PARASAILING GONE WRONG
He used steroids but was an OK guy. That’s what local friends told me. They said he’d take me parasailing for free. And sure enough, Ben the bodybuilder nodded for me to hop aboard his speedboat, packed with tourists glistening in the Caribbean sun.
A mile offshore, Ben’s instructions are terse. Feet go in harness here. Hands go here — whoosh! Up you go. Ten minutes of airtime per tourist. No exceptions. Be ready for your turn.
A 60-year-old isn’t. Two hundred feet up, he vomits twice. His wife, seated by me, begs Ben to reel him in. Ben obliges but then stops. The man hovers 40 feet above the boat, screaming to be brought in. Ben motions for him to brush himself down, to clean off. No response. Ben shouts his command, but it’s lost to the boat’s running engines.
“For the love of God,” the man cries from above — his parasail whipping him from side to side — “reel me in!” Instead, Ben cuts the engines. The boat stops. The man drops from the sky into the sea. Inexplicably, Ben guns the engines. The man submerges, then drags, then skips over the water, eventually lifting into the sky, a flogged, frayed collection of lifeless limbs.
Our boat is silent. The man’s wife is in tears as her husband is reeled in. He’s breathing. He’s conscious. He looks up at Ben: “What the hell was that?”
Ben answers flatly, “No puke on my boat.” — Eddy Patricelli