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The Lump Legacy and Whitewater Rafting
The Lump Legacy and Whitewater Rafting
Fred Lump was doing handstands. Back then, however, we didn’t know who he was or what a very big impact he would have on our lives.
By “we”, I mean Katie and myself. And while Fred was doing handstands, Katie and I were watching, periodically collapsing in gales of hysterical laughter into the four feet of water that was Sunriver’s sorry excuse for a pool.
It had started with Katie whispering in my ear, “Look over there at that really fat guy doing a handstand!” We were crouching in the shallow water, seeking shelter form the sharp Eastern Oregon wind that blew out of the steel-grey sky and chilled out wet bodies. I turned my head to look in the direction she jerked her chin.
What I saw was his two fat legs sticking up from the water, his toes wiggling pathetically in the cold air. I turned back to Katie, and we both started to laugh uncontrollably, out shoulders shaking as we heard, through the noise of the crowded pool, the huge splash that signaled him coming up for air.
“Let’s call him Fred!” I choked out in mock seriousness, and so the Lump Legacy was born.
Fred had two sons, Buddy and Junior. They were both young, and Fred was teaching Buddy how to swim. That was amusing, but after a couple of minutes we turned our eyes elsewhere.
It was in this manner that we found Fred’s wife, Elizabeth Hattie Lump. Her initial name was Emo Hat Lady, which just about sums her up. She was short, had long, curly black hair, was wearing a huge hat with a purple ribbon tied around the crown, and looked depressed. So, Fred became Fred Lump.
At this point, we decided to write a story. The characters would live in Steak-Knife, a small town in central Texas, located on the southern edge of the Dinner Table Plateau. They were all cursed to be idiots for eternity. The next town over, Bread-Knife, was where all the smart people lived.
You can imagine what ensued. We found Fred’s daughter, a girl named Fredalé. Mr. and Mrs. Chunk, Elizabeth Hattie Lump’s parents, were Beaver fans, and had an ongoing blood feud with Mr. and Mrs. Duck, Fred’s sister-in-law and brother. They both wore Ducks hats and green-and-yellow swimsuits.
The Ducks had a daughter named Duck Girl, who they abandoned by the nearby pond, because she was born with orange hair. She was adopted and raised by Edwarda, Fred’s neighbor.
Somewhere in the chaos, politics got thrown in. Edwarda was also the older sister of Laura Bush, who dumped George because he was more idiotic than most of the other residents of Steak-Knife. She ended up marrying Frizz, the oldest child of Elizabeth Hattie Lump and Mr. Grease, who got divorced after the birth of their four children; Frizz, Blue-Hair Lady, Doris, and Gum.
This was when we got out of the pool. We managed to get out of the parking lot with only two more sightings. Mrs. Barnes, who ran the mental asylum in Steak-Knife, was seen getting into her car. We also saw the pink jeep belonging to Mrs. Pink and her five daughters: Pinkie, Pinkette, Pinketta, Pinkalé, and Blackie, more commonly known as the Goth Thumb.
Anyway, when we got back to the house, we immediately took off for the freezer and the box of Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars it contained. After doing that, we grabbed a pad of paper and a pen, heaved the cover off the steaming hot tub on the back porch, and gingerly eased ourselves in.
“So, the epic story of the citizens of Steak-Knife needs a name,” I said, crunching happily on the dark, sweet chocolate that coated the ice cream. Dark chocolate is the key to coming up with a crazy story. Both Katie and I know this from previous experience, as does anyone who was on the bus back from Puget Sound during Breakaway. Getting hyped up on sugar is the best way to get your thoughts flowing.
The story got its name, The Lump Legacy, in the next few minutes. We stayed in the hot tub until it grew dark, talking, laughing, and quoting people and movies. We talked about middle school dances, people who drove us crazy, Hannah Montana, and above all we talked about Fred Lump.
“Hello, my name is Indigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” I announced to the stars, walking up and down the high, narrow wall that surrounded the hot tub. I stabbed at my invisible opponent with an equally invisible sword, then jumped back into the hot tub with a large splash, intoning, “Mawadge, that dweam wiffin a dweam, I forget the rest,” and grinning broadly as Katie giggled.
Her eyes sparkled in the sparse light as she replied, “Anyone want a frog?” We both cracked up. “We’re on land now,” I said, fighting to keep a straight face and failing miserably. She completed our mirth by saying, “Look! Water!” at the exact same time as I did, and we both collapsed into hysterics. (For those of you who are thinking, “What the heck is she talking about?” those were quotes from Breakaway.)
The next day, we went whitewater rafting. After a two-hour drive, we arrived at the small town built next to the Deschutes River, in the middle of nowhere. We rode a bus up the river a mile and got into our lifejackets. We were all on the left side of the boat, me in front of Katie and my dad behind her. The rapids on the way down to the place where we would stop for lunch were fairly small, though the raft behind us did go into one at the wrong angle and tipped almost everyone on it over the side.
After lunch, I peeled off my rain jacket and we got back in the raft. In some of the smaller rapids we practiced paddling in unison and wedging ourselves in, all in preparation for a rapid coming up called Oak Springs. When we finally got to it, it was awesome. We were just floating along toward a small bend in the river when we went around a large rock sticking out from the bank on our left. Suddenly, there was a huge drop into what looked like a pit of foaming water. Our guide, Logan, shouted, “Get down!” and we flung ourselves into the spaces between the benches, like we had practiced before.
We hit the rapid at just the right angle. What would have normally been a class three was a smallish class four. We all got drenched, and my dad lost his hat.
The next big rapid was really cool. I got to go up and sit on the bow, not inside the boat but on in. All the other people squeezed into the back three rows of benches. The rapid was a whole bunch of huge waves, one after another, so at the top of a wave I could have been easily fifteen feet off the surface of the water. It was so awesome!
Between Fred Lump and rafting, that could easily have been the best vacation of my life.