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Rick_Andrew last won the day on October 26 2021

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  1. Just another I’m-terrified-by-things-in-the-night story—old one.  This thing was Stevie Ray Vaughan.


    One Friday after work, I found I-35--my one pipeline home out of the city--strangled by traffic.

    Screw that ! One block down from my office was the lake.  I blew up my inflatable boat.  I rowed, seeing sights and shorebound tourists.  Texas weather is anything but cold: On this sweaty December evening, after dark I was still sculling my aquatic laps around the lake, enjoying the breeze that had kept building.

    But I'd been overdoing it.

    I started to realize one of the boat's chambers was losing its air.

    You can drive a nail with a chunk of steel, but you can't with a blob of Jell-O; likewise, an inflatable boat needs good pressure in the rowing chamber, or your oar won't push the boat through the water--you might as well "abandon Slinky."

    The wind was blowing harder and waves were choppy.  Despite the boat becoming hard to row, I was two hours fatigued--so I didn't think jumping out to swim the distance to shore a good idea.   

    After an unusually hard row--overruling tired muscles against the collapsing boat--I felt crashed and trashed, like my blood no longer contained one molecule of energy even for a thought: Laboring thru shallows, my hazy brain not even registering I was now safe to get out, I shoved the oars to strain the rest of the way onto the bank, then flopped backward, spent, over the still-inflated bow, looking up at the stars.

    Hello--eight-foot dude.


    Towering over me, he looked pissed !

    I was in no shape for surprises, raising not even a hand. I was already committing my scant energy to cringing, and my cerebrum was offline--not a thought !

    I realized the guy hadn't moved.  Hadn't breathed.  His countenance hadn't twitched.

    He was cast in bronze.  He was Stevie Ray Vaughan, the guitarist from Austin.  Complete with his cape and guitar.  A recent addition on the shores of Austin's Town Lake.

    His dramatic footlights had thrown an evil, Gothic visage, piercing the night and my personal space.

    He'd been innocently waiting for somebody high or sugar-crashed or otherwise wasted to turn, see him too close, and scream their balls off for mercy.  The city should watch where they put things like that.