The MisAdventures of Scargirl
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firetruck story 

Inflatible rafts manufacturers are sure funny. On my raft it was written, “Do not use in water.” Well, I had every intention to.

firetruck blog
Photo by Vmenkov

We paddled away. And kept paddling. The water was choppy and it frequently splashed up into our faces, leaving that wonderful salt residue as the sea does.

funny firetruck

Firetrucks on the Beach

I absolutely love the beach. In fact, I am sitting on Playa Cabria on the Costa del Sol in Spain as I pen this. A few years back I had the good fortune to live on Anna Maria Island off of Florida's Gulf coast. What a dream the sand is there. Soft as walking on flour beneath your feet. It looks like flour, too. A lot of places claim to have white sand. Maybe they have never been to Anna Maria Island.

My roommate, Skim, and I had recently relocated to the enchanting Island. It was so enchanting locals warned us about it saying we could lose our soul. That sounded pretty serious; I was skeptical. It had been a long 20+ years since I had found it, and I wasn't going to give it up that easy.

After returning from a long weekend trip to the Florida Keys, a misadventure all its own, we had the itch for more excitement. On the beach where we lived, you could see a definite split where the golden water turned to teal and then to azure. It's these azure waters we were pining for.

Having experienced the biggest fishing boat in the Keys, we exchanged long faces and pathetic looks. I wonder if Skim's parents ever really liked me, or if they feared for their daughter hanging around me. Not all my ideas were good.

Skim would never profess to be a good swimmer. That's because she is not. I, on the other hand, would do laps in the sea forty minutes every other day or more. Without a boat anywhere in sight, we set off for the azure waters on our inflatible rafts.

Inflatible raft manufacturers are sure funny. On my raft it was written, “Do not use in water.” Well, I had every intention to. We paddled away. And kept paddling. The water was choppy and it frequently splashed up into our faces, leaving that wonderful salt residue as the sea does. But we were determined.

Once or twice Skim commented, “I'm really not a good swimmer. We're kinda far out.” She gave a long look at the shore far behind her. “If something happens there isn't much I can do...”

“Would you like to turn back?”

She hesitated before answering, “No. I'll just grab onto your raft,” she bravely smiled.

We kept going. Both of us were really quite responsible at putting on the sun block. It is a good thing. It seemed like we were about ½ mile offshore. We must have been two. I say that, because that is what I have heard-you are usually twice as far across the water as you think you are. Now, I wasn't sure on the psychology. Did I think I was ¼ mile out, so I say to myself a ½ mile out and that is it, or was it looking like a ½ mile?

I don't know. But we decided we wouldn't soon reach the azure. Our scary fluids kicked our brain into common-sense mode and we turned back for shore. Not long after I heard sirens. From over the top of the palm trees, I saw the top of a firetruck.

Skim made no mind to them. I watched her for a minute.

“Firetrucks,” I said sideways.

“Yeah, but I don't see smoke,” she said casually turning her red head from side to side.

I shook my head. My eyes opened wide. “We are the smoke!”

“NO!” she laughed lowly.

“Yes,” I quietly insisted.

“No, can't be.”

“Look at the people on the shore pacing about.” There were not many there to begin with. It was only early June. But those that were had given us their attention. “They think we are in trouble.”

“Oh my gosh. I think you're right,” she began to laugh hysterically. “What should we do?”

The firetruck pulled up along the sidewalk on the beach. A young, fit lifeguard rested a surfboard on the back of a four-wheeler and hopped on. He drove up and down the beach, trying to flag us.

“What should we do?” she repeated, now annoyed.

“Dunno. If we go straight in, we will have to fill out a report, and blah-blah-blah. Stupid. I'm so disgusted. I mean, look, one guy with a surfboard. He can't make it out this far before we get in. and how is one guy gonna rescue the two of us?”

“So, what are we gonna do?”

We looked at each other and just kept paddling. “I am going to head for the far end of the beach. They will hopefully get the drift, ha-ha, that we are not afraid or in danger and leave. False alarm. I don't want to wave them off, because they may think we are waving for help.”

“Yeah. Okay. And what if we get to the shore and they are still there?”

“Well, I am not getting off this raft until they leave. Keep your face down. Don't let them identify you. Look at me. Ignore them.”

She sighed. “Right. I am the only girl on the island with bright red hair! Like that won't be hard to discover! I have to be at work in an hour, too!” Her temper was rising.

We paddled into the choppy waves. My neck was really beginning to torque. We laughed. It was so hard to believe. The firetruck remained. It must have taken us nearly an hour to get near the shore. Within about thirty minutes our rescue crew surrended to the false alarm. They all left.

I just wanted to know, how was one guy on a surfboard going to rescue us? I wanted to secretly write an article about the ill prepared rescue forces at the beach and deliver it to the news department.

I never did.

Written by Jori Sams


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