My kids have survival instincts only when it comes to certain things. They monitor the television for hours on end for any breaking news involving world catastrophes, terrorism or The Simpsons movie previews, the boys can and will pee outside, sliding down a slide head first is still taken very cautiously and only after hours of slide observation, wind sheer vectoring and the employment of an actual slide rule. And then there’s water. At home, The Quartet wants milk, chocolate milk, tea, Coke and the occasional juice, if it’s in a box. But get them out of the house and they want water, lots of it. When we go to the park they need a water bottle, yet rather than run around, swing and calculate slope and speed first, they want to drink that bottle of water until it’s dry. Why? Because it’s there. It’s there at home, too, but so are too many other choices, I suppose. Yesterday, we were leaving to go sailing with friends and before the Mazda MPV pulled away from the curb here at the Castilo they were asking, nee demanding, a bottle of water. You know, just in case we became shipwrecked on the way to the ship. Their world – Midtown and Downtown Memphis – must still be a strange landscape to these young people and the fear of being stuck somewhere without hydration is still too great. So if you come across these four out in public and they look a little parched, would you mind terribly if they drink all of your water?
And because I can’t laugh at them without laughing at myself, as The Admiral and I were bringing down the rigging, tying and untying lines and stowing away sails yesterday after the outing, my survival instincts, or lack of, led me to step on someone’s (no names mentioned) lit cigar, thus bringing my running career to a grinding halt … for now. Ironically, there wasn’t any water left for me to pour on the burn.