Tim Chitwood: Scamper to sterilize after river rafting

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 24, 2013 

When "tiny tots with their eyes all aglow" reminds you of the movie "Village of the Damned," it's Monday Mail.

The river

Today we have responses to a Nov. 10 column on my nearly drowning during a whitewater rafting trip. Here's a voicemail:

Hey Tim,

This is Luther Ledbetter. I found this damn cell phone washed up on the banks of the Chattahoochee just below Cut Bait. I picked it up and I'm going to call you with it. I hope the person that lost it ain't drowned. But I saw in Sunday's paper where you had your thing about "Squeeze into that vest so you're not in over your head." And you've obviously been throwed out into the 'Hooch and drank gallons of 'Hoochie-coochie water, and some folks are worried about it being polluted. Now my theory is that if this happened on November 2, when you drank all the 'Hoochie-coochie water, that if you ain't dead … then that would tell me that the water's not contaminated. So, would you please address this? I got a lot of friends that are interested in whether or not the 'Hooch is polluted, and I think that you, having consumed gallons of water as you said when you was thrown out from the river raft experience, you would be an excellent experiment, so to speak, and let us know if you are still alive or not, and whether or not the 'Hooch is in fact contaminated. …

Dear Luther:

It's funny some people worry about pollution in the whitewater, but don't at all mind swimming and skiing on the backwaters. It's the same river.

Just to be safe, any excursion during which you consume river water should be followed by adult beverages to kill any bacteria you ingested.

Jump in

Here's an online comment to that column that says it's from Jeffrey Summerlin of Phenix City:

Just wait! Judy Thomas wants people to be able to swim in front of the marina where the boats come in! You should really have something to write about after that starts.

Dear Jeffrey:

You can't swim there now? I did once, when I got thrown out of a canoe in front of the bait shop.


Here's a comment from Katie Howard, in regard to my writing I "scampered" over rocks to get back to my raft after it flipped:

Did you really scamper?

Dear Katie:

Dictionary.com says "scamper" means "to run or go hastily or quickly," or "to run playfully about, as a child." So no, that was not the best verb to use.

"Scramble" might have been better. "Staggered over wet rocks trying not to fall and break my glasses" would work, too.

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

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