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Thursday, September 22, 2005


Hi internets, how are you? Imagine you're on a whitewater rafting trip. You're having a good time and you think the guide is a nice person and you're curious about him/her so you ask what s/he does in the off season. Now lets flip it around. Imagine you're a whitewater guide. You've met the people who are going to be in your boat for the next few days, you've chatted them up a bit, you've explained the intricacies of paddling at the word of command. It's not the first trip of the summer and it's not the last. You wait patiently and then it comes, "So, what do you do in the winter time?" Now I was pretty mellow about it. I almost always told the truth, "I'm an engineering student at UCSB." But I had friends that, from time to time, would snap: "I live off my tips." or "I club baby Harp Seals."

I didn't mind the getting-to-know-the-guide questions. I took them as compliments; the folks wanted to get to know me better. But I did get a bit tired of the questions that could be answered with perhaps an entire second's thought. Things like, "Do we get out of the boats where we got in them?" "Does that rock go all the way to the bottom?"

I confess that I did laugh out loud at the Dad who, showing his young son some swallows' nests on a highway bridge we were floating under, said, in all seriousness, "Look son, barnacles."

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