“If I can’t scuba, then what’s this all been about? What am I working toward?” – Creed Bratton

“Do you have some Dramamine?” 

“No, but I have . . .” 

Before you know it, you’ve listened to the names of 20 different drugs, and you’re still sea sick. You can’t believe you let your coworker, Creed Bratton, talk you into paying hooky from work and going scuba diving in Lake Wallenpaupack. 

Oh well, you sigh, at least the music is good. 

Creed reclines on the floor of the jon boat as he strums a bluesy tune. 

You’re enjoying the moment when you realize you’re missing your dive mask. You start to panic, and then you see it around Creed’s neck. His own mask his been discarded on the floor of the boat. 

Darn! you think. I shouldn’t have bragged about my new anti-fog mask.

Creed turns toward you. “Last time I played hooky from work,” he says. “My boss tried to fire me, but I just said ‘undo it’ and he let me off the hook.”

Creed continues to strum when suddenly he flings his guitar aside and throws himself face down in the boat. 

“Park rangers,” he mutters. 

Sure enough, a boat whizzes by with two uniformed figures scanning the lake for misconduct. 

“We really should have hired a guide considering neither of us are certified,” you tell Creed. 

Creed lifts himself up. 

“That’s not what I’m worried about.” 

He begins to tell you how he used to be the leader of a cult, the sole purpose of which was capturing the Loch Ness Monster and claiming the reward money. 

One day, some cult members started complaining that their lives were being endangered, so Creed was arrested. He now must hide from anyone who might recognize him. 

“My followers didn’t understand that the danger was part of the fun,” he says. 

You learn that on one of the cult’s expeditions into the depths of Scotland’s second largest loch, Creed had one of his toes bitten off by what he’s convinced was Nessie herself. 

“Not gonna let that happen again,” he says as he straps on his flippers. He snaps your dive mask across his face, tosses a handful of mung beans into his mouth and flops back into the water. 

You grab his yellowing dive mask and follow him in. 

He’s already at the bottom, and through the murk you can see he’s holding a tiny spear. He tosses it into an aquatic plant. 

You watch as dozens of fish scatter. When Creed retrieves the spear, you glimpse an impaled walleye. 

“Impressive!” you think. “He might just have chance of catching Nessie one day.”

Creed stuffs the fish into his dive bag and attempts a celebratory cartwheel. 

He goes on to catch at least ten more fish throughout the dive – some with a spear; some with his bare hands. 

As much fun as you’re having watching him, you don’t want to lose the boat so you motion to Creed that you’re going to change directions. He gives you an OK but then disappears into the murk. 

Knowing that dive buddies are key to diving safety, you search for him for several minutes.  

No luck. You wait below the boat for another half hour and then decide to return to shore and call search and rescue. 

When you get to shore, your jaw drops. There is Creed next to the pier chatting with a fisherman. 

You stomp over to him, but before you can emit your fury, he waves at you and begins introducing the fisherman to you. 

“This is my worm guy,” he says. “He sells two-cent worms!” 

“Awesome,” you say politely. 

“This is my coworker, Chumbo,” he tells the worm guy. “We work at a dog food company.” 

Trying to ignore the fact the he butchered both your name and your company, you bid the worm guy goodbye and head back toward the boat to gather your things. 

“Where’d you go?” you ask Creed as he throws his guitar over his shoulder. 

“Ah, I couldn’t find our boat so I hitched a ride on another one.” 

You roll your eyes. “Let’s get going and return our gear.” 

Creed hands you some cash. 

“Tha . . .” you start to say, but then you see the face on the bills have Creed’s beady little eyes and the corner displays the number three. 

“Now, if you’ll excuse me,” says Creed. “I need to go blog about this on CreedThoughts.gov – later skater!” 

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