04 July 2022

Mr. Jones Gets an Ocean Swim

The family wheels

Yesterday my wife Bathsheba and I took the twins, Cecil and Cecilia, to the beach for a day of frolicking and fun. The tykes brought their pet flounder, Mr. Jones. 

We piled into our 1947 Chevy Station Wagon for the thirty-five minute drive. In addition to bathing suits, towels and a picnic basket (filled to the brim with turnip salad, chipped beef and a herring soufflé) we towed our backhoe (to aid in the building of a sand castle). 

The conversation was lively and erudite.

“You think we’ll see any sneaker waves, Pop?” My precocious son, Cecil asked excitedly.

“Sure might son, but let’s not get our hopes up.”

“Maybe a dead whale or stingray will wash up on shore,” said Cecilia.

“If the fates are smiling on us,” I replied.

“Let’s focus on what we can be sure of,” offered my darling wife, “like cavorting in the frothy brine.” Then she pulled out some whale jerky and passed it around much to everyone’s surprise and delight.

The seven-year-old Cecil tapped my shoulder and said, “I’m reminded of what the philosopher Martin Heidegger said: 'Anyone can achieve their fullest potential, who we are might be predetermined, but the path we follow is always of our own choosing. We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny. Your destiny can't be changed but, it can be challenged. Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.'”

“He was a rascal that Heidegger, that’s for sure,” I countered, which cause us all to convulse with chuckles.

“Can we discuss dialectics, daddy?” Cecilia asked after the laughter died down.

“Not now, darling,” said my wife, “Maybe on the way back.”

“Awwww, no fair,” the disappointed cherub reposted.

Arriving at the beach we were happy to note that a thunderstorm was brewing. “We’ll have the beach practically to ourselves,” Cecil shouted gleefully.

“That we will, that we will,” I said wisely while getting out my pipe.

The one disappointing aspect to our day was that the backhoe had detached somewhere on the busy freeway. “That must have been the cause of the the big accident we heard about on the radio,” opined my better half.

“It was an old and rusty backhoe needing to be replaced anyway,” I said philosophically clenching my pipe between my teeth and blowing bubbles.

For the rest of the day the children made merry. Cecilia swam out to a buoy bringing back an angry eel that we added to our lunch time repast. Cecil dug up a buried treasure and a corpse but Bathsheba and I insisted that he return them both.

The kids took Mr. Jones for a swim. The flounder is a great one for swimming and reveled in playing tag with our progeny.

The raging thunderstorm that arrived a half hour into our stay at the beach kept other bathers at bay so we we had plenty of room to stretch out. My spouse read a book she brought along, “The Mysterious Mr. Carbuncle and the Clydesdale Murders” while I listened to the ball game on the portable radio. My beloved Mine City Moose were besting hated rivals, the Placerville Polecats. 

Eventually the sun came out so we collectively decided to return to our humble abode. 

Bathsheba took the wheel for our ride home with Mr. Jones in the passenger seat. The kiddies and I drowsed in the back seat though at one point my darling woke me to point out the remnants of the accident caused by our errant backhoe. “Oops!” I said.

Back home we took turns in the shower though in our confused state Cecilia got in twice before I got my first turn and our housekeeper Maybelline accidentally joined me though she was clean enough having spent the day at home watching soap operas.

We spent the evening cozily on the sofa watching “The Sorrow and the Pity.”

Putting the tots to bed I happily proclaimed, “another great day for the Burgermeister family!”

Then Bathsheba and I crawled into bed where we mated like possums. 


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