One way to do this would be to make up a list of the Christmas presents we’d like to receive, and hand it out to friends, relatives, co-workers, and passers-by.
Some of you will think this is a very crass thing to do, but it has occurred to me that a wish-list of this sort would be completely acceptable if it were presented in the form of a request for items for your boat.
You might think this a little strange at first, but it’s not really. It moves the guilt factor away from you to a third party. And people (even landlubbers) know instinctively that boats have souls. They realize that there are strong emotional ties between sailors and their boats that stop short only of kissing and hugging. Well, in most cases, anyway.
Now, you may be saying, “But people will surely query why a boat would need a new flat-screen, Internet-ready, 72-inch, plasma TV with icemaker. Or a case of Johnny Walker Red Label whisky; or a five-year subscription to Playboy. How do you answer them?”
Well, use your common sense. Close your eyes slightly. Look wise and mysterious. Say: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Explain that the bond between a man and his boat is intimate and very private. Tell them you have this intuitive, exclusive insight into your boat’s true needs and desires.
And make sure they realize that every boat knows the difference between real Johnny Walker and the cheap hooch they distill up in those scruffy hills in Arkansas.
Ever since Eve gave Adam the apple, there has been a misunderstanding between the sexes about gifts
— Nan Robertson
He asked her for a burning kiss;
She said in accents cruel:
“I may be called a red-hot babe
“But I’m still nobody’s fuel.”