November 4, 2014

Ulterior motives and the NMMA

LADIES, BEWARE. Your man may be using subversive techniques to make you fall in love with boating. And he has the full backing of the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association (NMMA) through its website, Discover Boating.

This crafty scheme hopes to increase the number of women who participate in boating, presumably with the aim of selling more boats and benefiting the bankrolls of American manufacturers.

The website urges men to use underhand practices to change the minds of women who are not interested in boats. For example, the website offers this advice:

“Night activity — After browsing the web site, download the Beginner’s Guide to Boating and leave it open on the computer for her to find next time she logs in.”

Further insults to womanhood follow:

“During dinner, make sure your friend brings up the boating topic so you don’t sound like a broken record and your S.O. [presumably significant other] does not catch on to your ulterior motives.”

Ladies, how can you tell if the man in your life has been subverted by the NMMA’s iniquitous scheme?

Well, watch for the following clues:

Ø Be very suspicious if he plans a dinner date with friends to be close to a boat dealership. “Make sure that you pass the dealership both on the way to dinner and going home,” urges the NMMA. “On the way to dinner, subtly point out the dealership and the beautiful boats on display.

“After dinner, drive by the boat dealership again and casually suggest that the two of you make an appointment to see what types of boats they offer (leave a message at dealership immediately when you get home).

[It’s hard to believe that an organization such as the NMMA can be so naive as to publish this insult to women’s intelligence. But publish it they did.]

Ø Be even more suspicious if he buys you a captain’s hat. He has definitely fallen into the evil clutches of the NMMA, which offers this dubious advice:

“Present the gift  [the hat] when you pick them up. Repeat the following statements on the way [to a test drive on the water]:

“ ‘We’re just looking today to get an idea of what would be right for our family and our boating needs.’ ”

“ ‘I’m excited to get out on the water today. It’s kind of like an afternoon vacation.’ ”

Ø There’s much more of this inanity on the website, but if your suspicions haven’t been aroused yet, and you haven’t been insulted enough yet, this should do it:

“Night Activity: Bring home dinner and dessert ‘just because’ and print the Beginner’s Guide to Boating to look at after dinner while enjoying your dessert.”

But the sneakiness doesn’t end there. The final straw is when it gets down to money:

“Create your own family budget that includes your monthly boat-related payments to show that you really can afford a boat.”

Women are perfectly capable of making up their own minds about whether they like boating, or not. They don’t have to be persuaded by men with ulterior motives. And women who do like boating are, in fact, the equal of men sailors in every way I can think of, except that they can’t pee over the side as easily. Or so I’m told.

So methinks the NMMA would do better to stick to the honest job  of building decent boats, and quit dabbling in the questionable business of handing out insults to women’s intelligence.   

Today’s Thought
If you speak insults, you shall also hear them.
— Plautus, Pseudolus

Two little boys with fishing poles were peering into a small can.
“Gee,” said one, “How did you get your little sister to dig so many worms?”
“I bribed her,” said the other. “Out of every 10 she dug up, I let her eat one.”

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

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