Ripley men have always been cursed, cursed with smokin’ hot thighs and calves. One gal approached me recently, pointed to my legs and asked “Pilates or hot yoga?” I answered “brat’s and Lay’s potato chips”. Cursed. I won’t go so far as to say that I’m particularly good looking or muscular but I totally rock in my new swimmin’ britches. I’m hotter than a two dollar pistol in my chartreuse lime green light-weight water-drawers (I purposely bought this color so that the U.S. Coast Guard would have an easier time recovering my body if something bad happened. I’m not kidding). The sad news is that I bought those rascals and continued to loose weight with all of my running around officiating games, so they’re a tad loose fitting. I asked our hotels concierge if he had any suspenders in the “lost and found” box that I could borrow. That, ladies and gentlemen, went over like a fart in a spacesuit. Having gotten the “old Hawaiian stink-eye” from that dude…I departed. To the beach I preceded, saggy swimmin’ britches and all, looking like Deputy Barney Fife at the beach (and “No”…Connie wouldn’t let me call her “Thelma Lou” for the day).
Several foreign tourists mistook us for George Clooney and his latest Italian supermodel girlfriend hottie. I signed my autographs “Best Wishes, George Clooney and Italian Hottie” and no one was the wiser!!”
I had a goal this vacation. I told Connie that if she was going to require me to travel this far that I’d get to try surfing. She agreed. But before I could try it I spied Black Rock, an outcropping of volcanic rock that jutted out into the ocean from the beach at our hotel. The hotel has a guy swim out there at sunset and perform a ceremonial dive, head first, into the water. During the day, however, kids swim out there and jump off of the same rock. It’s about a 25 foot drop into the water, and it’s free…so of course I had to try it. It went something like this:
#1 Point to rock with stupid expression on face. Walk along shore, getting closer to rock…hitching up my trunks every four or five steps. Look back at my footprints in the sand, only seeing one set I assume that my Lord and Savior has opted to watch this latest Rich Ripley adventure from the lofty and comfortable confines of Heaven, but I know that He’s in my heart and for now…that’s enough.
#2 Swim to rock, more like dog-paddle to rock. (A journey fraught with peril)
#3 I notice that dog paddling to rock is taking quite a while. I look for a sea turtle to ride. With no turtles taking hitchhikers I continue to dog-paddle onward.
#4 Reach rock and climb. Find volcanic outcropping difficult to climb.
#5 Have mock heart attack.
#6 I reach the peak and rest. I make a new friend who, by the way, sells drowning insurance for reasonable mainland rates. I buy half a million dollars’ worth on the spot. I LOVE YOU CONNIE!! REMODEL THE KITCHEN AND NAME IT “THE RICH RIPLEY MEMORIAL CAFETERIA”.
#7 Point to Iowa.
#8 Stand and size up descent, it looks a lot more than just 25 feet. Quietly curse the intelligence of this midlife crisis. I remember the word “bullshit” coming into play.
#9 Almost chicken out as new friend and insurance salesman tells me “there’s an underwater boulder to the left, but you’ll be okay…just don’t jump left.” I’m serious…that’s what he told me.
#10 Signal my bride and insurance beneficiary, Connie, that the moment of reckoning is upon me. Insurance man calls U.S. Coast Guard Water Recovery Team and they scramble a helicopter towards us.
This is how the jumpers look from the same place that I’m about to jump from. These next two photos where taken from a balcony at our hotel.
#11 JUMP!! (More like step out over the water…to the RIGHT!!)
#12 Splash-down!! Salt water enema for free
#13 Shake hands with SpongeBob.
#14 Surface and dog paddle towards shore
#15 No waves to push me along. I pick the steepest shore to swim towards. Ocean remarkably calm. Curse you King Triton!!
#16 Reach shore and have a real heart-attack.
#17 Reach Connie but cannot hear anything that is said, my head is full of water. (As are other orifices) Salty. Warm. Water.
#18 Collapse onto lounger. Take the next fifteen minutes to catch breath. Discreetly drain orifices.
#19 Feeling invincible I swim out to rock again, this time to try out my new dive “Middle-aged Man Death-Defying See How Many In-Air Jumping Jacks I Can Do Before Accidently Being Caught With Legs Open As I Hit The Water At Mach 5” also known as “the nutcracker”…something that my cousin Doug taught me in Missouri.
#20 I’m was teasing on #19. I stayed on shore for quite a while. I was water-logged.
#21 Forget the whole “learning how to surf” thing. I’ve had enough saltwater for this trip. Maybe for our 50th wedding anniversary trip.
We spent the rest of the day going into the water of both the beach and the hotels pool, before splitting an excellent sandwich from the poolside bar…while resting in the shade of our cabana.
We enjoyed the day so much at the beach that we wonder if we shouldn’t do it again tomorrow…our last day in Hawaii. We agree to think about it overnight. Later on we drive up the coast for supper, and then retire to our rooms for a movie and some ice cold beer and wine.
Until my next blog, God bless and peace,
George Clooney…at your service