, but that’s of little importance. What is was the fact that you can launch your boat into the air by driving it over the edge of the lead boat’s wake–as my uncle did. I screamed myself hoarse and held onto the seat for dear life. The latter was incredibly important as the boat–for obvious reasons perhaps–didn’t have seat belts.

My uncle thought that my reaction–as well as those of our companions–was hilarious. Or perhaps it was simply the desired effect. Regardless, we performed that little stunt several times before heading back to shore. By the time we got there my hands were all but glued to the seat. That didn’t stop me from ripping them off, leaping onto terra ferma, and kissing it with appreciation.  When my uncle offered to take people again I passed.

At such a tender age, I was rather disinterested in a heart attack.

slideshow_1091998_lake-lanier-boat

Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post.

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