Way back in the olden days, when Mary and I were dating, we’d often meet up with the Jersey gang and go hang out someplace. One summer day, we picked up a watermelon and some vodka and drove out to the Alpine lookout on the Jersey side of the Hudson River. It was a small paved rest area off the Palisades Parkway, on the cliffs overlooking the Hudson River. We went there every once in a while, as it was fairly close to Mary’s town but enough off the beaten path that we weren’t often hassled by NJ State Troopers.
Once we got there, we cut a hole in the melon and poured in the vodka. (Kids, don’t try this at home. I mean, my kids – both of you!) Pretty soon, we were enjoying some refreshing and slightly buzz-inducing watermelon, biting off the edible bits and throwing the rinds over the cliff side.
So we’re laughing around and tossing rinds, and Mary grabs her rind and throws it over. And I see something shiny go after it.
My high school ring that she was wearing.
Yeah, the watermelon wet her hand which loosened it up, and the throwing motion let it go out and over the side. We looked at each other like… uh oh.
I’m not quite sure what I was thinking at that point, but I told her not to worry about it. And I proceeded to climb over the side to see if I could retrieve it.
Now, the cliffs at this point are maybe 500 feet high or so. I get leery on a ten foot ladder. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, but there I was climbing down the side of the cliff.
I think I went maybe 10-15 feet when I came upon a landing. I looked down, and lo and behold there was the ring just sitting there. I pocketed it, and then climbed back up. The whole thing took maybe two minutes, not enough time for me to really appreciate the danger of what I was doing nor for Mary to get worried about it.
And that’s why I don’t eat watermelon anymore.
No wait, that’s not the point of the story. Actually, I’m not sure what the point was. Maybe it’s that I’ve done some really stupid things on occasion. Yeah, that must be it.