Monday, July 4, 2011

The incident

I wasn't going to say too much about "The Incident", but since Deb brought it up...

Maybe 200 feet off the bows of our 12-boat raft was an 8-boat string from another marina. There is a lot of cross-friendships between the marinas, one boat from our marina was rafted up in the other group, so you can imagine the waters between the two were full of people. In spite of the crowd a large powerboat actually nosed its way about half-way between the lines to drop a tiny anchor off the bow on what looked like zero scope. Then the entire crew took to the water, the adults with beverage in hand. Every sailor reading these words knows what happened next, the power boat started to drag directly toward our bows.

Word was passed to crews swimming off the sterns and people filtered forward to ward off any damage; not angry yet as we are getting pretty used to power-boat lunacy (particularly over the Fourth of July weekend). The Captain (henceforth known as Bozo the Idiot) finally noticed that his ride was leaving without him and clambered aboard. For reasons unknown to thinking man he cranked up his mondo motors and stared to back down the entire length of the raft with his anchor still hanging from his bow, completely unaware that he was about to hook onto our anchor lines. Advice offered was curtly rejected and even under power he managed to move ever closer. At that point some of the assembled suggested that he find somewhere else to be stupid. Bozo took offence at the implication he wasn't the best sailor on the lake with his big, pretty, zoom-zoom boat, and the rhetoric from his side of the exchange escalated to the unpleasant. Additional abuse was hurled in our direction from Bozo's drunken girlfriend still floating around in the crush. She was apparently unaware that Bozo-boy-friend had his bow pointed directly at her, engine running, and that a shift in gears would turn her into mangled carp food.

Somehow he missed our lines and got himself back into the middle of the two rafts without chopping anyone to bits. Once there he started the whole process a second time! Yep, he actually drifted down on us again. As you might expect the rhetoric was in full blown hostile territory by this point. The THIRD TIME he did the same thing? A nuclear war of words. Bozo then decided that 12 anchored sailboats were at fault for his display of utter incompetence, threatened to ram the group, fired off a string of insults, powered up and dragged a 3 foot wake directly down our line in a clear attempt to do as much damage as possible. Apparently the people in the water, including a large contingent of kids, were equally at fault for his lack of brains as he put them at serious risk as well. He ended his display by dropping his shorts and mooning the crowd, including that same large contingent of kids.

I am generally an anti-gun sort of person; which is a very good thing. Had there been an appropriate caliber weapon at hand I would have put another crater in Bozo's moon. While I was contemplating massive physical trauma nearly every boater in sight, (including I might add, the other power boats in the area - they aren't all idiots) reached for mics and started calling the park rangers, a few others dialed 911. Literally within a minute a ranger boat showed up. Friend Jeff of jet-ski prowess got near enough to read Bozo's registration number out over channel 16, you could hear it on speakers in every direction. He then motored over to the Ranger boat and pointed out Bozo's retreating wake.

Ranger boats in these parts look like light-weight sport fishing boats...driven by twin 150HP outboards. Bozo's big, bad, zoom-zoom boat didn't have as much zoom-zoom as he thought. In less than a mile he was corralled by, as it turned out, two boats of badged and armed officials. That's the good news.

The bad news is, according to rumor anyway, Bozo the Idiot got off light. No boating while intoxicated charge, though he did get some other tickets of some kind. In any case he will pay a fine that likely won't bother him much, keep his zoom-zoom boat, and probably menace the lake, and any sailboat that crosses his wake, well into the future.

I'm a bit unhappy about that. Bozo didn't do any damage to our boats; we are actually pretty expert at rafting up. He did, however, leave more than a few bruises behind as people down below got thrown around. He also put a lot of people, including a lot of young people, at real risk. He then exposed himself to that same collection of young people, my Daughter, Wife, and 2 year old grand child. I took that kind of personally.

I did not participate in the war of the words. Generally I don't bother talking to fools, am mostly amused at people who can only count to one using a middle finger, and am completely sure there is absolutely no cure for stupid. For the most part I was just enjoying the show...right up until he tried to hurt someone. Now I figure he needs a serious thrashing; the kind that causes a person to stop and think before they start flapping their lips, damage property, try to hurt someone, or bare their ass to teen-aged girls.

But of course no such a thing can happen; we live in a civilized society. And Bozo knows that. No matter how ignorant, right up until he actually maims or kills someone, Bozo has no skin in the game. He ranks, in my mind, as the lowest form of worm-turd on the planet.

We work hard at protecting a lot of things in this country, including the right to spend your money on anything that tickles your fancy, like a big zoom-zoom boat. Unfortunately, one of the things we also protect is pure, uncut, ignorance.

I'm not sure that's what the Founding Fathers had in mind.


S/V Veranda said...

Sounds like the lake just got a lot smaller for Capt. Zoom Zoom

Ken said...

Sounds like a real crappy incident all right, the kind everybody just wishes "that didn't really happen" but leaves a muddy taste for whole rest of the day.

Just started following your blog and I'll more than likely keep an eye on your "project". My wife and I are planning a similar but different project, we're going "back out cruising" as soon as we off a house and land.