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(AP) 8/5/19 Local physician drowns in waterskiing mishap.

According to Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy Harold Younger the victim was attempting to get out of the water on a slalom ski. “We always tell our citizens not to attempt such things when you are too old or too fat. And you’d think, with the guy having a medical license and all, he might be a little smarter.”

While it appears to be an accident, there will be an investigation. Younger stated that “his old la--, excuse me his wife, or I should say partner, whatever—was driving the boat and witnesses said she dragged him half the length of the lake. (Ed. Note—the lake is 7 miles long). She said she was watching for traffic.”

The lookout in the boat, the victim’s son, was apparently watching a particularly engaging video on his phone at the time. He has posted a link on Twitter.

Okay, I didn’t actually drown, but I drug underwater so long trying to get up on that slalom ski that I had time to compose the above news item.

For the first time in 50 years, I couldn’t get up on a single ski.

After struggling mightily last year, I bought a larger, fatter ski. I used a lighter wetsuit, trying to reduce drag. I downsized the life jacket.

Ultimately, I had to use, to my humiliation, a second ski to get out of the water.

But once I was up, the thrill of flying over the water on a beautiful summer day on a mountain lake washed away the hubris.

Making peace with accommodation is requisite to “successful” aging (if there is such an oxymoronic thing).

Get a hearing aid or become socially isolated.

Take your pills or stroke out.

Use a cane or a walker or become a sedentary mushroom.

Control your sugars or lose a leg.

Learn to bus/cab/Uber when you are too addled to drive.

Because even with my assistive device, the second ski, I still felt the congratulatory caress of the summer breeze, the feeling of flight across the water, and the mythic communion with a memory of clutching a ski rope behind Dad’s 1964 Evinrude 35.

There are no plans for services currently. When contacted, the widow stated that her efforts are concentrated on her dealings with the insurance company, which is “being really weird about the whole thing.”

“Besides,” she said, “I am single now and will need to spend a lot of time at the gym.”

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