After reading Friday’s post (The King loses (again)…), Eric (18, son) was inspired to share a family vacation story. The fact that he read my post was a head-scratcher…so best to nurture this sudden interest in both reading and writing. I should disclose upfront, that I fail to see any humor in this story – and I say “story” as I don’t recall this version of the events. Here it is…unedited and unplugged. (And yes, the photo is an actual photo of me during the scuba lesson.)
By Eric Kanigan
Anyone who knows my Dad personally can attest to the enjoyment he gets out of poking fun at others, to phrase it nicely (in reality it’s usually a firm jab rather than a poke). For those that do not know him, just imagine a person who loves to relive the details of your painfully embarrassing moments months, sometimes years after they occur. Throw in a mustache to your mental image and presto! You have David Kanigan!
It only seems fitting to return the favor, so it’s time for a trip down memory lane.
Turn back the clock a little more than a year and the Kanigan family is on vacation in the Cayman Islands. Mom took a liking to snorkeling, and developed a unique style for doing it (float out 10 feet from shore, lay across a floating chair, and stick your face in the water). Rachel couldn’t be more content tanning out on the beach, while Dad had his kindle in his hands at all times. That left me, bored, and desperately looking for something exciting to do. This was usually the norm for our trips.
Conveniently, the hotel rooms had come with free scuba diving certification lessons for two. This was my salvation. Mom ruled herself out due to her issues with claustrophobia, while Rachel wasn’t too keen on the idea herself for whatever reason. This left my dad.
In fairness, I don’t think Dad was completely sold on the whole underwater excursion from the beginning, yet for whatever reason (probably the chance for some bonding time) he agreed.
The following day, Dad and I headed to the pool for our lesson. We met the four other guests who were taking the lesson, along with the instructor. The procedure began with a quick, out-of-pool material overview, followed by a quick quiz on the material. Dad leaned to me, laughing at how easy the certification process was after he correctly showed the instructor the hand signal for “okay.” Wow Dad, you’re so good at this…! Sadly scuba expert could not foresee five minutes into the future, because if he could, he would certainly have been practicing the “Help!” signal.
We finally made it into the water (mind you, it’s about 4 feet deep), and we strap on the equipment. Dad receives personalized instructions on how to manage your mask if you have a mustache so no water can leak in. He just manages to stretch the undersized goggles around his skull, his cheeks and upper lip protruding out from beneath the rubber. I can’t stop laughing.
The instructor directs us to take turns trying out breathing through the regulator. He tells us to slowly stick our head underwater and take a few breaths. I take my turn following the other four guests. No issues.
He inches himself underwater like some massive submarine, his head eventually making it all the way under. Thirty seconds pass (this is a five to ten second exercise). Tons of bubbles. Wow he must really like it down there… I stick my mask in to check on the beast. He’s laying belly up on the bottom of the pool, his body rotating around, arms flailing.
This man needs help.
So what did I do? Pointed and laughed hysterically.
The beast eventually managed to surface after about a minute and a half, forcing a chuckle when he came up. He was desperately trying to give the air of a person whose life hadn’t flashed before his eyes a few seconds prior. He threw in the towel after managing to spit all the water out from his mouth, and he watched the remainder of the training session from the comfort of a pool chair. Needless to say, “The Outdoorsman” (as he titles himself) didn’t receive any sort of certification that day.
Oddly enough, a story mocking my Dad will appear on his blog, but I do believe it fits perfectly with the three main principles of his site. (LEAD.LEARN.LIVE.)
He lead himself down to the bottom of the pool, and he learned that he’ll be living the rest of his life above water.
I think it would also be very appropriate to file this story under the word, “Laugh,” because over 12 months after the event, I find myself laughing out loud thinking about his scuba adventure.
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