Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Captain's Log, Day 68: I. LIKE. FROGS.

          "I can't believe you're actually going to do this!"
          I snickered. Shorty had said that at least 5 times within the last three minutes. "Neither do they!" I jabbed a thumb over my shoulder at the couple 30 yards up the riverbank, who had probably been having a nice romantic moment before we had showed up. Now they were watching us intently and trying to pretend that they weren't.
          I happen to like frogs. The other day, I'd been wandering around the riverbank when I saw this HUGE storm drain that emptied out into the river. The pipe was probably 15 feet tall from the water, with huge concrete walls protecting it from the bank. And also probably from people like me, who would see the five-pound bullfrogs on the sandbar inside the pipe and feel the need to go catch it. Unfortunately, there was the 15-foot drop to contend with. I could probably survive the fall, but unless I felt like swimming out into the river, there was no way for me to get out.
          Fortunately, I had a plan.
          "I wonder if there's laws against this?" Shorty mused as I finished knotting the rope.
          "What, laws against rappelling down into a storm sewer?" I thought about that for a second. "Probably. But I'm not going in, per se...I'm just going down the wall to that sandbar so I can get that stupid frog!" I tied the rope to the base of the conveniently placed post and straddled the wall. "Alrighty, here goes. Any bets on whether or not I--WHOA!!!"
          That last exclamation was due to extreme clumsiness on my part. As I climbed over the wall, I had one hand on the rope and one on the wall. The plan had been to grab the rope with both hands once I let go of the wall...but I kind of, um, slipped, missed my grip on the rope, and slid one-handed down the wall at high velocity.
          I picked myself up off the ground and dusted my kiester off. "Made it!"
          Shorty was laughing. "Are you okay?"
          I examined myself. "Couple of scrapes, nothing too--wow. That's cool."
          I held up my hand. "Rope burn. I'm impressed. I didn't get this badly burned when I stuck my hand in that fire."
          "You did WHAT???"
          I doubled over laughing. "Lost a bet a long time ago. Don't ask. Where did that frog go?"
          Shorty glared at me. "I'm asking."
          I examined the sandbar. "And I'm ignoring you. Completely useless...NOW he moved. That's a retarded frog. Okay, I'm coming back up now..."
          Unfortunately for me, there was a slight problem. My right hand was too badly burned to hold onto the rope tightly enough to ascend in the fashion that I'd been planning, and the knots were too small for me to grip with my feet. I began double-knotting all the knots I could reach, then Shorty pulled the rope up and finished the knots at the top.
          I glared at the water. "Next time, we bring a boat," I muttered before I grabbed the rope and began ascending. Now that I could grip the rope with my feet, climbing was very easy. At least, until I got near the top and discovered that I had miscalculated with my knots. There was at least three feet of unknotted rope before the top.
          I did what any marginally brain-dead person would have. I jumped for it.
          Considering I've spent my entire life to date pulling my kiester out of spots like this, or into trees, rafters and other odd, random and interesting places, I thought that it was considerably harder than I thought to pull myself up and over the wall. On the other hand, maybe I was finally gaining some weight! (I hate being this skinny.)
          Shorty helped me gather the rope. "Next time, you should use a ladder."
          "Agreed," I nodded. "Or a boat. I NEED TO GET THAT FROG!!!!!!!!"