A dinner cruise.
Quiet (except for the roar of the engine).
Peaceful (except for the wind whipping my hair in my face).
Able to eat uninterrupted (check).
Able to carry on adult conversation (check).
Saw a flock of pelicans (check). Canadian geese performed an air show (check).
Cracked open a crab leg for the first time in my life -- and screamed, of course (check).
Discovered that crab may be my favorite food (double check).
Spent a beautiful evening with my beloved on our anniversary (check! check! check!)
The really interesting part of the evening, however, came at the end. Our captain's wife noticed a boat with a couple guys in it waving their arms around.
They'd run out of gas about 500 yards from a gas pump.
"How'd you run out of gas out here?" asks our captain (a Prosser Sheriff, mind you).
The guy without the shirt says, "That's a darn good question."
"How many beers you had tonight?" asks our captain.(We'd noticed a discarded beer box floating next to the boat when we pulled up.)
The guy without the shirt stares blankly.
"I said, how many beers you had tonight?"the sheriff repeats.
"Uh, don't know."
"Why's your tongue lolling around in your mouth right now?"
"Can't quite say."
"Well, I've been a cop for a long time, and when I see two guys without gas within sight of a gas pump, and they can't talk straight, well...."
Honestly, I felt like I was a fly on a squad car.
Or at a live taping of Cops.
Then it hit me: I could never be a policeman.
Never in a million years.
My response to a drunk man in a boat would be more like, "I'm so sorry to trouble you, sir, but how many beers have you had tonight? ... if you don't mind telling me, that is...."
We towed them over to the gas pump. The guy without a shirt promised his daughter was going to pick him up. Nobody got arrested. We wound our way back up river in the twilight.
The bridges were lit. The stars popped out. The wind whipping over the boat's prow alternated between shiveringly frigid and balmily warm.
I just hope those drunk dudes made it home okay.