Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Drunkenness - Classic Riverbank*

Here is a story about a drunk and his drunken escapades. I am becoming less and less patient with drunks all the time.

This one fellow I know drinks entirely too much (where do I find them). Dennis is his name.

Dennis accompanied me on my boat one time and, of course, drank way too much. As luck would have it, a storm was rapidly approaching. This called for us to accomplish our tasks swiftly in order to get the boat out of the water and back on the trailer before the weather deteriorated.

I made my approach to the dock rapidly and brought the boat to a stop alongside it. Stepping off, I attached the dock lines to the cleats and told Dennis to hang on tight to the dock lines as I felt there was not time enough to tie up. “Do not let go of them”, I told him, “I'll be right back with the trailer“.

He held the line tight, like it was his mission in life.

Returning with the tow rig, I backed the trailer into the river and ran to grab the front dock line to pull the boat up to the trailer. The boat was not moving.

“Dennis”, said I, “let go of the dock line“.


DENNIS”, I demanded, “LET GO OF THE LINE!“

Again, nothing, he held tight.

A fellow standing close by saw my predicament and came to help, as the weather deteriorated. He tried to wrestle the line away from Dennis, but clearly, Dennis felt that he could not allow that to happen. I yelled to my new helper, "Just cut the line, I don't care".

He realized what he was dealing with and decided it might be simpler to outsmart the line away from Dennis. So, in what can only be described as a stroke of genius, he took a beer from my on deck cooler and threw it. Just as he thought might happen, off went Dennis after the beer. I was finally able to wrestle the boat onto the trailer.

As we drove away, I asked Dennis why he would not let go of the line. He said that I had told him not to. “Did you think I meant forever?” I asked him. He said he had never thought that far ahead.

Lord help me.


The next time Dennis went along with me on my boat (which was quite some time later, I might add), I had bought a different, much bigger boat. I had just installed a new Superwinch on my trailer. This is an electrically powered winch with a remote control. It is capable of pulling boats with a weight of up to 33,600 pounds. Mine is 8,000. Overkill? Hey, I like easy.

In addition, there is a bonus. I am getting to it.

On this trip, Dennis had promised me that he would not drink on Sunday, as that was the day we would be loading the boat onto the trailer and heading home.

A drunk's promise, as it turned out.

In all honesty, he could have promised me that pigs would fly on Sunday, and I would have put more stock into that promise.

After a good weekend on the river, we headed in. It was Sunday evening and Dennis, of course, was in his drunken glory. I smiled and found myself actually hoping for a replay of the last time we were in a similar situation.

I docked the boat at the launch ramp and told Dennis to hold on tight to the line. Don’t let go, I emphasized, and handed him one of the three dock lines this bigger boat required, making fast the other two to the dock as I knew better than to trust this lush with the task of holding this massive and heavy boat at a dock on a flowing river. I went to get the tow rig.

Returning, I backed the boat’s trailer into the water. Good fortune smiled on me twice. Not only would Dennis not let go of the line, but also, amazingly enough, my friend from the last episode (the beer thrower?) happened to be there.

Perfect, I am thinking.

“Dennis“, I yell, “let go of the line“.


My clever helper from before asks me if he should cut the line or throw a beer. “Neither”, I tell him, “just sit back and watch this“.

Here comes my bonus.

I hook up the winch cable to the boat, step back and hit the remote. It looks like we have us a tug of war.

In this corner, we have a drunken Dennis. His opponent tonight will be a thirty three thousand pound electric winch.

My money's on the winch.

As if a bell rang at a boxing match, Dennis goes at it. Right away, Dennis is losing ground. Nevertheless, he looks determined. I am smiling. The other guy is smiling. Dennis is fighting for all he is worth.

“Go Dennis go”, we yell together while laughing.

Dennis is quickly running out of dock. The winch has not even broken a sweat. Surely, Dennis will let go, I think. He has to, right?

After all, determination is one thing. However, stupidity has limits, doesn’t it?


Now I am laughing hard. Other guy is laughing hard. The winch is quietly putting the boat onto the trailer. And the dock master is telling Dennis he cannot swim around the docks.

I mention that it looks like he can.

I am thinking that nothing can possibly be dumber than that. We fish him out and I tell him to get changed out of those wet clothes because he is not going to sit in my truck soaking wet.

So he does, right there in front of God and everyone.

Now the whole marina is laughing. I decide not to test drunken wisdom any further.

The story you have just read is true. The names were NOT changed to embarrass the deserving.

*This Classic Riverbank was originally published on 3-11-2006 and has been re-edited.


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