accidental deaths in the South are immediately preceeded
by the sound of someone yelling "Hey, ya'll!
Lookit this!" This is the battle cry of the
weekend warrior. If you hear it, find a safe place to
watch from and enjoy the show.
all you have to do is watch an airboater long enough and
you will undoubtedly see something amusing, but they actually
have contests to see who can pull a stupider stunt than
any of the rest.
season is a time men live for around here. They load up
their camping gear, food, beer, dogs, and weapons and head
out to the marsh for a few days of unrestrained drinking,
shooting, smoking, bragging, drinking, cussing, airboating
and drinking. By the end of hunting season the weekend
warriors who have not shot each other (or themselves),
gotten irretrevably lost in the marsh, or simply gone home
in search of air conditioning and a hot shower have one
last blow out.
In one final bacchanal
of drinking and bragging they try to outdo each other to
prove who is the manliest man. They will race their airboats
down the canal, seeing who can turn their boat the sharpest
before sinking it. They will climb steep embankments to
see who can get the highest before rolling back. They will
catch 'gators with their bare hands, kiss a snake....you
get the idea. It is not necessary to be really good at
any of these things - just be very interesting in the attempt.
(Probably a good place to watch for future Darwin
Now, I really don't
object to these contests. At least the guys hold them far,
far from town and their families never have to know if
their loved one has been crowned king. All I'm saying is
that you can get a pretty good show without going all the
way out to camp.
watch boaters launch their boats or pull them out
of the water on the trailers? Pretty boring, really - except for that one group
who had bought a beautiful brand new boat and didn't know
that the plug should have gone into the boat before the
boat went into the water. That was worth watching.
One airboat towing
another airboat back to town.
Airboaters, of course,
do things differently. First of all, when they launch they
push the airboat a short ways off the trailer onto dry
ground then pull the trailer out from under the boat. They
push the boat around to face the water, stand on the gas
and they are off. When they come back in and put the boat
back on the trailer is when it can get interesting.
The airboater will
drive his boat up on the hill, then back the trailer right
up to it. Most of the time he will then attach a winch
and pull the airboat onto the trailer.
Many drivers will
dispense with the winch and simply drive the airboat into
position on the trailer. This requires just a little finesse.
If the driver gives it too much gas the airboat will leap
right off the trailer and into the bed of the pickup.
If he actually lands
the airboat on top of the cab of his truck or drives it
through the back window, you may be looking at this years