The road to the Bear River Rapids is fraught with danger and excitement.
As I wait impatiently for summer to finally arrive, I am reminded of the annual “Fruit Float” river trips that we used to do on the Bear River in Oneida Narrows, Idaho. The flow of the river rises and descends like the oceanic tides, due to the release of water from a hydroelectric dam. (Whenever some queen in Salt Lake decides to plug in her curling iron and vibrator at the same time, the power company needs to activate the electric turbines for the additional flow to the electrical grid to prevent a blackout.)
It was necessary to wait until the river was at full flow before we could float down it without scraping our bottoms on the rocks. We waited on the river bank, passing the time by playing strip Monopoly, while watching for the tell tale-signs that the river was beginning to rise. I had just landed my little silver racing car on Park Place. The rent was going to be five pieces of clothing. Not counting my beehive hair and pink feather boa, which could never be removed, I was wearing only a swimming suit, T-shirt and shoes. You do the math. Just as I was reluctantly beginning to expose my “crescent moon,” we were startled by an earsplitting shriek, pitched enough to decalcify a spinal column. I was greatly relieved when we realized that the squeal was not from terror of impending blindness from my naked immensitude, but that Eric had noticed the water level was beginning to rise.
Suddenly, there arose a dust cloud of frantic activity. Frenzied queens were running this way and that, squealing with excitement, bitch-slapping each other trying to score the best inner tubes. Fearing possible electrocution, I forwent wearing my usual electric breasticles and opted for a very fashionable, fluorescent orange, busty looking “Dolly Parton” floatation vest.
I waded into the river and screeched in distress as the icy cold water licked at my family jewels. They quickly retreated, not to be seen again for several hours. I jumped on a too-small inner tube and immediately performed the “Poseidon Adventure Maneuver” by capsizing, poop side up. “Dolly Parton” brought me sputtering back to the surface. With my hair now in ruins and mascara running down my face like Tammy Faye, I retreated to the shore and procured a larger tube. By this time the rest of the queens were beginning to float away, abandoning me to solitude. I raced back into the rushing torrent and hurled onto the larger tube. Not wanting to be left behind, I began paddling more ferociously than that hunky Michael Phelps in an Olympic relay.
In a panic to try and catch up with the rest, I inadvertently paddled my tube into a clump of weeds on the riverbank. I grabbed at some weeds in order to help pull myself free and I was pleasantly surprised when a large sun flower was left clutched in my talons. I kept hold of the flower thinking I could use it as a wand.
Now totally alone on the river, I thought that I would like to make a dramatic appearance ala Cleopatra on a river barge, when I caught up to the others where we disembark from the river. So I pulled down my swimming trunks, rolled over onto my stomach exposing my lily white “moonus maximus” to the sunlight and clenched the sunflower between my legs, so that it functioned as a mast on a ship. I could have sworn that I felt a carp nibble at my exposed “Schuanstooker.” I rounded the bend in the river and the others got a good giggle at the sight of my glorious “single-masted river schooner,” the H.M.S. Pap Smear.
In my revelry, I failed to notice I was too far out into the main current of the river to easily disembark. Since my swimming trunks were caught around my ankles, I couldn’t maneuver as I needed. I was rapidly floating toward a small waterfall. Since I was far past the point of no return, I decided my only option was to ride it out over the falls and hope for the best. I was thrilled when my tube avoided hitting the first large boulder. My joy quickly became panic as I was sucked by the raging current around the rock and caught spinning rapidly in the whirlpool vortex of the rock’s downstream side. Dizzyly, I kicked against the rock with my legs, losing my swimming trunks in the process, but thereby gaining enough momentum to send my tube further downstream. My tube then slammed against another rock and slipped out from under me, leaving me grasping onto the rock, fighting the rushing torrent as it crashed upon my naked “Bodus Rotundus.” Unexpectedly, I became the recipient of a shocking and voluminous “Bear River Enema.”
After being thoroughly “cleansed,” I released my hold on the rock and let Dolly Parton carry me further downstream to where I could emerge bloodied and muddied and bedraggled from the river looking ever so much like the queen from the black lagoon. Fortunately I was covered in enough seaweed that I was able to shield the family jewels from public disparagement.
As always, these events leave us with several eternal questions:
1. If I connected my breasticles with the disco ball nipples to the electrical grid, could the power company avoid building additional power plants?
2. Could this be a possible solution to climate change?
3. Does a “river enema” leave any special healing virtues?
4. What did the carp think?
5. Should I develop a seaweed line of swimwear?
These and other important questions to be answered in future chapters of: The Perils of Petunia Pap-Smear.