Mundane Doesn't Describe It

For the slackatudinally challenged.

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Location: United States

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. Mark Twain, Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances. - Unknown, I am retired and have tried to do as little as possible - slowly. Me.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I don’t know what made me think of this, but OK everybody gets a little wild every now and then. I’m a little embarrassed by this story but here goes. As usual the place and time - Sacramento, CA - Summer 1980.

I was stationed out in CA at this time and I was living in the dorms. The dorms at that time consisted of long hallways with rooms on each side. There was one large common bathroom per floor and one common room with a TV and chairs. Each floor held about 75 to 100 people. I’m explaining the dorm so you can understand the mindset back then. Any and ever reason for a party was the mindset. To give a few examples, one time I was sitting in a chair leaning back against the wall in my room reading. All of a sudden the chair started swaying from side to side. I thought what the heck and looked up at the curtains on the windows. They were coming away from the wall. Being the slow-witted person I am, it took me all of a second to realize EARTHQUAKE. By the time I realized this, the earthquake was over, but I ran to my door and put my head out into the hallway. I see other heads popping out and it’s deathly quiet. Suddenly you could hear someone screaming, EARTHQUAKE PARTTTTYY. People start grabbing everything they had to drink and pouring out into the parking lot to party. As I said, any reason to party, with the most common reason being storms and the lights going out. When this happened you would always hear TOGA PARTTTTTYY. Everybody would grab sheets off their beds, make a passable toga and head out to the parking lot. It didn’t matter if it was sprinkling or pouring rain, everyone would be out in the parking lot dressed in their togas and sharing beer. OK you know what kind of mindset we were in.

We used to drive up to Sacramento to go rafting on the American River. This time, two of my friends (J & T) and I went up there. We drive up to a place that rents rafts, rented a raft and then boarded a big bus to take us to the starting point. We get to the starting point and load our raft. We came fully stocked with plenty of beer for the trip and I think that was about it except for what we had on us. There was one rule in the raft, the ‘no beer rule’. If you didn’t have a beer in your hand, you were fair game to be pushed out into the water. Now the part of the American River we went on is a lazy easy flowing place. There were families, old people and very stupid people like us on the river.

The first half of the rafting was fun. We’re drinking our beer and each of us got pushed out at least once. We pulled over to watch some kids on top of a bluff. The kids were in their teens and had built a small ramp to jut off the bluff over the river. They would be yelling at people to throw them a beer and for this they would hop on their bicycles, hit the ramp at high speed and then do the most amazing acrobatic moves before hitting the river. We watched for awhile and then moved on. Let it be known we never threw them a beer and during that time we consumed a number of our preciously hoarded stock.

As we continued down the river J came up with the bright idea of nude rafting. I started protesting and in no time J & T had clothes off and were sitting on the side of the raft paddling on down the river. Now I’m not the type of person that just shucks off his clothes in public, but after them giving me hell for awhile, I said what the heck and doffed my clothes too. Remember we had been drinking a lot of beer. The river was filled with people that day and I can remember families going by with mothers covering their children’s eyes and people yelling at us. I just sat down in the bottom of the raft and tried to look as inconspicuous as possible.

Now the ‘no beer rule’ came into play again. J didn’t have a beer and he was out of the raft. During the struggle to push him out of the raft, we also ended up turning it over. Beer, clothes and everything went floating down the river. T and I managed to get our clothes and the beer. J couldn’t find his. By this time a new group of rafters are coming by, and T and I had donned our clothes. Poor J has nothing. The new rafters start yelling at J about having no clothes. T and I decide what the hell. We start yelling at him too about not having clothes. Of course we had a beer in hand and laughing the whole time.

We come to the end of our rafting and had to get back on the bus to get back to the starting point. We feel sorry that J has no clothes and give him a shirt to wrap around his front. T and I get on the bus first and watch as J comes on. He goes to sit down by a girl and she pushes him out of the seat. He said OK and sits by another girl who is laughing at the situation. We explain what had happened to the girl and she said she knew, she had seen the whole thing and thought it was hilarious. The bus takes off and everybody has a great time on the way back. We get to the starting point, unload, get to the car that has dry clothes and J says, “You won’t believe this.” As soon as he said it I knew his keys were at the bottom of the American River. So we call another friend who has to drive an hour to come and pick us up. During the hour T and I are falling on the ground laughing because J is walking around the parking lot with his front covered and his back end hanging out. To this day I am still amazed we didn’t get arrested.

So ends the tale of spontaneous parties, nude rafting and beer drinking. I am embarrassed a little bit, but on the whole I still laugh when I think about it. I lost touch with those friends and don’t even know if they are alive today. But I wish I could find them and just reminisce about a day on the American River.


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