Don’t laugh at in-law who falls into river

On the Fourth of July my wife and I went to my in-law’s house — which is on the waterfront — to eat, play in the river and watch fireworks.

Following the feast my mother-in-law said she was getting in the water. I asked if she was going to wait an hour and she said she didn’t need to.

I asked if the rule of waiting an hour after eating before going swimming did not apply to her. She said it didn’t. I said I was going to write a column.

She said I could as long as I did not use her name. I found this amusing because she lives two counties away and I doubt if she knows 20 people in Franklin County, but in the spirit of family harmony I agreed.

She said it wasn’t a problem because she wasn’t going to go swimming — she only wanted to get on a tube and float around for a while.

I don’t know if it was this cavalier attitude to years of assumed logic or the fact she just about fell over laughing when my father-in-law nearly dumped my wife off the back of the Jet Ski when he took it to full throttle, but Karma got my mother-in-law back.

She dropped the tube in the water and climbed down the steps on the dock and tried to flop on the tube. She flopped on the tube, but the tube did not like it too much and flopped her into the river.

I had a good chuckle and when my wife got back, from what she considered a brush with death, her and my father-in-law had a good laugh too.

Unfortunately I did not use the experience to learn a lesson about Karma.

I hate to admit it because it makes me feel like a bad person, but sometimes I suffer from schadenfreude — a German word meaning “pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.”

Yeah, I had a good laugh about my mother-in-law falling in the river. The next day we went back to my in-law’s house for another day on the river.

This time we tied the tube to the Jet Ski and I was the only one willing to ride.

The tube was easy to climb on in the shallow water near my in-law’s pier. Unfortunately I fell off in deep water and was unable to get back on the stupid tube.

It was too far to swim back to their house, so I had to hang on to the back of the tube for about three quarters of a mile with only my head and arms out of the water. My mother-in-law got to enjoy the scene from the back of the Jet Ski.

Yeah, Karma got me too but I don’t think it was enough to learn my lesson — I still chuckle when I think about my mother-in-law falling in the muddy water.

Oops, there goes the schadenfreude again.

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