March 27, 2011

No need for special glasses

A LETTER to the Editor of the Walnut Street Gazeout (should be Gazette) says:

Sir, — I recently read an article by some fancy schmancy sports doctor type. He says if you go skiing or yachting, you need special glasses or else you’ll eventually go blind. Something to do with ultraviolent rays.

I understand that small sailboats bounce around a lot at sea but I still don’t understand why you need special glasses. What’s wrong with ordinary glasses?

— Armpit Leftwich,

Block 5 Row 3 cell 14

► Well, I have to agree with Armpit. There is no need for special glasses since most sailors drink their beer straight from the can or bottle when they’re at sea. Some of them will use glasses when the boat is in port, to convince young ladies that they have been house trained and can therefore be trusted when they invite you on an after-dinner tour of the fo’c’s’le. They can’t be, of course, but that’s beside the point.

I have noticed that most of them use square tumblers, the kind whisky drinkers prefer. These glasses are squat and, like the best crew members, have a low center of gravity, which is desirable on a boat, especially when some low-life comes speeding past in a powerboat and sets the boat rocking ultraviolently.

Personally, I don’t see how your choice of glasses can make you blind unless you drink raw ouzo or absinthe. I know that stove alcohol, strained through a loaf of bread, also can make you blind, but most people don’t bother with glasses when they do that.

Perhaps that sports doctor doesn’t realize that sailors can go blind in other ways besides drinking out of glasses, at least one of which actually causes you to grow hair on your palms as well, and he needs to sort out those who only drink beer from those with multiple vices.

In the meantime, Armpit, if I were you I wouldn’t worry my pretty little head about it. I mean, hell, glasses are cheap. Ten cents a throw at my local thrift store, although I guess there’s no guarantee that they didn’t already make somebody blind.

Today’s Thought
For drink, there was beer which was very strong when not mingled with water, but was agreeable to those who were used to it. They drank this with a reed, out of the vessel that held the beer, upon which they saw the barley swim.
— Xenophon, Anabasis

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb, #177
How much sail can you manage alone? A sail of about 400 square feet is about as much as the average person working alone would want to handle with any regularity. Interestingly, though, a larger hull, one that provides a more stable working platform, might ease the handling of a larger sail.

“Hey gorgeous, I hear you collect stamps. How about inviting me in to see your collection some time?”
“Down boy, down. Philately will get you nowhere.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's why rednecks like Jack Daniels whiskey...the square bottles won't roll across the cab of the truck!