I’m on a Mother F***-ing Floaty

Monday, Fun day.

Last Monday was the first full day off I’ve had in maybe a month. I celebrated in several ways.

Sunday night Colin arrived home from Madison, and I got done a teensy bit early than usual. We mixed our customary dirty Sapphire gin martinis, two gourmet olives (thaaaaaaanks Main Street Market), and sat outside on the deck. The waves rushed in, and he regaled me with the weekend’s adventures: shopping at Woodman’s (oh the varieties of veggie chips! Nutrigrain bars! Ramen soup cups!), playing video games until 4 a.m., and you’ve gotta try those pickled eggs from at the Old Fashioned.

Monday fun day commenced with a sailing lesson at Ephraim Yacht Club. I have to admit I was a little bit nervous. I saw myself quickly tacking as the wind billowed and getting biffed by the sail, turtling the boat and joining Davy Jones’ Locker. I don’t know if Davy Jones has a locker in Green Bay, or if that’s reserved for larger bodies of water, but it was worrisome, all the same.

As it turned out, there was very little wind. In fact, as if to spite us, a pair of Monarch butterflies flapped (can it be said that a butterfly flaps its wings? Is there a wingspan requirement?) circled around us as we lazily crawled back from Horseshoe Island. I’ve managed to survive the summer thus far without a really nasty burn, but I made up for all that when I forgot sunscreen and burned the back of my neck like a deep-fried tomato.

Other than those minor hiccups, it was, pardon the phrase, smooth sailing. I learned the very scientific term, “puffs” for the darkened, ripply water where more wind blows, and the “lull,” aka lighter, smooth water. My sailing instructor, a lovely recent Gibraltar graduate named Olivia, was an excellent conversationalist, which was essential for how slow we were moving. I reminisced about being a freshman in college at UW Madison (where she will be attending), and gave her worldly advice about how to succeed in academia. Heh. She taught me the “owl” technique for identifying wind direction: turn your head until you can feel the wind blowing over both ears. I’m very excited to abandon the lick your finger technique.

After my sailing lesson I skeedaddled back to property, where I rallied troops. Eileen (production intern, scene painter), Sarah (props mistress) and Kelly (production intern, costumes) packed their goods into the car: towels, a hot pink raft, gaff tape for the hole in the hot pink raft, a circular penguin floating device, water, ice, cooler, cookout materials, blankets, a big thermos for cocktails…

You may be wondering if we ever made it to Nicolet Bay beach, but worry no more. We set up camp next to two small boys bulldozing some sand (sound effects included) and promptly went into relaxation mode. Three wine spritzers later, Eileen, Kelly and I decided it was floaty time. Sarah sat on the beach and watched us with a thoroughly amused look on her face. First, we attempted to find the hole in the raft. The method for doing this was as follows:

Step 1: Eileen blows air into raft. ***Eileen has lungs that can hold air like a camel holds water.

Step 2: Kelly and Brittany squeeze different locations on the raft and listen for air escaping.

Step 3: Be ready with black gaff tape in hand to place over the hole once located.

Step 4: Have many troubles finding the hole. Blow & listen, blow & listen…

Step 5: Eileen gets fed up and hands Brittany and Kelly strips of gaff tape, to be placed on the raft at random.

If Eileen had it her way, we might have gaff taped the entire raft. As it was, we went out there with it looking like franken-raft. We quickly floated past the “Swim Area” buoy, out towards a ostantatious craft named, “Ambiance.” We contemplated pirating their dinghy, but decided the neon floaty would suffice. Kelly looked uncertain as we splashed further out, closing in on the “No Wake Zone”  buoy. Her penguin started to deflate, and we paused to give it a little air boost. Kelly lost her zeal for our adventure and veered the penguin towards shore.

But not Eileen and I. We were on a mother fucking floaty.

“We’re on a floaty,” Eileen said.

“We’re on a mother fucking hot pink floaty,” I said.

“I got my flippy floppies,” Eileen said. “Or, wait, I’ve got my Teva’s.”

“And I’ve got my Chacos. Only I’m not wearing them,” I said.

“We’re on a floaty!” Eileen said.

We continued to float out. We thought that with a more reliable floaty, we could get all the way to Horseshoe Island. Then, out of nowhere, I found the hole. It was amazing. It was right beneath the “pillow” part of the floaty. Eileen pulled off a random piece of black gaff tape and gave it to me to put on the hole.

Eventually we got hungry and propelled the floaty back to shore, where a grill out awaited our presence. Colin joined us and we gorged ourselves on pork drenched in honey, grapes, a variety of chips and dips, watermelon, potato salad, and all other manner of picnic food.

Our last Monday, floaty fun day activity was American Folklore Theatre’s “Life on the Mississippi.” Too full for snacks, we smuggled in the rest of our thermos full of wine spritzer. We noshed on wine drenched strawberries as the show started. Behind us, four small children crinkled the wrappers of their rice krispie treats. The show, a sort of biography of Samuel Clemen’s life as a steamboat pilot, was thoroughly entertaining, though some of the more dramatic parts were unexpected and a bit fierce (one of the characters meets a very violent end involving steam burns).

It was certainly nice to be patrons at a different theater, for a change.

All that and still done earlier than a night of work. Whew.


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