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Boating: As the crow said - never more!

January 16, 2013
By boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The New Year wipes everything clean; a brand new start for everyone. I've benefited from this absolution for many, many years without really changing anything. No matter how bad anyone or I acts, just wait a while and poof, it is forgiven.

This year is going to be different. I'm not going to be as angry at my fellow boaters who don't understand what those poles, with the numbered color signs on them, mean. Run into me why don't you, have a nice day! I'm going to eliminate the use of the middle finger except to pick up something. No more colorful language, either.

No arguing politics, especially with idiots. Oops, I shouldn't have said that (refer to last paragraph) but my feet are made of clay. I should have said 'the uninformed' because it sounds nicer. Even though the uninformed are usually never mind. What really bothers me is how depressed many of my friends are over the recent Presidential election. They sit around and everything is doom and gloom. "This country will collapse. It's over, finished, done, kaput. These are the worst times ever," says Indiana Jones as he hangs his head about three inches above the floor.

If you try to dissuade them, they argue vehemently that anyone who disagrees with their predictions either has his head up their butt or is a 'Dimocrat.' "In 10 years we will owe so much money that we'll be paying interest faster than we can print money. Doomed I tell you, doomed!"

DECYC club members run from him. They won't admit what is really bothering them, do you?

I've also had it with, "Where are you from?" Why does every conversation have to start that way during the "snowbird" season. I haven't yet come back with the witticism I prefer. I feel it welling up inside of me, though. Instead of politely saying, "I've been here 28 years."

I feel like saying, "Why do you assume I am from somewhere else. Do I look stupid enough to leave here every spring? Do I look like I don't belong? Didn't you hear the bartender greet me warmly and the other year-rounders and call my name?" I'd feel so much better but I'm not totally rude, despite what my wife says. I'm going to have a biz card printed with that phrase. A silent protest to "where you from!"

I'm not going to fight the traffic to get off the island or on the island this year. Traffic was bad during Christmas break, and it is a harbinger of things to come. Since New Years plus four, not so bad. I'll be using the boat as much as possible for happy hour when designated drivers are available. Dockage will get scarce after the middle of February but friendly dock masters can usually fit one of our overcrowded "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" club boats in somewhere.

"How did you get a beer," a elderly woman wearing an Ohio State jersey asked me. Before I could reply she continued, "I've been waiting here for at least five minutes." I should have told her that I'd moved up from an interior table to the empty seat next to her at the bar, but I have a mean streak. Besides, I was a little shocked not to hear, "Where are you from?" So she continued to fume as two lady bartenders ran their backsides off while snowbirds yelled their orders.

It's like that every Tuesday because these 'snow-bunnies' sit around the pool all day and tell each other where the best deals are. Then they get angry when all their fellow snowbirds keep them from getting service. Keep your mush shut about good deals if you want to enjoy the friendly people and good service. But snowbirds are a strange lot.

When my son had the "Boater's Treasure's TV Show," he sold half-priced restaurant coupons. If one condo-ite stumbled on that obscure channel, they told all their neighbors who all went together and used exactly $25 dollars ($12.50 out of pocket cost) and then left very stingy tips. Wonder why the show isn't on the air anymore? Another thing he and I won't do this year?

Because of my weekly column, this makes me a public figure of sorts. Some restaurant owners have decided that my opinions aren't helpful but irritants. I rarely criticize, but often question some of their decisions and it has cost me dearly, dearly I tell you. The power of the pen around here doesn't nearly equal the sword. Mostly because you, my readers, have stumbled on this column because you needed something to wrap the fish in or you were looking for coupons. I'm not complaining because I get to mention my Super Shipbottom Hard Ablative anti-fouling bottom paint at the end of each column. It should be enough, but I'd still like a few benefits like a certain beer on tap or a certain food item on happy hour?

I'm plum suspicious that the 'Pukin Pelican' and others intentionally remove items that I like? Just the other day the 'PP' took the Chili Cheese Fries off the menu. They call themselves a sports bar when they don't even have stadium dogs, Italian sausage with onions and peppers, beer brats or stadium mustard. Ridiculous.

I'm NOT going to comment on any 'States Days' this year. I'll probably not even attend unless some designated boat driver drags me, especially if they're serving spaghetti on Pennsylvania Dutch day or bratwurst on New York Day. I know it's supposed to be about local fare, but sometimes it is confusing. So in closing, I've made another bunch of resolutions that I'll try to keep. And if I've offended anyone, I'll never ever do that again, either!

Boatguy Ed is a marine manufacturer, supposedly retired, who still makes the best anti-fouling bottom paint. ( He is a past Commodore of the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club" and a former award winning television producer of shows no one watched. Don't ever try to buy him a beer or throw one in his face.



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