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My Key Largo Adventure

God Lives Underwater: Empty CD cover art

Yes, well, I hear that Ken and Dana have told their version of the Key Largo story, from where we packed up and went down to Miami for Anime SuperCon. Now, straight from the Widge’s mouth is my version. Which, admittedly, since I haven’t listened to their podcast yet, might be strikingly similar. They, no doubt, told you about our week’s long sojourn on the shores of the lost continent of Mu, caught in the midst of the struggle between the giant squad-taurs that rule there in the present day and the humans they own to work the fields–so I won’t bore you with that part of the story. I’ll instead just keep to the part where we were on the boat.

Let’s back up for a moment. In Miami, the idea was to visit one of the Keys. And Key Largo was the closest. Not only that, but reportedly the glass bottom boat tour was amazing. I also discovered while perusing online that the Christ of the Abyss was at Key Largo. Yes, that Jesus statue that’s on the cover of the God Lives Underwater album. Exactly.

[ad#rightpost]So the plan was: drive to Key Largo. Hop on a glass-bottomed boat. Take the tour. Ask somebody about where exactly the submerged Christ statue was. Done deal.

Upon our arrival at Key Largo, we snagged our passes and awaited the time to depart. We were warned, among other things, that the seas were a bit frisky and we were admonished to take Dramamine if we needed to. The only time I ever got motion sick–at least previously–was when I tried to do too much reading while riding in a car. Reading while driving the car I had given up on long before. So I thought I was fine.

Ken and Dana both accepted Dramamine from a nice stranger on the boat. Now, you might have found the flaw in this plan: accepting pills from strangers is normally not a good idea, no matter how nice they are. Granted, the odds of Ken and/or Dana being slipped a roofie while on a glass-bottomed boat tour were long, to say the least. But still, as Uncle Bill told us: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”

So we disembarked. Which is nautical speak for “We left.”

Key Largo: Leaving the Dock

I have to admit something to you: I’m aquaphobic. I say that because I almost drowned twice as a small child (in two separate incidents, mind you) and also because in middle school I learned that telling somebody you’re hydrophobic is not the best idea. This isn’t terribly severe, for the most part. For example, I don’t have problems showering, despite many slanderous lies to the contrary. And I’m even fine on boats. I just really don’t like being out in the water without a boat. So I figured: no motion sickness, no mental health issues with being on a boat. No problem, right?

Look, here we are headed for the open seas! Arrrr! I’m fine!

Key Largo: The High Seas

In fact, here I am looking down through the grating that jutted out from the very front of the boat to the water beneath it! I’m great! Having a blast!

Key Largo: The Front of the Boat

Then we finally got out to the reef we were supposed to be surveying. I went downstairs to where the glass bottom was, naturally, and the boat–which having a glass bottom is also very very flat–began to rock around and move up and down through the swells. That’s nautical-speak for “waves.”

Key Largo: view from the glass bottom boat

I sat down and looked down through the glass. And I was fine. Then I suddenly felt very, very tired. Anyone who knows me–or indeed knows my utter disrespect for sleep–would not be surprised to learn this. I’ve fallen asleep in the middle of a zoo full of screaming children and scavenging birds. I tried to focus on what the tour guide was pointing out–the occasional eel or turtle–but my mind keep straying back to my deteriorating condition, which I didn’t even notice at first. But then I remembered the warning signs of motion sickness–which I was exhibiting–and the admonition to go up stairs and suck on a peppermint (which was supposed to help–it did).

There was a member of the crew whose sole purpose it was to look after those that wandered up looking green. I sat and tried to focus on the horizon, only to be offered ice to put in my mouth (which was supposed to help–it did). When Dana joined us upstairs a while later, he described it as “The Island of Broken Toys” up top. Of course, he saw us all sitting around with ziploc baggies and worried momentarily that we had been yarking into transparent bags. I’m glad he got over that before I offered him something out of mine.

Eventually we got back and, as quickly as it came, the sickness left me. I had managed to Not Think About Being Sick enough to keep from making a spectacle of myself. But in all the melee of feeling unwell I had forgotten to ask about Christ of the Abyss. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Speaking of next time, what have we learned? Not necessarily to take Dramamine, but if the waves are rough, just don’t get on the damn boat to begin with.

And then on our way off the Key, we discovered Hodgman left us a sign–a sign that indicated to us all that sometimes the Old Technology is not as advanced as the New Technology–but sometimes Old Technology is comfortable and familiar.

Key Largo: Hobos

Or perhaps it was his way of saying “Hobos yark wherever they please. Thank you for not being one of them.” I think either way it works.


  • My friend, if only you had “disembarked” at the onset of your adventure, you would’ve been fine. Unfortunately you elected to remain in the boat.

  • Umm, what Dana and I both learned from you, ya moron, is to TAKE THE DAMN DRAMAMINE!

    WE TOLD YOU! And you said, “Uh, no. I’m fine. I don’t get motion sickness…” And we said, “Better safe than sorry…” and took ours, and you said, “Nope. I don’t need it. Leave me alone.”

    And yet you still won’t accept that you were wrong.

  • I was wrong to go on the boat in the first place, much less not take the dramamine. Be nice to me. Otherwise you’d still be in a hotel room wishing the Internet Fairy would fix your connection rather than calling somebody at the front desk to help you. Sighing all the while, I might add.