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With Memorial Day successfully behind us and the fact that at least in the Midwest we seem to have skipped spring altogether and jumped straight to 100-degree weather, we can finally focus all our thoughts on summer and the wonderful activities that lie ahead. Grilling, boating, pool parties, patio drinking, and outdoor concerts fill our weekends, drain our wallets, and keep the likes rolling in with every #summer post.
It’s also time for float trips. Yep, it’s tubing season; that magical time of year when you load up the coolers and pay strangers to drive you upriver to have them drop you into a dirty body of flowing water while you sit your ass in an inflatable tube that hundreds have lounged in before you. You come home sunburnt, drunk, and not remembering how many times you peed through your swimsuit as you were inches away from your besties. Long story short, it’s delightful.
Maybe it’s your first time enjoying all the river has to offer, or maybe you’re a seasoned vet who has been tubing for years. Either way, there are certain players who appear in every brightly colored tube squad rollin’ down the river.
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who has tubing access close by (like reasonable Uber distance), this is a necessary evil. With the closest official location about 50 minutes away, my friends and I rotate this role throughout the summer. You’ll see this sad participant sipping water all day with maybe a beer or two right at the beginning of the float. They say they don’t mind, but they secretly hate all the other sloppy drunk people who they previously claimed as friends. But don’t worry, DD, your time will come.
Not to be confused with the DD or an actual mom with kids and junk, the Mom is the planner who is worried about how everything will go. She made the reservation, threw out some beer to make room for water in the coolers, and went overboard on food. I’m talking “I brought homemade pastries! Let’s get rid of more alcohol so we can fit them! Don’t forget the fresh fruit!” when all you need are some lunchmeat sandwiches that will taste like the best god damn thing you’ve ever had three hours from now. The Mom also probably reminds you to reapply the sunscreen on a regular basis, so props to her. If only she would calm down and enjoy things.
The Tech Guy
This lovely member of the crew has a waterproof speaker so nice you’re afraid to ask how much they spent on it. They have multiple waterproof cases/pouches for their phone and are the one person who always risks it by bringing said phone actually along on the float. Granted, that’s because they have a fire playlist ready to go while the rest of you are too worried about getting drunk and drowning yet another phone, but still. Without Tech Guy, the soundtrack of the day would be actual conversation and nobody wants that. Tech Guy is the real MVP.
The Less Than Thrilled Significant Other
Somehow a boyfriend or girlfriend who has minimal desire to participate has infiltrated the group. At any given moment they are sipping their drink while silently judging the heathens around them. It doesn’t make sense and no one knows why they really agreed to come in the first place since they don’t even appear to be having any fun, yet here they are. They will add little to the day except to bring up the bad behavior they witnessed for months to come.
The Wet Blanket
“I’m getting wasted!!!!” they word vomited into the group chat during the planning stages of this adventure. But now that it’s go-time that enthusiasm has devolved into “I’m only having a couple” and flat out refusing to do the flabongo with randoms at the sandbar. Most likely they repeatedly mention an excuse related to trying to be healthier and an early morning workout class, or how exhausted they are from their taxing work week. It’s annoying and you honestly expected this to happen, but they’ve probably been in the friend group for years so you continue to haze them to no avail and move on.
The Fun One (aka the Enabler)
This is the person who tried to get the group onboard with a theme for the float be it a fiesta complete with sombreros or everything red, white, and blue for ‘Murica. They love costumes, brought the inflatable beer pong table, and always encourage strangers to join in for a round of Black Betty or dizzy bat. They pass out the jello shots with reckless abandon, peer pressure you to chug that beer you’ve been nursing, and generally encourage everyone to have a great time. Your group must have at least one person who fits this bill even if it’s in a scaled down capacity. And once you do find this unicorn of a specimen, never let them go. .