Sunday, May 24, 2009

Houseboat Lessons Learned

Debrief and After-Action Report
Dale Hollow Lake (KY/TN)
14 to 17 May 2009

  • If you pack more than two tee-shirts for a four-day excursion, you’re probably overplanning.
  • While we all love wheat bread, rye bread, Wonder Bread, pumpernickel, french bread, Kaiser rolls, sub rolls, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, and bagels – bringing 15 cubic feet of bread is just overkill.
  • A head-nod to “diversity” on the houseboat can be accomplished by having at least one Prius-driving vegetarian on board.
  • Late arrivals will suck hind teat on rack selection. A related lesson is that anyone who says “comfortable foldout bed” is already a liar.
  • Adult beverages should be clear in nature. Drinking bourbon on a houseboat in May is akin to wearing white shoes after Labor Day.
  • Although the idiom refers to “pissing and moaning,” when waking up on morning #1, these sounds will actually be heard in the opposite order.
  • At the beginning of day #2, you can count on some member of your crew to give a conspiratorial look left then right, then lower his voice and declare with authority, “Today is vodka day.”
  • Leave the muesli and scones at home; houseboat with the boys is one of your few opportunities for a "cowboy breakfast": bacon and coffee, straight up.
  • What appears at first to be two men engaged in prayer may in fact be two men who are slumped over, on the verge of falling from their chairs.
  • Marine sanitation systems can be finicky, and thus the limitation of “4 to 5 squares per flush” is the rule, regardless of whether you think it unfair.
  • Bringing along an 18-foot Bayliner is handy for fishing, skiing, or as the target of an ad hoc search-and-rescue (SAR) operation.
  • Those three guys in that speedboat – the muscled-up one with the spider-web prison tats, the gap-tooth bug-eyed pederast-looking one, and the third suggesting a young tweaked-out Gary Busey -- may be from the road cast of “Deliverance.” Or they may be just some good-ole boys willing to run you out on the water after legal sunset to help find your lost crewmates.
  • Acknowledging that the Coen brothers are master filmmakers, repeat viewings of any single movie will be considered a houseboat party foul. Violators will have their movie-selection privileges revoked for a period of time determined by a board of judges. A related lesson: movie viewing lists should represent "directorial diversity": Scorsese, Eastwood, Cameron, Besson, Kubrick, Mann, or Tarantino. Metrosexuals may select one Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.
  • You know you have the right mix when everyone onboard knows all the good lines in “The Outlaw Josey Wales.”
  • Grown men may require the quiet reminder “gentlemen…?” should they begin hooting at the sight of a bikini on a passing bass boat.
  • Just because it’s under the floor mat doesn’t mean it’s invisible. (Note that this is a general-purpose lesson learned, and is not specific to this particular excursion.)
  • Experienced marina employees can execute a high-speed boarding of your vessel with agility that would make a Navy SEAL proud.
  • If your 83’ houseboat (valued at $400,000) is on a collision course with another houseboat ($300,000), the marina’s wooden dock ($25,000), and a 22’ Donzi ($40,000), it is better to have “Bryant the marina pilot” at the wheel.
  • One pair of skivvies should be sufficient for a four-day boat trip. If you are a passenger in another man’s vehicle, a backup pair for the ride home is just plain courtesy.
  • Although not yet listed in the DSM-IV, the disorder PVAD (Post-Vacation Apathy Disorder) is real, regardless of what Tom Cruise says.
  • Planning for future boat trips should be delayed long enough so that wives will not bolt upright and indignant: “Didn’t you just GO on one of those?”


Lunger said...

Let's not forget the purchasing of "too many" fishing licenses. While best to be prepared (and legit in foreign waters), houseboat goers must honestly ask themselves, would I rather fish or graze at the table of chow.

Joe said...

Lunger... excellent point. As our American Indian brothers say, we should only kill what we need. Who needs fish when we've got more ribs than we could possibly eat?

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy these glimpses into 'man world,' Joe. A similar groups of lessons from an outing of women might begin 'If you pack more than five pairs of shoes for a four day excursion...." :-)


Joe said...

Jennie... would that follow with, "...what are you going to wear on day TWO?"