I’ve been listening to an incredible podcast produced by Dan Carlin called “Hardcore History,” where Dan (who doesn’t claim to be an historian, but otherwise an “admirer of history”) takes subjects and fleshes them out for hours. I’m currently listening to “Kings of Kings part 2” about a few of the leaders of the Persian Empire. He basically produces entire books on tape in each series, as they are 5-6 hours long. If you like history, definitely check this podcast out.
I bring this up because lately I’ve been ruminating about a subject that was mentioned on the podcast. Carlin was explaining how the ancients would use a navy to support anarmy moving along a coast by protecting supplies on ships and feeding the army when required. Now, I don’t know the nature of the ships, whether they were sailboats or rowboats, but in the interest of this blog post, let’s pretend they were sailboats. See, I’ve been fighting a war with sailboats in my head for a few months now. Sailboats were once essential to humanity but are now only enjoyed by a few nincompoops who don’t mind making us sit in traffic at the foot of a drawbridge while they “sail” under it.
Every sailboat I witness is not sailing. No sail is erect as they move along the channel, either by divine intervention or a motor. Using this example, I’d like to propose to Ford a new concept: it’s a car with a horse on top. We’ll call it a “horse and buggy” but it’ll really be a car with a horse strapped to the top, only to be brought out when there’s enough room to use something as stupid as a car drawn by a horse. All these “sailors” are really expensive cheaters. I think I’d respect them, even swallow sitting in traffic, if they didn’t also have an engine on their “sail” boat.
A sailboat is basically a rich person’s middle finger to the planet. We are minding our own business and all of a sudden we must stop and yield to Lord Asscott as he drives his sailboat using gasoline towards an area that he may sail in, as long as the wind, current and tide is conducive to such pleasure. This really doesn’t seem very fair. Why should we be so inconvenienced by your ridiculous hobby?
Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been discussing this topic in my head for a few months because an issue as delicate as this one requires lots of thought and energy (he said trying to justify his sad existence). I hadn’t really discussed or mentioned it to anyone until one night I was out to dinner with some people and after a few drinks I decided to tell a girl I had just met about my struggle with sailboats. Well, as fate would have it, this zooted vixen had grown up in the Bahamas. What are the odds that the first time I decide to bring up this subject to someone, especially someone you’re flirting with, trying to charm with your habitual internal discussion of topics unimportant to anyone else, LOVES sailboats, grew up with them and instantly decides that you’re a “prick.” I still got it.
We had a pretty heated discussion where some select insulting language was used. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to produce this piece before this encounter, but her anger towards me made me positive I wanted to write this and deliver a personalized copy of it to her, maybe in pie-to-the-face form. Who knew that the sailing community was so touchy? I think they should get together with the cycling community and form an even larger group of people most of earth is sick of.
The last time I was on a sailboat was at summer camp twenty years ago; I’ll admit, it was pretty fun. But there was no motor, I put up the sail myself and never inconvenienced any motorists. If there was no wind, I had to paddle. Not only am I uninterested in sailing now, I don’t even want to be around people that enjoy it. I don’t ever want to be at a dinner party (full stop) where the conversation could begin with, “Bunny, tell the folks about sailing around Nantucket this summer.” Waiter, I’ll have the check and a loaded pistol. Unless that story ends with Bunny careening into a giant bolder never to be heard from again, I’ll pass.
Sailboats litter our landscape. I think what took me so long to write this was I couldn’t decide if this was an issue that only annoys me because I’m a petty schmuck or if other people would agree. Well, take a look out onto Charleston Harbor and enjoy its incredible beauty until you get to the shipwrecked sailboats rotting in the marsh. At the very least, I think people would agree that these abandoned pieces of garbage are an environmental and aesthetic nuisance. Charleston County spent $136,000 last year removing abandoned sailboats from its waters. Damn. Why doesn’t ole Asscott have to foot that bill? I think in some cases they do, but there are wrecked boats from hurricane Irma last summer that haven’t budged. What’s the problem, Ass-y, GEICO dragging their feet?
We could have avoided all this unpleasantness if only you could figure out how to make those stupid sails retractable so you can go under a bridge without backing traffic up every waking hour. That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable compromise, does it? If you want to use a motor to get out to sea, press a button to erect a sail and use it to putter about as long as the wind allows for $350,000 a pop, that’s your business. Just clean up your mess when the thing floats away.