Ed Coonce ~ Life Lessons



Lance Hanson, the owner of “The Beeb,” a small cabin cruiser, should have thought ahead and pondered the possible consequences of taking six fraternity brothers aboard for a midday cruise and birthday party bash out on East Hell Bay.

Needing the money for food and rent, he threw caution to the winds, loaded up the party goers, and left the docks at Lower East Hell. The bros were members of Omega Omega Omega, a millennialist fraternity. Very little is known about them, apart from their motto: “Because Doomsday Happens.”

The party was out of control from the beginning. Besides all the beer guzzling and the thong contest, the bros had purchased the services of Violeta, a Romanian call girl. Like Lance, she was on the boat for the money. That’s how sexy Violeta rolled, and she was doing well, banking seed money for her dream career, a Supercuts franchise.

Lance had a few beers himself, having decided to violate norms, which he regularly did. He was angling to get on the waiting list for Violeta, a bit unsteady on his feet. Before he could hook up, however, an alarm sounded and the boat lurched, with a stomach-wrenching crunch. The Beeb had hit what turned out to be a submerged coral reef.

The cabin cruiser’s minutes were numbered. She began to take on water below decks and the bow tilted upward. One of the inebriated bros fell overboard as Lance released the lifeboat, a rowboat that could barely hold all eight. One by one, the bros staggered and tripped, ending up miraculously in the boat. Violeta was the last in, everyone had ignored her, in sad fact, Lance and the bros were completely soused and incapable of anything but lying in the bottom of the boat, puking on one another.

Assessing the situation, swearing in Romanian and shaking her head in disgust, Violeta pulled the one frat boy from the water, threw him roughly in the puke-soaked bottom of the boat, took the oars and pulled for shore, over a mile away.

She rowed that boat full of drunks till her arms seemed to be falling off. They beached, and she began helping the bros out onto dry land. Someone in an ongoing beach party called the EHPD and a TV station.

Violeta became a hero, the fraternity wrote a song about her, sang it at every celebration for the next three months, and raised her a cash bonus, enough to get her Supercuts going.

There is a moral to this story:

Sometimes life gives you a tough hoe to row.


Ed Coonce is a Encinitas, CA artist, writer, poet, and the Creative Director of Theatre Arts West. He is on the board of directors of the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation, and the organizing committees for the annual Oceanside International Film Festival, Days of Art, and Music Festival.

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