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He who Laughs Last

Grand River Conservation AuthorityDave thought his weekend antics were private, that his co-workers would never know. Secrets were so much easier to keep in the days before social media’s onset. He’d later rethink his personal policy of “sharing” with his colleagues.

Pictures don’t lie, and proof of what he’d done was posted all over the internet. All revealed by his so-called friends. No way to deny it come Monday morning.

So he’d confessed everything. Wearing the thong banana hammock, aka butt floss, on the bus ride down to the river. The puffy bunny tail perched above his ass crack. A humiliating seven hours on the river he’d spent trying to keep his 350 pounds of near nudity out of the public glare in the ostensible confines of a canoe.

Attempting to escape everyone’s taunting that day was fruitless.

The river’s circuitous path wound eastward for miles, its banks lined with sprawling oaks. Limbs reached across the expanse of water and hovered above the canoes drifting languidly downstream. Gigantic leaves created a canopy but didn’t quite shade the luminous skin in the boats on the water below, and the sunlight quickly burned all the unprotected epidermis within its reach.

Webbed roots trickled down from the eroding shoreline and deflected catcalls echoing across — with Dave as their target.  “Whoa, lard ass … cover that shit up!” yelled one onlooker. Others called out, “Oh, my God. What is wrong with you, man?” and “My eyes, my eyes!” A raft full of college girls burst into drunken laughter at the site of him, some feigned sickness and pretended to vomit over their boat’s inflated tubes. “Nice nut-huggers,” an older gentleman half-heartedly complimented him in passing.

Dave bit his lip and paddled onward, head held high, knowing what waited for him at the rendezvous point. He won the bet for weathering a day-long firestorm of constant jeers and triumphantly gripped five dripping $100 bills as he boarded the outfitter’s bus back to the campground parking lot where the safety of his car awaited him.

No towel, no clothes, only a g-string swimsuit and the cottonball. Sloshing Converse high tops didn’t cover any of the humiliation.

He stomped up the steps of the vehicle to finally end the day. A warning came from the driver sitting nonplussed behind the wheel. “You better hold on tight to that money, buddy,” she said. “‘Cause you sure don’t have anywhere else to put it.”

Studio30

*The Studio 30+ prompt “…he’d confessed everything…” was originally written by Kir.

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Filed under creative non-fiction, writing