Big Sandy Lake, MN – September 11, 2012
“So I was talking to a cute red blood cell last night, met her down at that leech on the right ankle, and it’s the strangest thing, but I didn’t end up crawling out of a muddy river at 6 in the morning.”
Wally! How are you doing? I thought you’d missed that little detour.
“Don’t ‘how are you doing’ me. You know a general rule of life that I follow?”
“When a guy who was Special Forces in Vietnam tells you to watch out for something, you listen.”
He also told me to eat an elephant one bite at a time.
“How the hell else are you going to eat an elephant?”
I think it was a metaphor, but Minnesotans do eat a lot of wild game so I’m not certain.
“Well we could use the protein after you spent all month frolicking back and forth across Lake Superior. It’s not a pond, you know. You can’t just waltz across on a whim.”
But there were sea caves.
“I don’t care if there were castles made of chocolate.”
We both know that’s not true.
“And don’t get me started on that plastic bird. It’s getting cold and you’re running around picking up pink flamingos.”
You mean Frank?
“You gave that dumb bird a name?”
Plastic Pink Flamingo was a mouthful.
“This isn’t a trash barge. Couldn’t find a dumpster in all of Duluth?”
How could you throw away Frank?
“Bah, between that and the stuffed alligator…”
Come on, Ali’s been with us from the beginning.
“But he never says anything!”
So he’s quiet, who cares, he knows the way to Florida.
“Fine job he’s doing navigating us in a giant circle. We’ve gone close to a thousand miles to end up 200 from where we started.”
He’s an alligator, it’s hard for them to hold a compass in their claws.
“Flamingos! Alligators! It’s like a poor man’s Noah’s ark in here. And what kind of name is Frank anyway?”
I don’t know, ask him. I couldn’t just leave him to freeze.
“We’re all going to freeze if you don’t start moving south!”
“Calm down? Winter could be on us any day and you got us jumping into muddy swamps like we’re remaking Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
Seriously, calm down. You know what’s over that dam?
“What? And you better say ice cream.”
“Nothing is better than ice cream.”
The Mississippi River.