A summer event many years ago with a buddy at a swimming spot we used to go to. Might be a great warning to those whom have ever contemplated what happens in the overflow hole of a dam. Fortunately my story is funny, at least to me. It might of turned the other way and been a tragedy. I am glad it did not.
....Ever have a memory that is always consistent in causing you to laugh silently when you recall it?
Here is one of my favorite ones, I have shared it many times to friends and family but never put it down in writing (actually did on Myspace), I suspect it is far funnier verbalizing audibly than attempting setting it to type but here goes;
Back in the early seventies, I had a very good friend named "Burgie" I actually gave him the nickname because he always drank Burgemeister beer, a cheap beer that was popular in California around that time.
We played softball together, I managed and pitched for a team in a bar league in the Bay Area. Burgie was my catcher and a animal behind the plate. The rest of the team called him the "Taz man" because he was liken to the Tasmanian Devil behind the batter.
If you were on 3rd you did not want to have a close call at home with him at the plate, he was infamous for mauling players who slid in to home. He managed to get kicked out of games frequently because of his unorthodox abuse of the runners sliding into home.
He was a big Portuguese guy with a humongous Afro. He didn't hold his beer very well, there were many nights we went out bar hopping and he would end up crashing in the back of my Gremlin till morning.
One weekend a bunch of us were camping at one of our favorite camp spots just outside the bay. We liked to camp by a dinky creek that had a small concrete dam where people swam on both sides of it. Young folk liked to dive off where the water pooled deeply on the opposite side of the dam created by rush of water streaming continually out of a round hole in the center of the dam making it's progress down the creek.
One afternoon as I was treading water in the pool looking at the water gush out of the hole in the dam I thought to myself "what would it be like to shoot through that hole?".
At that time in my life I was not real long on common sense, so I decided to give it a go. Now if any of you have looked in on my pics and saw the pics of me in the 70's you will understand I was a stick man and pretty darn skinny.
I swam over to the center of the damn and dove down allowing myself enough timing to catch the current and let the suction pull me through. My arms straight out in front of me, like Superman in flight, I allowed myself to be sucked in and into the hole , and then came the pain...ouch!
The cement was rough on my bare flesh, I imagined what a pencil must feel like in a sharpener. Though I passed through and squirted out quickly, it was terribly painful , the cement unforgiving, I was grateful when I shot out the other side, like a long slick cork shooting into the welcoming water on the other side with a unceremonious belly flop.
Burgie had watched me do it "Man, Robby, that was too cool! How was it?"
Well back in those days I was sometimes called rotten Robby, because of my sometimes questionable sense of humor. "Yeah Burgie, you gotta try it, it was a rush man, a real rush" I smiled up at him as he sat on the edge of the dam, I treading water, masking the pain I was experiencing from that damnable hole.
"alright" Burgie exclaimed and diving in to swim to the center of the dam where I had gone, excitedly diving under to ride the current to get that rush I had experienced.
At this part of my tale I gotta tell the reader "Burgie " was not real bright, especially after a couple of beers. Had he a few more smarts he might of considered the diameter of that hole and also that he would have had a better chance going through with his arm outstretched like I had, rather than having his arms at his side.
As I watched on the other side waiting for him to come through, I knew the moment he entered the hole , the water had stopped for a moment to a dribble, then there was a sharper more pronounced sprinkle, then there was a wild spurting of water from the hole in all directions, kinda of like putting your finger over a hose and water squirts all different directions.
Then came the damnedest visual I have ever seen, his natural started to breach the hole, it looked like the cement dam was giving birth to a big ball of fuzz, the water was really starting to gush now and along with the gush with that big ol fuzzy natural came a gurgling holler that turned into a blood curdling scream! Burgie suddenly shot out of that hole like a screaming human cannonball into the water.
It all happened pretty fast but in my minds eye it was like watching it in slow motion because I was laughing so hard I almost drowned, Burgie surfaced yelling obscenities at me " You sonofabitch Why didn't you tell me that damn hole was so rough and small?" He was not very happy as he chased me out of the water and around the bank, me laughing hysterically all the while, good for me I was always faster than him and he soon wore himself out trying to catch me, we went back to the camp site, nursed our dam wounds, drank beer and laughed about it the rest of the evening.
To this day I still laugh when I think of that dam giving birth to that nappy headed Portuguese Burgie. Ah, the mad impetuous days of our youth.
Needless to say neither of us ever tried shooting the hole again.