Dom Testa

Author, Speaker, Broadcaster

I Was Held Hostage

boat lucijan-blagonic-596654-unsplash.jpg

This past week I was held hostage for five hours.

The lesson I learned is that there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who love to spend all day on a boat piloted by someone else, and those who would prefer to capsize and drown like rats.

It was a fun trip overall, and this one segment had been billed as “two to three hours” on a boat on the Mississippi. On the surface (no pun intended) it sounded like it could be kinda fun. Grab some beer and snacks and enjoy the scenery, right?

Except our boat was owned and operated by a total stranger, a friend of someone in our group. And she was determined to entertain the shit out of us whether we wanted it or not.

As one hour dragged into the next, puttering along at less than 2 mph, the music blasting from her speakers changed from classic rock to hillbilly fare. I wondered if I’d ever touch terra firma again.

At one point, three hours in, I politely requested to get put ashore — anywhere — to make my way back home by Uber. Or by foot, if necessary. Hell, I considered diving overboard and swimming. I contemplated organizing a mutiny. My sister (damn her) faked an illness at the 2-hour mark and DID get off. The only intelligent person in our group.

Here’s what I realized about myself. I’m not a boat person. If you are, hallelujah and bless your soul. The person driving the boat is not only the captain, however, but for all intents and purposes God. They have your life in their hands and if they don’t want to dock, just what the hell are you supposed to do?

You’re a hostage. A hostage to sun, stale pretzels, and Waylon Jennings. Boat pilots are control freaks and heaven help you if you request shore leave. They have the power to extend your misery as long as the smelly petrol lasts.

That was the last boat ride of my life. Unless I’m at the wheel, of course. Then I’ll undoubtedly lose my mind, too, and torture the shit out of every passenger. Why? Because I can, dammit. I’m the captain! Bwahahaha.

 


Boat pic courtesy of Lucijan Blagonic on Unsplash

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