Occasionally, my wife will come home and surprise me with a Dairy Queen Blizzard for no apparent reason. However, her generosity soon turns diabolical as she is fully aware that while eating a Blizzard, I will pretty much agree to anything. Her most recent mission was to get me on board to do something I would normally never agree to without being ice cream impaired. Spend a week at a cottage. I realize that most people love the idea of getting a cottage, but it can also be said that most people enjoy the rich cinema and thespian depth of Keanu Reeves. I am not most people. Our property is so family friendly that I should be charging people admission. A play set, swing set, trampoline and swimming pool dot the perimeter of our yard, yet my wife wants to remove me from the oasis every time I get a few days off in the summer. This summer’s obstacle – the cottage.
With a painted on smile, I loaded up the truck with nearly everything we own, and drove over six hours to a place that even my GPS was unaware of. As I descended a staircase adjoining a cliff to our summer rental, my ears popped. Looking around, I thought ‘I don’t see a satellite dish, and I doubt it’s wifi…’ Next, we entered the cabin, which I quickly estimated to be approximately 1/10th the size of my house. The furniture was from the Smithsonian and the kitchen utensils looked to be stolen from a Mayan archaeological dig. “Isn’t this great!” my wife exclaimed. ‘Sure,’ I thought to myself, ‘if we were jewel thieves on the lam…’ “Well, let’s turn on the air conditioning while we unpack,” I suggested. My wife gave me her patented eye roll and explained that there wasn’t any air conditioning, but we could go for a swim off the dock to cool off. My wife and kids explored the 64 square feet of alleged decadence, while I made like a donkey and traversed up and down the stairs about 8 times with our luggage and kitchen sink.
Next, we went down to the dock for a swim, and I must admit I was excited to be able to cool off. But, as we approached the lake, my excitement began to dwindle. “You think this is the swamp where Shrek lives?” My kids’ eyes widened in anticipation of seeing the green ogre. Jodie responded with an eye roll, but I could tell she was as nervous of what was living under the dark mossy water as I was. “You first, dad!” My kids had long considered me the guinea pig for things that looked unpleasant. Quickly suppressing every scene from every Stephen King book I have ever read, I approached the water. Seaweed, water bugs and other barely discernable creatures seemed to be eyeing me from beneath the depths. If my kids weren’t watching, I’d be prancing on my tippy-toes saying “No way! No bloody way!” But, alas, there they were. Undaunted, I leapt into the water and was immediately enveloped by limp seaweeds wrapping listlessly around my arms and legs. It might as well have been a giant squid trying to kill me. I screamed and leapt cartoon-style straight out of the water and blasphemously ran across the top of the water like a Monty Python inspired Jesus impression. My wife and kids, thinking something horrible had happened, were running screaming up the hill to the cottage.
Well, that all happened yesterday. And as I sit using my laptop in our air-conditioned hotel room, watching a pay per view movie, I can’t help but feel victorious. After all, tomorrow we’re going to the Hockey Hall of Fame. However, the victory parade may be short lived, as Jodie just returned to our room with another Dairy Queen Blizzard for me. Oh, man, what now…