January 16, 2009

The Lust for Power

THERE ARE TIMES during the dog days of summer when I ache with longing for a sweet little powerboat. When my mainsail is slatting uselessly and the boom is sulkily flinging itself back and forth, it’s inevitable that a powerboat will happen along, looking purposeful and efficient.

I always lie back casually with one foot cocked over the tiller. I compose a blissful smile on my face and rake my floppy sunhat at a saucy angle. I like to make the motorboater feel green with envy.

But sometimes I’m not as patient and content as I look. I’m fascinated by engines, especially the quiet, slow-revving ones, and I love round-bilged, single-screw displacement hulls. There’s also a place in my heart for boats like the hard-chine Maine lobster boat with its planing hull and sharp, clean lines.

One day, when I’m too old to sail, I’m going to get me one of those cocky little Northwestern cuddy-cabin cruisers with a beetle brow to keep the rain off its face and a fierce little diesel heater to chase away the January chill.

And in summer, when I come across one of those becalmed sailors in a saucy sunhat with a leg draped over the tiller, I won’t feel envious at all. No sir. I’ll just laugh in his face and chug merrily on my way.

Today’s Thought
You shall have joy, or you shall have power, said God; you shall not have both. —Emerson, Journals.

Sad story about the commodore of the local yacht club. He went to Victoria’s Secret to buy a birthday present for his wife and was shown some beautiful negligées ranging from $250 to $500. He noticed that the sheerer the negligée, the higher the price, but in the end he opted for the sheerest one, paid the $500 and took it home.

He presented it to his wife and suggested she might like to go upstairs and model it for him.

While she was changing, his wife had an idea. “It’s so sheer that it might as well be nothing. I won't put it on; instead I'll do the modeling naked, return the negligée tomorrow and keep the $500 refund for myself.”

So she appeared naked on the balcony and struck a pose.

“Good grief,” cried the commodore, “you'd think for $500 they would at least iron it!”

He never heard the shot. They’re scattering his ashes at sea next Friday.

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