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I'm A Man. I'm Sorry. I'm Just Stupid

 

This is the same story seen by two sets of eyes, mine and my wife’s.

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"Come on Zack," I said to my four-year-old son, pointing toward one of the roughest Gulfs I had ever seen at Panama City Beach. "We have to go rescue that lady out there."

I put down my cold Budweiser and started running down the beach to the spot where a crowd was gathering.

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"There he went, just got up and started running down the beach to where those people were pointing," my wife recanted what she saw from the third-floor deck in the condo. "And my four-year-old baby was chasing right after him."

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"She’s trapped in the rip current," I told Zack. We had talked about rips before. "I gotta go get her out of there or she’ll drown."

"O.K Daddy, let’s go get her," was his enthusiastic reply and he started moving toward the water before I grabbed him.

"No Zacko. I need you here in case I get in trouble out there. You can go get us help."

"O.K. Daddy."

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"Don’t you let him get in that water!" she screamed. "Are you crazy!?!" Everyone on the beach probably heard her except me.

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"Give me that float," I told a young lady who turned out to be the one of the woman’s two daughters. "Everybody else stay out of the water!"

I was a certified water safety instructor and I knew if I didn’t go get her, it might be too late when rescue personnel got there. So out I went into the six- and seven-foot surf.

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"He just starts swimming out there, like a dumbass, no life preserver or nothing. He had just started his own business, having left a Fortune 500 company to do so. At that point, he didn’t even have a real job and there he goes into tropical storm waves," my wife said. "I can’t believe I married him."

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When I got to the woman, her eyes were as big as saucers. She was scared to death. The water was only about three feet deep where we were, but each rising wave made it appear much deeper.

"I am going to take you in, but KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF ME," I warned her, shouting. "If you touch me, we will both drown. Understood?"

She shook her head.

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"He got out there and just stopped. The waves were beating both of them to death and he just stops," my wife said. "I don’t know what he was thinking."

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I extended the float to her and she grabbed it immediately, with what looked like a death grip.

"Hold on. I’ll pull you in. It’s O.K. Try to relax," I tried to calm her down.

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She grabbed that board and they started moving in, but then she just let go," my wife said. "Just let the damn thing go. I couldn’t believe she just let go."

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A series of large waves crashed onto us just after we started moving and she lost her grip on the slippery styrofoam float. As her head bobbed up and down, I lunged at her and was lucky enough to grab her hair. I had a firm hold now and there wouldn’t any more slips, plus she couldn’t touch me as long as I held tight.

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"He grabbed her by the hair and just drug her into the shore like some kind of caveman," she said. "He nearly pulled that poor woman’s hair out."

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Almost exhausted, I got her up on the sand. As it turns out she was fine. She just found herself in a situation where she panicked, which happens a lot in the rip currents. She told me had taken an inflatable float with her when she first went in, but a wave knocked her off of it.

"You should have called 911," my wife scolded me as Zack and I arrived back at our beach chairs. She had run down to our chairs after I got the lady out of the water. "Don’t you ever do anything like that again."

"I’m sorry honey. I’m just a man. I’m stupid," was all I could think to say as I sat down, exhausted, to drink what was left of my now warm beer.

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3 Comment count
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It pays to be well-prepared...

You shoulda had a cooler. What were you thinking?

Good one.

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Good for you! And I

Good for you! And I thoroughly enjoyed the differing perspectives.

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Thanks Susan. All stories

Thanks Susan. All stories can be told in many interesting ways. My side, your side and the truth.