Archive for August, 2010

The family and I recently traveled to Niagra Falls (the Canadian side) for an end of summer “get-away”.  Connie informed me that I couldn’t call it a vacation because we only went for a few days, all of us walked away still wanting to be related and my American Express card didn’t burst into flames from excessive use- it smoked and sparked but stopped short of full on “torch mode”.  Had I purchased one more authentic native American arrow head (stamped made in Taiwan)  or “Niagra Falls” themed snow globe my whole wallet would likely be in ashes, but luckily we escaped before the boys located anymore “must have” items.

I hope I don’t sound cheap, because I’m not (reference Cayden’s 426 “Silly Bands”)- but for the amount of money I spent on (1) “Canadian” bottle of water I could have purchased (3) large sodas at our local IMAX or (2) hot dogs and a set of mouse ears at Walt Disney World.  What does that tell you?  It should tell you that for the price of riding the “Maid of the Mist” I could have paid off my house ten years ahead of time or given enough change to UNICEF to allow them to give away an IPOD touch with every bowl of rice.  I’m not bitter, how could I be?  For the small fee of $190 I got the once in a life time experience of riding an open bow boat with three-hundred of my closest non-hygienic European friends.  But wait that wasn’t even the best part- get this, we did the whole thing while “Mother Nature” blasted ice cold water into our smiling, unsuspecting faces with the ferocity of a friggin fire hydrant.  Who wouldn’t pay top dollar for that experience?  Friggin “Maid of the Mist” my ass- there is nothing maidenly about that hag.   At some level I understand that getting wet while visiting the Falls should seem intuitive because… well, because it’s a big friggin water fall.  But I’m an American, I want to view the falls in a comfortable manner fitting of the natural splendor which is “NIAGRA”- i.e  ice cold adult beverage in one hand, hot wing in the other (maybe there is a Niagra Falls cable channel which enables you to experience the whole thing from the comfort of a local Micro-Brewery (hmmm, potential money maker- any backers?).

But did that occur?  Why no it didn’t- thank you for asking.  Instead, I was wrapped in a blue garbage bag and pushed out into the elements to suffer with the rest of the multi-national crowd that made up the crew of the “S.S. THIS-SUCKS-ASS”.  I think I’m going to sue Canada for PTSD triggered by excessive dampness and a horrendous case of cold water shrinkage that won’t seem to go away no matter how friction I apply to it.  I think next time I feel inclined to experience the Falls I’ll save the money and just head to Abu Ghraib and ask a couple of CIA henchmen to water board me- same experience, less expense.

Don’t get me wrong we did a lot of other things while visiting Niagra Falls- here is a quick list:

1. ” Journey behind the falls”- got friggin drenched

2.  “Niagra-Fury”- got drenched and once we were wet it no-kidding snowed on us- no shit!  WTF, where in the world does it snow in 100 degree summer heat?  Why in Niagra Falls of course-and it only cost us about $150 to experience it.

3.  Swam in the hotel pool- we were all ready wet so we didn’t even bother to put on swimsuits.

I’ve got to sign off an get some sleep, but I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I think Canada sucks- because it doesn’t.  Canada is a great time- especially if your an independently wealthy former resident of Atlantis.

What the Hell is that?

August 1, 2010

The Groah family went fishing this afternoon off of Connie’s boat.  Fishing expeditions afloat rarely result in anything (i.e we don’t catch shit) so when Connie hooked into a friggin “Godzilla” fish I was a bit surprised. 

Most of my initial surprise can be attributed to the fact that one of us actually caught something by means of rod, reel and bait.  Like I eluded to earlier we’ve never caught anything from Connie’s boat.  I was pretty sure the thing was bottom painted with fish repellent, but apparently it only repels good looking edible fish.  Slimy, prehistoric looking creatures with multiple rows of razor sharp teeth on the other hand flock to it like fat kids to a Twinkie display- friggin lovely.  Who wants to swim off the back of the boat kids? 

My initial surprise was quickly replaced by disgust when I got a look at what Connie had hauled aboard. Her fish, or fish-like creature, was the nastiest example of aquatic life that I have ever had the displeasure of laying my eyes on.  If Satan has a fish tank in Hell it is probably teaming with these things.

What the hell is that?

What the hell is that?

The thing looked like flem with gills- “F”ing Gross.  Connie was quite proud- after all, how many people can say that they landed the missing link of the fish world.  What I was feeling was far from pride.  What I felt was dread because I knew I would be the one that had to retrieve the hook from the beast’s gaping suck-hole.  I’m sure some of you are thinking “what’s the big deal, sure he’s ugly but come on Shane be a man…”


He's not smiling; he's trying to eat my face

He's not smiling; he's trying to eat my face

Okay so now that you know what I had to face how many of you are standing in line to reach in and pull out the hook?  That’s what I thought- so quit hating on me for being a wuss. 

Good God!  If “farts” had eyes and teeth I imagine they would look exactly like this.  Connie wasn’t the least bit concerned because the length of her fishing pole kept this abomination out of striking distance- the fact that her husband was there to take care of business probably didn’t hurt either.  It’s easy to act tough when you’re not the one doing the dirty work.

Connie snapped a couple of photos and the boys got a close look at her catch and then they started to nag me about setting it free.  Set it free?  Is that the wisest choice?   I wasn’t convinced that releasing it back to the depths of our favorite body of water was the best idea.  Who knows how big this thing had the potential of becoming?  It would be a real kick in the pants if six months from now this thing was 800 pounds with a ravenous appetite for our friends and neighbors who frolicked in the bay oblivious to its existence.  But who am I to question my lovely wife’s judgement so I grasped his gelatinous, most likely poisonous, form and started to yank the hook from his pie-hole.

That’s when I discovered yet another of its defense mechanisms.  As if teeth, poison and outrageously disgusting looks weren’t enough the thing happened to be chalk full of fish shit which he apparently had the ability to release at will.  I managed to keep my composure as he purged the contents of his bowels all over my hands however, and I’m happy to report that the creature was safely returned to the Severn River where it will likely continue to eat unsuspecting water fowl and small dogs who venture to closely to the waters edge.

Enjoy the rest of your summer folks- but don’t say you weren’t warned.