The Everglades style air boat that Two Birds had ordered through Amazon, paying extra for expedited shipment, arrived the following morning. They maneuvered the boat into the murky waters of the swamp. NASCAR Bob pushed his way to the driver’s station and announced, “I’m driving,” and then in his best Ricky Bobby’s voice, “Gotta go fast.”
“I love that movie,” said Joey excitedly, “ooh, ooh, can I be your sidekick? I’ll be Bake and you can be Shake.”
“I hate to interject some salient information here,” said Two Birds sounding much more intelligent than usual, “but, we need to get to that hangar in a stealthy manner. Now, through my very expensive binoculars I found a good place for us to beach the air boat.”
“Wrong,” interrupted NASCAR Bob, “it is not ‘the air boat’, its name is The SS Shake&Bake.”
“And, I’m navigating,” Joey added, “That’s the sidekick’s job.”
“How can you be the navigator?” replied Two Birds, “I’m the one who lives here and has spent countless hours looking at this swamp. You don’t know where to go, I do.”
Joey started shaking his head, “No, no, no, I’ll be the one telling Commodore Bob where to go. I am Bake, he is Shake. You’re just a passenger on the SS Shake&Bake.”
Two Birds, his patience having been tested to the limit, threw his hands in the air in defeat and said, “Okay, I’ll tell you and you tell the Commodore. Is that good enough?”
With that settled, Commodore Bob started up the Chevrolet 350 engine, “Whoowee, will you listen to that baby purr?” as he revved it up even louder.
“What?” screamed both Two Birds and Joey as they were climbing into the passenger seats in the bow of the Shake&Bake.
“Tell the Commodore to go past that line of large cypress trees to starboard,” Two Birds yelled to Joey.
Joey strained to hear Two Birds and turned to the Commodore and shouted, “Two Birds said to go fast.”
The swamp came alive, the sound of the SS Shake&Bake’s roaring engine sending flocks of waterfowl racing for the heavens. Two Birds turned in his seat and started to yell for Commodore Bob to “Slow down”, but as the boat plowed forward those in the bow seats were drenched by a sudden wave splashing the occupants. Commodore Bob was laughing, the exhilaration of going fast taking hold. It was when he noticed that they were headed into a copse of large cypress trees that he realized he didn’t know where they were going. “Hey Bake,” he yelled down to Joey as he slowed the boat to a stop, “Which way do we go?”
“Tell the Commodore to follow the tree line for eight-tenths of a mile,” said Two Birds to Joey, “we’ll see a landing area just a few hundred yards to starboard once we get past the trees. There’s a pipeline that empties into the swamp. I don’t know what is coming out of it, but the usually lush, green vegetation in that spot is a not so lush grayish-brown.”
Commodore Bob glanced to his left as they came to the end of the cypress trees, and with a gleam in his eyes, and without warning, turned the boat hard to port, sending Joey crashing into Two Birds knocking him over the port side rail, his head now in the murky water. Joey reacted quickly and pulled Two Birds back on board. Two Birds looked up at the joy filled Commodore and started to scream but instead of “Commodore you idiot”, a gargled, sputtering sound came out with a stream of murky water and a small turtle.
Commodore Bob slowed the boat to a stop. Up ahead was a beautiful expanse of open water dotted with groves of lily pads, many of them being used as deck chairs for frogs. A great blue heron stalked among one such grove, striking down and skewering a sun bathing amphibian. A large gator, aroused from his shoreline nap, slid into the water and started swimming toward the SS Shake&Bake. “Anyone want to play buzz the gator?” Commodore Bob asked.