Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby

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Unknown Chapter From “Ghostwriting Your Autobiography”

Bit weird this week, but keep reading because it definitely gets weirder.


Freed from its dock lines, the tiny sailboat trembled in the waves. Rachel grabbed the tiller, unwilling to accept failure. Yancey clung to a jib line, sitting but still unable and unwilling to find his sea legs. They may have looked passable, adroit even, but had actually only just this morning rented these sailor suits.

The rental guy pushed them out of the slip. Pivoting as the wind picked up, they slowly headed towards the center of the man-made lake. Yancey let out a soft wail. Rachel said she’d omit that detail from the final draft of his autobiography. Both had forgotten everything they had known about sailing—the rental guy’s entire three-minute rundown on sailing and also his name.

With the wind shifting, the boom snapped across unexpectedly, narrowly missing them, as Yancey’s novelty sized lollipop tumbled into the lake. Rachel steadied herself, giddy. “Danger on the high seas!” she called out. Yancey bit his bottom lip and tightened his grip on the jib line. He hadn’t envisioned it would be like this; he’d pictured more pastel colors and a lot more singing.

The boat was a good quarter-mile from shore now. The rental guy had frisked Yancey before he’d allowed him to come aboard. Probably all the questions Yancey had asked about crackers after the guy had said he didn’t want to get any crumbs on the boat. One piece of contraband, however, remained, a tandem pack of Sunshine Krispy Original saltines stowed in Yancey’s left sock. Terrified, Yancey put both in his mouth, momentarily quelling his nerves.

Ropes were tangling and the slack sail seemed to not be very sailboat-like. Neither Yancey or Rachel knew what was happening, but it was clear they weren’t doing this right. Rachel barked, “Give me some quotes, Captain, like we practiced.”

Yancey swallowed the tasteless mass, inviting fear. His voice cracking, he struggled through “Battle stations, men,” “We’re out of olives!?” and “Not for all the biscuits in Cheddar Bay.” Yancey rattled off a few more, misquoting both Sinbads and adding few plugs for all-you-can-eat shrimp. Rachel wanted a lot of angles and options on writing up this adventure. She knew the it could read a few different ways, be Yancey a heroic captain, pirate comedian, or Red Lobster spokesman.

Saltine-less, Yancey wished the costume shop clerk hadn’t talked him out of bringing condiments. He knew he would have been careful, and that clerk had no right to demand a double deposit.

“Partly cloudy. T-shirt weather. Wind coming from a single direction.” Rachel paused. “I’m no weathergirl, Captain, but in my opinion this here is a perfect storm.” The boat listed right and Yancey’s wailing grew louder. He had no reason to fear the lake, for it had been an entirely different lake where his sailor grandfather had drowned.

Rachel ordered her captain up. Yancey said she had a lot of nerve jumping rank, but he’d allow it. She asked if he was ready. Yancey looked at her quizzically and she let go of the tiller and started yanking lines at random. He’d ordered her to stop, but she just laughed maniacally and screamed something about a mutiny. She kept pulling, the sails now swelling and the vessel listing further. Yancey stood to stop her, but lost his balance and tumbled down, getting Rachel’s oversized lollipop caught in his blonde wig. The edge of the boat tipped into the lake. The deck began filling with water. “Women and children first, Yancey!” Rachel yelled, jumping off the boat as it capsized with Yancey on it.

The sail dipped into the water and Yancey tumbled out. Half submerged, the boat and the two of them bobbed in the waves. Rachel paddled over to him. “Noble. The captain going down with the ship.” His teeth gritted as he angrily straightened his sailor hat and blonde wig back to regulation. “Don’t give me that look,” she took Yancey’s hand, “you’re the captain.”

Rachel said she didn’t mean what she said about the mutiny; Yancey could be in charge of getting them rescued. “Rental Guy, help!” he screamed, flailing his arms above his head, drifting in his life jacket.

She buckled her jacket to Yancey’s and told him to stop flailing. The guy would either come out and save them, or the boat would sink and they would float to shore eventually. It didn’t matter, Rachel thought; she didn’t have any other plans today. Yancey remained scared, now worried the boat company would come after them financially. “Don’t worry,” Rachel said. “We paid in cash and I lied to the rental guy. My real name isn’t Admiral Bayliner McSalt.”

Yancey was still panicking. Yelling wasn’t working, word games were no help either, and so Rachel grabbed Yancey by the collar of his lifejacket and kissed him to get him to stop his screeching. They might be out here awhile and she didn’t want to hear anymore of his bellyaching. She kept kissing him, really doing some serious necking. Boy, anything goes on the sea, Yancey thought.

The lifejackets were cumbersome, but an improvised tactile scouring ensued. Really, only one or two of the mutinies Yancey had seen on TV and movies had ended like this. Plus they’d probably already lost their deposits on these costumes.

Rental Guy eventually made his way out on a motorized skiff. At first he was pretty annoyed to find the boat capsized with them kissing. He pretended not to watch what they were doing, but definitely did. It’s a lonely life being a married to the sea.

Eventually, their boat was righted and dragged back to the marina. Rental Guy said they weren’t welcome back until they learned how to sail, so, essentially, a lifetime ban.

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