Last weekend, my oldest cousin in the US turned 50, and as part of his wishes, he wanted his entire extended US family to join him on a houseboat to cruise the mean coves and open waterways of Lake Shasta, CA. Now, Lake Shasta is 4 1/2 hours by car to the closest major city (San Francisco). Going to Podunk isn’t generally my thing, but hey, he’ll only turn 50 once… so for me, I trekked 12 hours from DC to CA (including air and car travel) to join the festivities. (And even then, I did not win the gold star for most miles travelled – his sister and her son joined us from India. Go them!)
I was skeptical about just how much fun I would have on this trip. It just didn’t seem so logically thought out. In total, seventeen members of my family (and two fully grown Golden Retrievers) were going to be crammed onto this boat, so there would be no personal space at all… and did it occur to anyone that being Indian, at least 50% of my family on said boat didn’t know how to swim?!?!???? (My Dad, Brother and I… not to mention the two dogs would be okay. Whew! We’d have to take turns saving my Mom though… Every other family would have to fend for themselves. Sorry, guys.) Upon boarding, I was relieved that there were life vests on board, until I took a closer look and realized that only 3 were adult sizes. Oh, well. We would just going to have to put our safety into God’s hands… If something catastrophic did happen, pretty much our entire extended family in the US would be wiped out… except for my sister, Miss Disrespect, who was not able to come. She could thus, carry on our ENTIRE family legacy. From me, she would inherit this blog, my penny collection… and my cat.
We had tons o’laughs and gaffs, and I’m glad I went, so this story would seemingly end here. But, oh… since I’m obsessed with bodily functions (yes, I can talk about poo for hours…), there is unfortunately (or fortunately for the rest of you), one sad, sad tale that must be shared to the masses.
On this particular boat, most people were able to sleep in actual bedrooms or on mattresses strewn in the “living room”/galley. For us unfortunate few, however, there were two berths upstairs with maybe three foot ceilings to crawl into at night. As the shortest of the adults (and most of the kids), I was assigned to one of the said berths, sharing the bed with my cousin from India.
On the first night, around 3 AM (6AM DC time), I woke up suddenly, realizing that I had to empty my bladder in a BAD way. Unfortunately, to exit the berth, I would either have to step on my cousin’s head, or do some amazing inverted yoga moves to get to the stairs to take me downstairs. I decided against this action and somehow exited the bedroom by crawling out through a small window, onto the deck. I walked towards the bow and realized that two people were sleeping in the open, so I quietly sidestepped them… and stepped on a sleeping dog. Okay. This was not going to work. I didn’t really feel like getting bitten tonight… So I turned around and walked towards the stern instead. I would have to walk into someone’s bedroom, but at this point, I stopped caring. I was doing the pee-pee dance at this point.
One bedroom was locked. The other, however was open… I walked in, and promptly stepped on the other dog. This dog that hates blondes (i.e., me.), so again, I turned around. In a panic, I went back upstairs to the deck… and seriously considered peeing starboard into nature’s toilet. But as I’m not a boy, it just wouldn’t be very sanitary or clean, to say the least. So fcuk it. I walked by the sleeping couple, stepped on their mattress… and woke up the birthday boy. Then I walked downstairs, went into the galley where I proceeded to stir all of the people sleeping in there, strode into the bathroom… and sat for a full three minutes. I exited the way I came, walked through the galley again… went upstairs, waking up my cousin once more, crawled through the window, and blissfully went to bed.
About twenty minutes later, I woke up to a wet, wet nose. Apparently I left the window open and Dog #1 on the deck decided to join my cousin and me in bed. There was just no more room for a 100 pound puppy in our cubby, so I had to push her out. I’m approximating that I got two full hours of sleep that night… *sigh*
So houseboat. I’m so happy to have met you. You were a very good host, but it’s not you. It’s me. I’ll see you next when someone else in my family turns 50… and wants to endanger the Disrespect clan once again.