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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

 

A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall

Every year my family trucks down to Cannon Beach for Independence Day. In recent years this annual tradition has become a lightening rod for a series of calamities and squabbles. In 2002 I crash landed at the coast after quitting a post-undergrad summer job at a hotel in Yellowstone. The inevitable "What are you doing with your life?" argument with my folks went down amidst a crowd of celebratory families wielding hot dogs and sparklers. Last year this happened.

All things considered, 2005's trek tops the ill-fated trips of years past. I can't vouch for everyone else but I wasn't wearing a cursed tiki necklace. Maybe there was one wedged in the cushions of the hotel room's couch. Consider the following:

After getting booked into the wrong hotel room, my sister was bitten by a mysterious bug, I took a hard fall on a skimboard and a trip to the local bakery resulted in a damaged hubcap and scrapped tire on my father's new Camry (if you own one, pay extra close attention to the curb while street parking. They bruise easy).

Then, on the morning of the 3rd, I crawled out of bed and onto the deck to take a deep whiff of the salty sea air and a regal view that stretched over the Pacific all the way to the horizon. While I busy enjoying all the majesty, I felt a few drops of water hit my neck. I took a few steps back as more trickled down from overhead.

I figured it was runoff from a clogged gutter. Then I realized that it hadn't rained the night before. What looked like bird crap hit the railing next to a "Do Not Feed the Seagulls" sign as a growing collection of yellow drops slammed against the sliding glass door.

Still half-awake and disoriented, I headed outside to investigate the source of the muck. It seemed to be coming from a deck directly over ours on the third floor. Up above, a sorority girl was carrying an ice bucket filled with water.

ME: "Are you cleaning a fish up there?"

ICE BUCKET GIRL: "Uh...no."

ME: "Whatever you're doing it's getting all over our deck on the first floor."

ICE BUCKET GIRL: "Ummmm...ok. I'll stop."

She headed back inside and closed the door. A better man would have run upstairs to help her clean up the mess. Or at least fire a retaliatory bottle rocket from the lawn below. Thirty minutes after a call to the front desk, two maids showed up at our door wearing disposable gloves. They were more than happy to reveal the true identity of the muck.




Yep, it was puke.

They'd just come from the third floor via the second floor where the guests had called to complain about their deck's new coat of regurgitated pina coladas. The sorority girl was caught half-heartedly trying to clean up the mess by dumping buckets of water on it.

I spent a good portion of the morning plotting revenge tactics only to realize that they would have resulted in the entire family getting kicked out of the hotel and/or arson charges. Wherever you are, Ice Bucket Girl, I hope you're still suffering from that hangover.

I can't wait for 2006.

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