Beth & I met here in Portland last year on a blind date. We weren't a match in a relationship sense, but the friendship was great. My favorite Beth story involves a trip to the coast.
I had a new kite that was fun to fly. It took almost no wind to make the thing soar!
One afternoon, the wind picked up and somehow, the bar along the outer edge of the kite's left wing was pushed away from the kite's nose by about a quarter of an inch... but that was just enough to allow wind to rush over the kite's nose instead of across the bottom of the kite whenever there would be tension on the string.
The kite would climb high, High HIGH into the sky - then it would run out of string, causing it to spiral and then PLUUUUUUUUUNGE!
The only way to stop the kite from plunging to the ground was to let out more string. The kite would drift out again, climbing - until it runs out of string when it would spiral again... so I'd have to let out even MORE string, causing it to drift out and then rise higher. In the end, there's only so much string to let out... Eventually, the kite would reach the end of its string, and wind would rush across the nose causing the kite to fly straight down to the ground at top speed.
The group WHAM was bad enough... but Kite WHAM could kill.
So then, Rob thinks to himself: "The wind wants to carry the kite up, but. for some reason, the nose wants to head downward. Maybe I need to weigh down the tail a bit." I'm standing on the beach looking for something to attach to the tail... checking my pockets... nothing in this one... nothing in that one either... hhmmmm... What could I use to weigh down the tail of my kite?
"Well, I do have my keys."
I attached my key ring to the bottom of the kite's tail, and that helped a lot. The kite became stable, and would rise beautifully, high into the sky.
And then it would wobble and point down - so I'd let out more string. The kite would right itself and start to climb again, taking my keys with it - jingle jingle. Eventually, I'd let out all of the string, and the kite would again start to wobble, with nowhere to go but down - with my keys jing jing jingling all the way.
I thought for sure my kite was going to SMACK the top of a nearby hotel [OH SHIT!!! MY KEYS!!], but it landed right in front of it. Landed? It wrecked spectaculatly.
Jinglejinglejingle jingle fwap jingle fwap jingle
...Meanwhile, I'm left standing on the beach, looking like a dumbass, as Beth runs off to fetch my kite - and hopefully my keys too.
Beth & I eventually lost touch when she moved back home to Michigan. Seven months later, she writes to say...
"I moved to Korea about six weeks ago and have been teaching English to young children."
This should surprise me, and yet it doesn't. My friends are definitely that sort of people... Beth's in Korea, Jessie bought her plane tickets for a month in Europe, Jen's headed to Guatemala... and I am envious, envious, envious. Ahh well...
That's one of the many reasons I think I am a lucky man. My friends never cease to inspire me.