Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why Do We Do It

Ever wonder what makes people do the things they do? I mean, really stop and wonder what could they possibly be thinking? Like, the guys that climb Mount Everest, in all that cold and slippery ice. Why? How about bungee jumping. Clearly these folks are deranged. How about ski jumpers, parachutists, and tailgaters. Yeah, I snuck that one in because I HATE tailgaters, and it's kinda dangerous. Who knows why these people do these seemingly insane things that most sane people would never consider. They have a passion for the adrenaline rush. They want to be noticed. They are crazy. All of these are great reasons why someone would do the very thing that might finish them off, all in the name of thrill seeking. But, hey, maybe they aren't crazy. Maybe bungee jumping really is fricking awesome. Maybe climbing an ice covered mountain freezing your butt off is really the bomb. It's not for us, but for them... well they just gotta go do it. We had a friend named Jerry, that we called Jumpin Jerry, because he loved to jump off stuff. Tall things mostly, so he could deploy his parachute just in time to keep from becoming Bouncing Jerry. A really nice guy actually, kept looking up a lot. He wanted us to take him out to the light that marks American Shoal here in the Florida Keys. It seems he had a dream of jumping off that light, from the very top, and floating down to the water. I declined. It's a warning tower, a lighthouse, owned by the Feds. The ones with jails. So, Jerry moved on to bigger things, and actually left here for Great Falls Idaho I think. They have a bridge there that you are allowed to jump off legally he said. Good luck Jumpin Jerry, it's not for me, but I get it. I really do. I mean, if that thing that you really like to do is that important to you, then go for it. I respect that in a person, no matter what it is. Except tailgating. Maybe when Jerry was a kid, had one of those GI Joe's on a parachute that you throw in the air and watch it float down. I did, and loved that thing. I will never jump out of a plane though. For me, it was the ocean. We moved to the beach when I was a kid, 5 years old or so. We would stay till it got dark, and we were freezing and wet. We didn't care, it was great anyhow. Later, I learned to surf (I really sucked at that though) and was a beach patrol lifeguard for a while. But thinking back, I remember how cool I thought Popeye was. Now here is a cool guy. He is a sailor, not afraid of water of anything. He smokes a pipe, very cool to a five year old. Had plenty of bubble pipes in my day as a youth, practicing up for my adult foray into nicotine addiction. They still make those things? And he had a girl. Well sort of a girl. I quickly realized even as a kid this bitch was trouble. I mean come on, she was always taking off on good old Popeye, and then getting into some trouble. Usually with Bluto. Give her up man, move on. But no, Popeye had a secret weapon that was always ready for rapid deployment. Spinach! THEN the action got started! I ate tons of spinach as a kid, that is why I am incredibly strong now as an adult. Old Bluto would eat a giant can of fist stew a few times, and good old Popeye would be right back on the good side of love! I dreamed of being a sailor some day myself, I really dreamed about it. And now look at me. A sailor. Still like spinach too. I used to watch a cartoon called Underdog too. He was an unlikely hero, who, like Popeye, had a girlfriend who had a knack for getting tied to railroad tracks and such. He had a ring with a magic pill inside, and when he took that pill... WHAM , he could fly and kick butt like a turbo charged Chuck Norris on super steroids. It seems that the cartoons of the day might have been written by a bunch of stoners actually. Anyway, there are those that would say that sailing off into the oceans on a tiny boat is a lot like climbing Mount Everest. It's dangerous and it's stupid to put your very lives at risk to do it. Just stay home, somethings on at eight. Why risk it, there are storms and pirates and God knows the perils. Well, I say GO JUMPIN JERRY ! I will take that risk! I want to go and do it anyway. Where is my SPINACH about now? For me, this is what makes it so good, the feeling of accomplishment, like when you sorta sail from Jacksonville to Key West in storms. Sure, it kinda sucked at times, but I wanted to stand out there, on the front of the boat, in the damn rain and eat some spinach. And if you don't get it yourself, then you can just go jump. Yeah Jerry, you too old friend.