The Palisadian-Post presents an homage to Will Rogers’ column, “Will Rogers Says,” with a column by Palisadian Jimmy Dunne—on life in the “greatest town in America.”
All in all, I’d say I’m a pretty good athlete.
But if you ever saw me on a paddle board, you sure wouldn’t think so. This is the best time of the year, when the water is warm, to go out late in the afternoon in our town backyard of the amazing Santa Monica Bay.
I spend most of my time trying to stand up on the board, and then after about five seconds, flopping in the water.
And then I pull myself back up on the board. And then after doing that about a dozen times, that’s plenty of exercise—so I just spend the rest of the time exhausted, lying on the board, floating around, just thinking about stuff. Nothing wrong with that, if you ask me.
The problem with lying out there just thinking about stuff is just lying out there thinking about stuff. Because when you start thinking about stuff, you start thinking about stuff you shouldn’t be thinking about.
Like what’s 10 feet south of your board looking up at you when it’s just about dinner time.
And then I start hearing that John Williams score.
And then I look around and realize how far I drifted out in the food chain in the deep blue sea, and how nobody can even see me anymore.
I peek over the side, hoping to God not to look down and see some whopper uninvited guest to my pool party for one—who thinks I look yummy.
I tuck my fingers up on the paddle board right about then. It’s deathly quiet. Even though I’m lying flat on that board and there’s not a wave in the ocean, I’m thinking it’s tipping. I’m thinking I’m going to be looking in his mouth like I’m a dentist, only my whole head’s going to be in his mouth.
It’s now only time before I’m a goner. I’m a ticking clock.
It doesn’t matter if I can see him. I know he’s there. I can feel him in that water circling below me ready to erupt up on that board. He loves that he’s just toying with me. He’s hates me.
My life flashes by. I start thinking about fishing as a kid with my brother and dad in an old rowboat in a lake not much bigger than a bathtub—catching fish smaller than my fingers.
I’m remembering my dad making us shove a hook in a live worm (that must have felt like a hatchet to that worm), and my dad comforting my brother and me with his big old Irish grin in his Cubs hat chirping, “Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt the worm.”
And I’m remembering pulling a dinky, squirmy mini-fish in the boat with a hook jammed right in his lip—and my dad smiling, “Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt the fish.”
So as I’m floating around in the Pacific, hearing that “Jaws” theme, waiting for that shark to snack on one of my thighs—I wondering if he’ll think, “Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt the human.”
Jimmy Dunne is modern-day Renaissance Man; a hit songwriter (28 million hit records), screenwriter/producer of hit television series, award-winning author, an entrepreneur—and a Palisadian “Citizen of the Year.” You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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