Don’t take that thing, he told me, raising his eyebrows and inclining his head towards my new Picnic Time Sun Shade.
It’s going to be hard to fold back up. You’ll need Adult Supervision to make it work.
Puffing out my chest and stetching to my fullest height, I blurted out, Last time I looked, I was an Adult! There’ll be no problem.
Famous last words, as Mum used to say.
The Bimini beach in Alice Town is a typical Bahamian treasure trove for beach glass enthusiasts, a free-run paradise for Nelson and an endless stretch of white sand--a peaceful place to settle with a good book. Unzipping the circular bag that held my new toy, I pulled out the coiled sunshade. The shock cord and yellow-coloured light nylon construction make it portable and perfect for staking out a private oasis of shade from the tropical sunshine.
It EXPLODED open with a loud snap and deafening whoosh.
Right! The thing has a mind of its own.
Ironically, it wasn’t until I began reversing the process at the end of my beach visit that I saw the bold-lettered CAUTION sign stitched into the inside of the bag. This thing is a menace. Inside the carry bag, along with the heretofore unseen cords and stakes for tethering the aerodynamic tent, I found a sheet of diagrams for re-coiling the contraption. Up until this point in my adventure, I have to say, I truly loved my new sunshade and the respite from the burning sun it afforded me.
Twenty minutes later, count them, twenty minutes of struggling and reminding myself of my “Adultness”, I had changed my mind.
The sheet of diagrams was by then sopping wet, obliterated with clinging sand and tearing apart as I tried to smooth it out to get an inkling of how to muscle this thing into submission. The sunshade had beaten me. Her sunny yellow face beamed at me in happy, victorious glee.
Ha ha! I win, she gloated.
Thankfully there were no cameras to record my humiliating return to Steadfast and Captain B’s I told you so. What a sight I made, carrying a spring-loaded kite four times my size, 2 pillows, my book, a bag of collected sea glass, my wrap, hat and shoes encrusted with sand and a feisty Nelson dancing on the end of his leash, pulling towards home.
Back at the boat, Captain B tried valiantly to overcome the shade. He gave it the old college try but was no more successful at adulthood than I had been. There was one last hope, before we let the whole thing blow away to sea—YouTube.
We watched the video, tried our best, watched again, tried again, for a total of six or seven times before the yellow beast was finally wrestled into a coil small enough to fit back into its bag.
She’s biding her time. She knows I’ll risk my pride and reputation by taking her out again soon.
Not today though.
If you take that thing, I’m not going, the Captain stated. Maybe I’ll have to wait a week or so until the dust settles.