November 24, 2009

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

(Hop aboard every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a new Mainly About Boats column by John Vigor)

DAMN. IT’S COMING UP THANKSGIVING. Gotta write a blog, and it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow. What has Thanksgiving got to do with boats, for Pete’s sake? Think, man, think. What’s the connection? Scratch head. Pull finger out of earhole and type, dammit.

Well, okay, I suppose some of us should be grateful for boats. If it weren’t for boats I couldn’t have written articles and books about boats and got paid for it. On the other hand, if there were no such things as boats I might be better off. I might have been a plumber, as my mother suggested, instead of a pretend writer, and I might have earned a fortune instead of a pittance.

I could be sitting in my villa in Nice or Monte Carlo right now with my own plumbing all done in pure 22-carat gold, drinking pink Moët de Grand Excellence champagne out of chorus girls’ slippers and tossing euro coins to the dull-witted writers begging in the street below.

So I don’t know that I’m very grateful for boats.

Mind you, I suppose there’s a fair chance that if it weren’t for boats there would not be any white folks in this country. We’d all still be in freezing-cold Merrie Bloodie Englande painting ourselves blue and trying to invent fire and Oprah Winfrey. There’d be no Thanksgiving, either, of course, and this country would be overrun with swaggering, cocksure turkeys. Ugly buggers that they are.

It’s true that Christopher Columbus used a boat — but he didn’t land in North America, even though most Americans think he did. So there’s no reason to be grateful to Christopher Columbus. If he had found America we’d all be speaking Spanish with bad accents by now and I wouldn’t be able to earn a living because I speak only English. Well, and Afrikaans. And a bit of Zulu and Fanagalo. And a smattering of French and German. And two years of Latin, with several canings for not doing homework. And nine months of lispy Castellano, which I don’t remember any more. Oh, and one sentence in Polish. Don’t know any Greek, though, apart from alpha and omega and ouzo.

But I digress. It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, remember? Okay, well, despite everything, I guess I have to be thankful for boats. One brought me safely thousands of miles across the oceans to my nice new home in America and others continue to fascinate me and brighten my life. So I take it back. I am grateful to boats.

Here’s to boats: I’ll drink to that. Kindly hand me my bottle of Moët de Cheapskate.

Today’s Thought
Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly … is having to accept it.
— William Faulkner

“How much is a bottle of brandy? It’s my nephew’s birthday and he likes brandy.”
“Well, madam, it depends on the age. Seven-year-old is quite reasonably priced. Ten-year-old costs a bit more. Twelve-year-old can be quite expensive.”
“Gee, that’s terrible. My nephew is 25.”

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