Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pluff Mud, Rising Tides and Sticky Situations

       My cousins and I grew up on South Rhett Ave. Just a stones throw from Noisette Creek. If we werent playing baseball in the vacant lot between Helm and Orangeburg we we were in or around that creek. One summer around 5 PM we started jumping off the bridge, first in the water then into the pluff mud. When you walk around Tidal creeks you always wear shoes because of the possibility of buried oyster shells. On this day I was wearing my brand new and begged for Keds. I watched as my cousins jumped into the waiting mud and sank thigh deep before barely escaping the vacuumous mud, I wasn't so lucky. When I hit, I sank up to my waist and couldn't budge. No matter what I did Neither I or my cousins could break me free and now I had a bigger problem, the tide was coming in. As the boys ran to get shovels they ran into my father coming home from the shipyard who quickly extracted a confession from them. So now I am sunk up to almost my armpits when just about every man in the neighborhood arrive at the bridge and after a quick appraisal of the situation, they decided the only thing to do was tie a rope around me and pull me out. Seems like a good idea except there was only room for 1 person to stand on the creek edge and nobody had enough strength to pull me out. That's when the car backed up. They tied the other end of the rope to my dads 1957 Hillman Minx and not only pulled me out of the pluff mud but up the creek edge and onto the road.Leaving my Keds for all time buried at the bottom of that hole. My dad was a very calm, easy going person and I guess the rope burns and scrapes were enough of a lesson for him. He never punished me for doing what little boys do, but my mom, that's another story. What she punished me for though was losing that brand new pair of tennis shoes. I often wonder what an archaeologist will make of those shoes when they find them in ten thousand years, buried in a creek bed? Anyway I have always been amazed at people who pay for mud baths, when I would have given anything to get out of that one.

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