Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Golden Arc de Mirth

We meet people everywhere we go, even at the top of the lighthouse

Stories!  Oh, the wonderful stories we get to hear!  Meeting new people every day we hear stories told with accents from all over the world.  Among others, we have been entertained by the stories of an Englishman with a sharp wit and a clever tongue who unintentionally taught us a number of British slang words.  The only British slang that I previously knew how to use properly were ‘bloody hell’ and ‘bollocks’.  I cannot for the life of me, imagine why Americans opted out of maintaining these useful expressions.  Was it to slight those rebellious Loyalists?  Who knows?  
Oh, those Loyalists!

The most provincial phrase we learned was ‘Tickedy-boo’— now what do you suppose that means?   It is used to express absolute delight as near as I can figure.  The Englishman told us about the years that he and his wife spent sailing in Belize and the area of Honduras.  One of the characters in his story was ‘happy as Larry.’ I asked him who Larry was—he had no idea.  His story continued and involved a ‘quick nip’ —hmm……a rapid little trip down the stairs.  Daring to pursue a conversation about British and American politics. we heard him proclaim that “Well, we both have ‘nutters'.”  “Nutters?”  I asked.  People who are crazy.  Of course.  Perfect.  I’m going to make use of “nutters” from now on, reserving it for politicians, not the mentally ill.
The British are quite a humorous lot.  Who else would refer to the "Queen's Bottom"?

After the Cruiser’s Net reviews the weather, the condition of the cuts out onto the Atlantic, invitations to various restaurants, etc….eventually we get to the part of the hour where  cruisers are invited to announce their arrival or departure from this area of the Abacos.  We’ve been here for days already and not uttered a peep on the Net.  Finally, I couldn’t stand it any more—I went on the radio with my favorite radio personality in mind, Garrison Keillor.  “This is Northern Star.  We have actually been here in the harbor of Hope Town for a few days already, but we’re from Minnesota and so we’ve been reluctant to call attention to ourselves.”  A chuckle from the other end.  You see, the advantage of announcing oneself is that other bashful Minnesotans come out of the woodwork and we got to meet them and share stories with them as well.
Gifts from the Queen.  Fancy little things, aren't they?

One of the popular little stories that has begun to circulate in the harbor had its’ origin at our sailboat.  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 8:30 to 9:30, the cruisers’ may bring their garbage to the dock for disposal.  A few of the nice sailors in the harbor take it upon themselves to buzz around in their dinghies and collect garbage from the other boats, thereby reducing the congestion from 20 or 30 dinghies going to the dock with garbage to only three or four dinghies.  Nice folks.  
One of the means of transportation in Hope Town

Last Friday morning the nice gentleman pulled up alongside our boat in his dinghy to chat with Carl briefly after taking our garbage on board.  Jax chose that moment to empty his bladder.  I believe I have mentioned in previous posts that Jax has become quite adept at his urination and elimination tasks onboard.  He very nonchalantly walked on deck, leaned against the cabin roof and peed off the side of the boat.  Apparently it was an impressive arc and it splashed squarely over the dinghy engine and onto the stern of the man’s dinghy.  Well, this was a bit of a surprise, as one might imagine.  Apparently, that had never happened to this man previously.  Why am I not surprised?
This Queen's Highway is less than 2 metres wide.


When the same nice man came by this morning to ask if we had garbage, Jax and I were both in the cockpit.  While laughing, he explained that he has made the story of the dog peeing off the sailboat and onto his dinghy his very own tale.  He told me, “I’ve gotten so much mileage out of that story, and retold it so many times.  I’ve embellished the story so much now that you wouldn’t even recognize it!”  I thought, ‘well, bully for you.’  Bully — another little British expression.  Handy, wasn’t it?
And God save the English wit.  

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