Man Overboard

By Sarah Asher

“Come on, Man, let me in the life raft.”

“No way, Dude. You weigh too much.”

“What do you mean?”

“It says right here on the side. Capacity 400 pounds. Dude, you must weight, what, 300? 350 easy. And I haven’t weighed under a hundred since sixth grade. No way you’re getting in here. You’ll sink us both.”

“But I can’t swim.”

“Me either.”

Joe tightened his grip on the rope dangling from the side of the raft. “I don’t know how long I can hold on.”

“I wonder what happened to the rest of the passengers.”

“I don’t give a damn about them! Just let me on! You know they underestimate how much these things can hold.”

“I’m not going to take a chance.” Carl peered over the side of the raft. “Hey, do you think there are sharks in these waters?”

“Shit, Man, not funny.”

“Do you think we’re going to get in trouble for missing the rest of the conference?”

“Not if the captain of the rescue ship writes us a note.”

Cal thought about this for a moment. “You’re joking, right?”

“What do you think?” Joe sighed. “Look, let’s just take turns. Someone is bound to pick us up soon.”

“I don’t trust you.”

“Wow, that stings.”

“Dude, just roll over on your back and chill out. Fat floats.”

Joe rolled over on his back, squinting the afternoon sun out of his eyes. “Yeah, this is working,” he said to himself. He took a deep breath and let himself go. “Kinda like floating in the pool. Carl isn’t as dumb as he looks,” Joe mused. Then Joe let his body start to drift. As the current carried him away from the raft his hand brushed the manual inflation tube jutting from the side of the small rubber craft. He used his thumb to flip the cap off the tube. The sound of air rushing mingled with the breeze wafting across the ocean surface. Joe relaxed now. He was going to be okay.