Or gearing up for the Flatwater Classic?
Early Sunday morning, we took Mazurka and the Lil Choppin for our annual volunteer work as safety boats in the canoe race down the Chicago River, run by Friends of The River.
It's a fun event - if you think fun is getting up at 6 AM on a Sunday morning, heading to the heavy traffic areas of the Chicago River, and staying steady for nearly five hours while trying to keep canoers and kayakers to the west wall so they don't get run over by tour boats; if you think fun is being ignored by these canoers and kayakers who sometimes yell at you for getting in their way; if you think fun is getting stuck in the pouring rain. (Here are Mark, Tony, and Rick yelling through a megaphone: "Stay to the West Wall!")
It's really super fun if you like small spaces. Then the Lil Choppin is for you, where you can motor up and down the river in a cramped Zodiac raft for five hours, eating Doritos and peanuts and little gem donuts and telling off-color jokes. After about four hours the rain starts and you get slap happy and start rowing forward while trying to remember all the words to the Muppet Show theme song. Nothing like a litany of Helen Keller jokes to make an hour of cold rain fly by. Thanks, Carl.
Actually, it was a lot of fun. Especially if you have a great crew, which we did.
Best costume in this year's event: the viking in the bow asked, "Which way to the Ikea?"