Sleeping bag? Check.
Italian wool three-piece suit? Check.
As soon as we set off on our canoe trip through Algonquin Park, I knew something was off. The sun was high, and the side vents on my herringbone Brioni allowed me to paddle with ease. But as the day wore on, I could feel the sweat work its way through my dress shirt and toward the outer layers of my ensemble.
“Hot out, eh fellas?” I said.
Then came the first portage. With a 65-pound Kevlar canoe overhead, I was forced to trundle through three and a half miles of forest with nothing to stop the twigs from lashing my suit pants or the creeks from dousing my Salvatore Ferragamos.
Was it just me?
Once we made camp for the night, I thought things would ease up. A little stew, a little rest, and a chance to dry my argyles by the fire. Alas, the suit fibers proved too delicate for the crackling flames and I incurred multiple ember holes in the crotch area.
The next morning, one of my cufflinks went missing. Jeff, the group’s navigator, had little sympathy for my sartorial woes, but he gave me a carabiner to keep my sleeve clipped for the long day ahead.
Back on the river, we soon rowed up to a beaver dam, and reckoned we would have to carry the canoe over by hand. While crouching behind the stern for leverage, however, I must have been in a rather taut position, for one of my shirt buttons popped off and hit Ross, our best paddler, in the eye. A devastating blow.
“We’re not in the boardroom anymore, eh fellas?” I said. But Ross seemed genuinely injured.
It was precisely 2:07 P.M. on my Cartier wristwatch when I noticed the waters grow choppy. Storm clouds. Better get moving. Lucky for me, I had a derby hat tucked away in the food barrel to keep me dry. But as I was just about to pop it on, a powerful gust of wind carried it off along with Ross’s EpiPen before disappearing into the wilderness for good.
Would my bad luck never cease?
Sopping wet from necktie to wingtip, I had just about lost all hope when Brandon, our keeper of provisions, handed me a smoked turkey sandwich. The dish was excellent, but the dijon had its way with my lapels.
When the storm at last subsided, a glorious rainbow appeared, so we settled on the bank for some afternoon fishing. Dave, the group mariner, caught a perch, while I, alas, caught my tie clip before the hook ever touched water.
Lying in my tent that night, with nothing but a briefcase for a pillow, I began to record this unfortunate series of events, but my Montblanc must have got waterlogged somewhere along the river, so trust me when I say, it got worse from there.