I’ve decided to share my latest book (The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man) with my followers here, free of charge, one chapter at a time. So… Where were we on this read-along… Oh, yes…
Chapter 7: The Unfortunate Nipple Incident
I once got my nipple ripped off. Er, mostly anyway.
It was that same summer I crapped my pants.
I think it’s safe to say that the universe had a big helping of humility that it was sadistically enjoying spoon feeding to me one giant bite at a time.
I was at that Boy Scout summer camp with my troop for the week. A lot of shenanigans go on at those camps. Some kids even die.
Okay, I said that just to be dramatic.
Anyway, down in the pond there were all sorts of old, colorful, rusted canoes. One day, several troops challenged ours to a canoe sinking war. And believe me, when you’re twelve, nobody is going to turn that action down. So, I climbed into a canoe with a couple other guys, and we all paddled to the middle of the treacherous (four-foot-deep) pond and waited for the whistle to blow. Yes, this was an approved, event. There must have been fifteen or twenty canoes, all with two or three Boy Scouts in each one.
Let me explain to you how canoe sinking wars work, and then we shall all sit back together and question why any adult in their right mind would sanction such a brutal and potentially injury-inducing activity.
There are no rules. Not really. You just do everything you can to tip and sink the other guys’ canoes. The last one floating is the big winner. I think they were awarded a beaver pelt or some other odd thing. The Scouting program is weird like that.
So, when that whistle did blow, you can just imagine the mayhem and craziness of it all. I still have Vietnam-type flashbacks from that day. Screams. Flailing arms. Splashing. Yelling. Groans. Grunts. Smashing. Thrashing. And every other crazy thing you can imagine.
Being the big tall fat kid who had hit puberty well before most of his peers had its advantages. My canoe seemed more stable than the others. I had a longer reach than the scrawny twigs coming at us from the other canoes. I had grip strength that could only come from, well, you know, gripping things with vigor (thus the puberty advantage). And, I was just plain old scary looking to kids that were half my size.
Canoe after canoe started going down. I roared with delight each time we sent one under. Kids everywhere were morosely dragging their canoes to shore. We actually had a shot at winning this thing.
After sinking the canoe of two weaklings who didn’t stand a chance, we found ourselves parallel to a couple of equally sizable and equally scary looking fellas. They were still a good three or four feet away and hadn’t noticed us as they were currently working to sink a boat full of dweebs on the other side of them.
“Move me closer guys!” I yelled to the boys on the other end of my canoe. If I could just reach… out… a little… closer…
A little closer…
“A little closer!”
And then it happened.
I was stretched out across the edge of my canoe, across that final span of water, and then I got hold of it. A firm grip on the other canoe! That mother-freaker was going down (I didn’t have my mad cussing skills back then).
As I labored with all my determination to push the edge of the other canoe under the water, I don’t know what happened next for sure. All I know was that my end of the canoe suddenly swung hard toward their end of their canoe, and I felt pain like I’d never felt before.
I screamed and looked down toward the source of the hurt…