Saturday, April 12, 2008

Crazy Sailors

It’s 2:15 a.m. on Saturday. I’m sitting on a Crazy Creek chair under an overhang outside the white-clapboard town hall of the wealthiest (or perhaps second-wealthiest) town in the Smallish State. It's 39 degrees. There’s a cold, heavy rain falling. There are piles of snow around. I’m bundled up, but not warm. I have a thermos of hot tea. Madness? Yes. This is an annual game played by the wealthiest town in the Smallish State to torture those of use who would like to keep a rowboat at their town dock for the purpose of accessing our sailboats moored in the harbor. There are over a thousand moorings, but they give out only 90 dinghy permits. 60 are reserved for town residents. The remaining 30 are tossed to out-of-town barbarians such as myself, like so much slop to starving, stampeding swine.

At 4:30 a.m. the harbormaster will show up and issue place-holding numbers to the first 90. If you are among the chosen ones, you then come back at 8 a.m. to actually pay your $100 and get the permit. It’s a pretty crappy system. If you don’t get a permit, and you aren’t a member of the yacht club (which operates a launch service), you will probably have no way to get to your boat. You may as well not even put your boat in the water this summer. The stakes are high.

So, much as we used to camp out for Foreigner tickets in the 80’s, now we come camp out for dinghy permits. Last year I was #29 in line; much too close for comfort. This year I didn’t take chances. After beers last night with 3.14 and GirlTuesday, I only allowed myself a one-hour nap at home before driving out here. Still, I was the ninth car in the parking lot. But everyone else is dozing in their cars, and I’ve set up camp at the front door. I am #1 in line. Yes. I am #1. I am the dinghy permit master. And I am freezing cold. And it’s a long time yet till 4:30. I haven't pulled an all-nighter since residency, and it's not feeling so good. But after I get my number, I'll roll out my sleeping bag in the back of the Nonturbomobile and try to sleep until 8:00.

At least the richest town in the Smallish State has WiFi outside town hall, so I can blog about their absurd policies while I participate in them.


Blogger The MSILF said...

Dude, that's fucked up.

When does the season really start there?

4/12/08, 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least there is a mechanism (however difficult) for "out of towners" to get permits. you know, if you weren't born there, you will always be 'from away' in the hearts and minds of some of the townies. and remember, the discomfort now will make those lazy blue afternoons in july and august even sweeter!

4/12/08, 8:10 AM  
Blogger GirlTuesday said...

dude, i was not told there was going to be wifi! . . . next year: wifi and PBRs in the parking lot!

4/12/08, 1:52 PM  
Blogger brushfiremedia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/12/08, 9:43 PM  
Blogger brushfiremedia said...

oops, I accidentally deleted my own comment...

I hate the second-richest town in the smallish state. Hate with an unholy passion.

Turbo, I'll sponsor you into the yacht club if you want. It's waaaay worth the insane amount of money.

4/12/08, 9:44 PM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

1) Many thanks, B.Fire, for the offer of sponsorship. I think it may be against my religion to be a member of a yacht club. But I'll check on that & get back to you.

2) I double checked, and yes, it is the SECOND richest town in Smallish State. Household income is roughly twice that of the Smallish City. Which may explain why, while I was sitting at 4am waiting for a f*#(*ing "dinghy permit", an arsonist was busy torching ten parked cars and one or more apartment buildings back in my general neighborhood in S. City. Again, I wonder... should I move out to the 'burbs, like a normal doctor?

4/12/08, 9:59 PM  

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