July 7, 2011 

Actor Henry Winkler (remember "The Fonz" from "Happy Days"?) has written a book titled "I Never Met an Idiot on the River." Obviously, he's never floated the Meramec.

The Fonz's book is about fly-fishing in Montana and the lessons it has taught him. I guess floating the Meramec could teach some life lessons too, like...

• Some tattoos work when you're 18 but not when you're 38
• How to effectively trade for cigarettes and beer
• Mullets were a bad idea in the 80s, and they're still a bad idea

The Fonz might not even know what a "float trip" is. I was emailing my friend Shannon who lives in Mississippi and told her what I was doing that weekend. She responded, "What in the world is a float trip?" I can just hear her say that in her cute Southern accent. Shannon lives near the ocean in Biloxi and probably doesn't get out to rivers much, so I explained what it was. She replied, "My idea of a 'float' trip is on an air mattress in the middle of a pool with an umbrella drink in my hand....Y'all have fun!!!" Seriously, she wrote "y'all." Is it wrong to wish I had a Southern accent?

Anyway, I couldn't have an umbrella drink in my hand (I can't mix alcohol, heat and water - bad things happen), but I did find the most perfect pink parasol for the day. In my defense, it was the hottest day so far this year. And, John had fun telling people he was "Driving Miss Daisy" all day. You can bet we got more than a few stares with a pink parasol on the river.

By the way, John is the best canoeist ever! He's like Daniel Boone out there! Which was great, because I only had to help paddle once (which was more than enough for me) and that was only because we were sucked into an eddy (whatever that is). And, he brought a gallon of his now-famous Yucca, which everyone loved (everyone except me - have I mentioned I was the only sober person on the Meramec that day?!).

When I returned to work on Monday and showed my co-worker Jessica the parasol photo, she said "That's so country." Duh. It's a float trip.

Guess she's never floated the Meramec either.

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