Earlier this month when the temperature was hovering between the 40s and 50s (Fahrenheit, not Celsius) and the ocean was even cooler, John announced he wanted to buy a wet suit. So, off we headed to the nearest surf shop. The fair-haired attendant was maybe twenty-years old. IF.
Anyway, John explained what he wanted and the kid handed him four different wet suits to try on. As well as a plastic bag. Yup. A regular ole' plastic bag you get while grocery shopping or going to Walmart. Apparently it makes getting into a wet suit easier.
I sat outside the change room, all the while listening to the squeaky sound of neoprene rub against human flesh. It's so UN-natural, made all the more so by John's grunts and groans.
After what seemed an eternity, he exited the change room. Proudly wearing the wet suit...sort of. He'd pulled it up as high on his chest as possible, but for the life of him he couldn't figure out how to get his right arm inside the sleeve. For whatever reason it was blocked at the shoulder.
Kiddo kept his game face on as he explained it was a cell phone pouch. After shoving the flap aside, he helped John pull the suit up and over his head. Then, he fastened the Velcro neck closure with a couple of solid yanks.
Within seconds John's face turned bright red. He looked like a volcano ready to erupt. "The top half," he squeaked, his palm covering his heart, "is too tight!"
"Try the next suit," Blondie suggested, as he released the Velcro neck strap. (He had to release it because despite numerous attempts neither John nor I could. I know I'm a weakling, but John isn't. What gives?)
Back inside the change room the battle against neoprene and human continued. Sadly, the suits won. While the bottom half of each suit fit, the top half was too snug. John explained the problem once more, and what did the kid do?
Diddly squat. He just stood there with a goofy look on his face.
Somewhat frustrated, we left. Sans wet suit.
On the drive back to the condo I wondered if perhaps we were too harsh on the kid. "Look at it from his point of view," I told John. "To him we're old. He sees gray hair and thinks you shouldn't even be getting in a kayak at your age. In fact, he's probably thinking you should trade up for a coffin."
After we shared a good laugh, John sat at his computer and ordered the bottom half of the wet suit and booties online. The gear arrived four days later and wearing it and a long sleeve shirt under his PFD (personal flotation device) John was all set.
So, off he went in his kayak. Warm and protected from the harsh Florida elements. (Insert violin music here.) On the way to Shell Island he spotted Captain Charlie's Life Bait Barge.
Then, he saw this sandcastle. (Notice Emily's name in front. He did this for you, Emily!!)
Meanwhile in the park, they were doing some controlled burning that lasted three or four days.
How does this story end? The mercury shot up almost as soon as John got his wet suit. I think he's worn it twice, but hey, now he's prepared for anything.
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