We’re always amused by the experiences of BoomerCafé contributor Linda Myers, the author of Fun House Chronicles who lives on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Let’s just say, she doesn’t hold back. At least that’s her story, as she relates a recent experience about a storm (of sorts) on the high seas.
My sister and I were several hundred nautical miles from New Zealand. The sea was furious, with swells of thirty feet and more. Our cruise ship bobbed as insecure as a toy boat in a child’s bath. Wind slapped us broadside, sending wild lashings of rain and spray crashing against our balcony door.
I am by and large a deep sleeper, but when your narrow twin bed shifts to a forty-five degree angle, that is a hint all is not well. I awoke with a snort, aware that strangeness was afoot in our totally dark 176-square-foot cabin, which makes it about the size of the large popcorn bag at your local Bijou.
I heard shuffling.
“Was I snoring?” I called out to Sis. We had been alone when the lights went out. Surely she must be the source of that shuffling sound unless a towel animal had come to life in the terrible storm.
“No,” she answered. “But the room is making rude noises, so I’m moving the table.”
OK, I was still half asleep. Maybe I had misheard. “Huh?” I said, requesting clarification.
Almost simultaneously, I heard the sound of air being expelled through a narrow aperture from a smaller space to a larger space. Only a balloon or a Guatemalan flute … or a fart … is capable of this drawn-out whistling sound. If it’s a far, it’s the kind that one is trying and failing to release quietly, behind someone else’s back, as it were.
“THAT WASN’T ME!” Sis pronounced in all caps to the pitch black. And I was absolutely sure that it wasn’t. She is the type who would hold it in forever versus create a public mockery.
The funny thing is that she never assumed it was me, either. She hadn’t awakened me by shouting, “For God’s sake, that’s the last fruit buffet for you.” Instead she said, “I think it’s the wind against the balcony door. I was trying to push the table against the glass to stop it from shaking.”
To punctuate, the room let loose with a much juicier blast, resonant and full, with the lingering echo of an M-16 firing in multiple bursts.
I began to giggle.
Sis finally joined in. “It must be the old man of the sea,” said she.
“Thar she blows!” said I.
“Psssfffftttsssst,” said the room.
It was three in the morning, in the dark, each of us in a bed as wide as a sawhorse. We should have been terrified by the extreme roll, pitch, and yaw. We should have been memorizing the route to our muster station. We should have recalled childhood swimming lessons taught those many decades ago.
Instead, we laughed until we cried while the wind, forced through the door seal, puffed and squealed and rat-a-tat-tatted until dawn’s early light.