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Lost Our ‘licia

Filed under: General — 19day @ 16:14:05

Went to John’s cottage this past weekend. On average it was pretty relaxing, and on average there were six of us. Averages are used here because there were seven of us at one point, and, on a separate note, we thought it was just possible that one of us had drowned.

(cue opening titles)

It was a simple plan. I traveled with Laura after having met her near York Mills. That was around 4pm. Alicia and Chez left at around 5, and John, Alissa and Kristina left much later. Laura and I were to get the food, Alicia and Chez the drinks. The four of us met up for dinner after we shopped (giving them the time needed to catch up). Then there was a simple plan put in action: Chez had his seadoo hitched to his car. He would drive to the marina in order to launch it, and then drive to the cottage itself. Alicia would drive the seadoo to the cottage. By water was much much faster than by driving, so she would arrive first. But getting to the Marina at all would take time. So everything hinged on us getting to the cottage first so we could turn on lights so Alicia could find us. She’s not a frequent seadoo user and coming at the cottage from the water was an unfamiliar direction. Plus it was pitch black out, no moon, no stars for the most part. And no light on the seadoo. But that’s fine, we would turn on the lights at the cottage and act as the beacon.

Sadly, events didn’t play out like that. Laura and I were engrossed in conversation, and missed our turn-off, it took is 20 minutes to realize it, and 20 minutes to get back to it, and then the further 20 minutes and change to take the slow dirt road around the bay to the cottage.

When we got there, we saw two cars. “Damn it, we left first, but got here last” I thought. I expressed this exasperation to John, and then saw the concerned look on his face. He and Chez were preparing to launch the boat. For Search and Rescue. “We’re going to look for Alicia”. With no lights on because of our unexpected detour, she wouldn’t have found the cottage. Sure, when Chez got there he turned them on, but with no sound of the engine in the mirky black, no one knew where she could have been.

We’ve had a little bad luck with the cottage trips. Well, the last big example I was semi-involved in was when the other car (of our 2-car convoy) was involved in an accident with a deer. That at least was sudden, but it was easy to take count of people and know that, despite a stressful situation, the worst was over. But this incident trumps that for me. It was a weird sensation.. I usually don’t like to panic, but I simultaneously thought that she was probably fine and out on the lake somewhere, but also fearing that, maybe this was it… you read stories during cottage season of people drowning, without details it could be anything, or as simple as a capsized boat where someone just didn’t surface, and this time it could be happening to us. I started to head down with them to the boat, when the phone in the cottage rang. Laura answered it, and all I heard of the conversation was her asking “Have you found our friend?”

As it turned out, Alicia had gone a ways, and she says quite possibly to the cottage area and back again, in circles. It was hard for her to say since she had no light, and since it was completely black, she went very slowly for fear of running into an island. She did however get caught in a bog for a while. A cottage around the bend had heard her and turned on the lights to investigate, and she thought for a second it was us. They managed to look up the number for our cottage and ring us up. Twice actually, since the first time no one answered in time. Alicia insisted on driving the seadoo the rest of the way, and now that the lights were on, she headed in with us waiting what seemed an eternity for her to arrive.

It was a very unfortunate combination of elements that lead to it, but thankfully it all worked out okay. My heart had leaped into my throat for scant minutes, some of the others must have experienced that for over half an hour. Alicia herself seemed unphased by it all.

To celebrate continued survival, they had a night swim (as I didn’t bring a bathing suit, I contented myself to watch the slightly less dark blurs roaming the utterly dark surrounding waters). Alicia swam over to some rocks and sliced up her leg somewhat, those rocks are sharp, I’ve encountered them before. Then we went in and taught Kristina one of our drinking games, Fuck You, and got into a festive mood.

I’ll describe the game here, at least, our particular version of the game, I may have some of the upper numbers wrong, but all the elements are there if merely misassigned.
Place a shuffled deck of cards face down on a table and scatter them a bit (such that people can take a random card from the pile)
Gather in a circle, and pick a direction of turn-switching, and then have someone pick up the first card to start the game. Oh, and put a glass in the middle of the table.
If the card drawn is Ace through 5, those are drinks to be allocated. You can give anyone (including yourself) ‘drinks’, and either give all of them to a single person, or split it up, however the player likes. The only downside is if you target someone, they might target you back.
Drawing a 6 means the Category game is up. The player picks a category, like “NFL teams” or “Beers”, and then says something within the category, and then the person who’s turn it would be next must do the same. No repeats. The person who fails takes a drink.
Drawing a 7 indicates the ‘fuck you’ portion of the game, or the ‘counting game’, wherein the person who draws the card says ‘one’, the person who’s turn it would be next says the next number, ‘two’, this continues until someone would need to say either a multiple of 7, or a number with 7 as one of the numerals. When this happens, instead of saying the number, the person should say ‘fuck you’ and then the direction of play reverses, so that the person who had just said the number 6, for example, before the person who now needs to say ‘fuck you’, now must say 8. This is one of the games that becomes progressively harder as the night wears on, especially for me who hates the 7 times table. The first person to mess up, takes a drink.
Drawing an 8 is the Never Have I Ever game, which is a kind of Truth or Dare round, without the Dare. You say, “Never have I ever …” and then your Truth statement, such as “Never have I ever robbed a bank”, and anyone in the circle who has robbed a bank must take a drink.
Drawing a 9 is the Rule card, the player can create a new rule for the game. Such as “No Swearing” or “No use of first names”, the usual punishment for anyone violating the rule is a drink. Some rules are in the form of “Any time a male drinks, every other male must drink as well” or “double drink”. The only rule on the rules is usually no singling anyone out.
Drawing a 10 designates that player the thumbmaster. At any time during the game (until someone else draws the 10 and takes the thumbmaster mantle) the thumbmaster can press their thumb against the table, quietly. All others need to notice this and do likewise, the last person to do so must take a drink. Preemptively putting thumbs on the table also earns a drink.
Jack – all the males take a drink
Queen – all the females take a drink
King – the glass in the center of the table is filled a quarter of the way with whatever drink the player has. If the fourth King has been drawn, then after adding their contribution to the glass, the player must drink it, and the game is over.

So basically, playing this game, the worst thing that can happen to you is to draw the 4th King, cause then you have a whole other glass of mixed drinks that you need to drink, and relatively quickly so the game can start up again. Alicia lost twice. She has bad luck at this game. At least we were all drinking similar coolers and such. We once played where someone had baileys and another had beer, both got early Kings and made the center cup a congealed mess.

After the game most others went to bed, but Laura, Alicia and I started half-heartedly playing a game Laura had brought called True Colours, not alcohol based though. In this game, each player is assigned a colour. And each player is given coloured tokens, 2 of each colour for each player’s colour except for their own. A player reads a question off a card such as “You’d want to spend your life on a desert island with this Player” or “This Player is most likely to end up in jail” and you secretly vote with exactly two tokens. If you feel someone is especially described by the statement, you can vote both the same colour (for their colour), or split vote. All the votes are put into a ballot box. Then each player tries to decide for themselves how many votes they will get. They can either select that they will receive all of the votes, none of them, or some of them. Scoring is based on if you are right (3 for all or none, 1 for some). Basically, it’s a game that can destroy friendships. For example, I know now that people think I would be a better (more critical) Simon on American Idol, no one wants to be my neighbour, or be my employee. There seems to be a theme here.

The next day Chez and I made breakfast. I brought the waffle maker and made blueberry waffles. Rather unfortunately, the waffle iron takes quite a while to make a crispy waffle, so it took a long time for everyone to get their food. But it was more or less well received. Kristina had to leave in the afternoon, so we were down to 6. We swam (they swam, I watched/slept on the dock) for a bit, but then there was a sudden downpour and we came inside.

We had dinner, with a meat and veggie lasagna. We played another drinking game called Caps. Everyone takes their bottle sits in a circle with the bottle in front of them. A cap is put upsidedown on the top of the bottle, and people take turns in the circle trying to throw other bottle caps at the ones on the bottles. If you cap is hit and it falls off the bottle, you take a drink and put the cap back on. On your turn, if you successfully knock a cap off, you can keep going until you miss. Once you miss, it’s the next person’s turn. Continue until everyone dies of alcohol poisoning, or people decide to stop. Then we watched Clue, which put everyone to bed. It was only a bit past midnight, but everyone was sleepy so that ended saturday.

In the morning, I helped Alicia prepare breakfast, eggs, bacon, bagel, fruit salad. Sunday was a much brighter day, and more time was spent at the dock. Laura and John built a sandcastle, which ended up being ammunition for their sand-fight later. In the afternoon, we started gathering our belongings, cleaning the cottage and bringing stuff up to the cars. Alicia was reluctantly willing to drive the seadoo back up to the marina in a reverse manoeuvre of what was done on Friday, except this time there was light. We all got texts on our phones later (once back in coverage) that she made it safe and sound.

Got home late on sunday, consoled the cat, and anointed my mosquito bites. I rarely get bit these days, but I’ve got a number of them this time. Ah well, it was worth it.

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