Enthusiasts, I have been stumped. Befuddled. Codswalloped, even. Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieuxveitonoverslideitonover noted today on Twitter that he saw “one of his favorite boats.” This sizzled my synapses, friends! First of all because DL was not posting about moose. (The man’s feed is easily 65% moose-related content. I’m not making one of my little Ha ha, he’s Canadian jokes here: the man sees, photographs, and uploads maybe nine or ten moose a day. Do the creatures seek him out as though he were St. Francois of Assisi? he speak to the moose like some sort of Doctor Doolittle? I do not know, and I will do no research to find out.)
The second question is the one his statement begs: Does David Lemieuxvingonuptotheeastside have a list of favorite boats? If so, is this list written down and regularly updated? Did he make a spreadsheet? DL is an archivist, after all. When the man makes a list, he does it right.
The third question, of course, is a simple on: What are the greatest boats in history?
Again, I will do no research; instead, I will use the opportunity to make up some bullshit and–almost certainly–tell some “poop deck” jokes. Thoughts on the Dead now presents:
ONE: LOVE BOAT Best boat. All hands down. Yeah, the Celeste Marie is spooooooooky and all, but the Pacific Princess welcomed Charo onboard eight times. (Okay, I did a little bit of research, but since it’s such a dumb topic, it technically doesn’t count.) Plus, the Princess went to sunny Acapulco and never fired torpedoes at anyone. The ship also had a Lido Deck, which means that it was always appropriate to blast this Boz Scaggs rocker:
Enthusiasts, we now come to the rarest of all occasions here at Fillmore South: LISTICLE WITHIN A LISTICLE:
- Boz Scaggs.
- Bosley from Charlie’s Angels. (John Forsythe version.)
- Brian Bosworth.
- Bosley from Charlie’s Angels. (Bill Murray version.)
- T-Boz from TLC.
- Ah, shit.
- Hold up.
- Wait a minute, wait a minute.
- Apparently, Charles Dickens was known to his friends and family as “Boz.”
- And, you know: Dickens has to ranked above Brian Bosworth in any honest assay.
- It’s fucking Dickens.
- I should change it, but then I’d have to reformat a bunch of bullshit.
- Enthusiasts, I’ll be honest: I have made a complete hash of this post.
- Boz Burrell. (He was in King Crimson, and I’m only including him because one specific Commentator would get all pissy if I left him out.)
- BACK TO THE BOATS!
TWO: THE HOUSEBOAT WHERE DON JOHNSON LIVED IN MIAMI VICE Don Johnson’s character on the hit cop drama, Sonny Crockett, was the result of a coked-up 12-year-old’s brainstorming session: he lived on a boat with his pet alligator named Elvis, drove a Ferrari (on a cop’s salary, somehow), and was allergic to socks.
THREE: THE HOUSEBOAT WHERE SHEL SILVERSTEIN LIVED AND HAD JAM SESSIONS WITH DR. HOOK & THE MEDICINE SHOW Shel Silverstein wrote children’s books. Real good ones, too. He didn’t treat the kids like dumbfucks, and he snuck a lot of Buddhism in there while no one was looking. He wrote The Giving Tree, and Where The Sidewalk Ends, and dozens more. Drew the cartoons in the books, too. Spindly, scratchy pen drawings.
And he wrote songs. Big hits. Boy Named Sue is his. Johnny Cash composed a lot of his own material, but not that one. Queen of the Silver Dollar got recorded by a bunch of artists, but Cousin Emmylou did it best:
The bulk of the songwriting Shel did, though, was for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, which was–and this a scientifically prove fact–the most unpleasant-looking band ever formed. I don’t mean “goofy-looking.” Rush was goofy-looking. DH&tMS was flat-out ugly.
They were on the houseboat because local authorities had banished them from the land. That’s how ugly this band was. Sang real purty, though.
(AN ASIDE: Everyone who lives on a houseboat is a sex maniac. Normal people do not live on boats. The marina is full of weirdos and perverts.)
FOUR: VENICE TAXI FROM INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE Look at this boat, and answer one question:
Would you fuck that boat? How about now?
You’d fuck that boat. Don’t lie to me, boatfucker.
NOT A BOAT AND THEREFORE NOT NUMBER FIVE: RED OCTOBER Submarines aren’t boats. I know they are colloquially referred to as such, and that the Navy owns a bunch of ’em, but subs are not boats. The entire raison d’etre of a boat is that it stays on top of the water. Samuel Johnson’s entire definition of “boat” was “That which has a great big steering wheel and does not sink.” (In fairness, Dr. Johnson had been working on his dictionary all by himself for around seven years when he wrote that and was at least half-crazed.) Red October and her whisper-drive was super-bitchin’, but subs are not boats and so she cannot be on this list.
SIX: THIS PARTICULAR JET SKI
I will never not laugh at that picture.
SIX: U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS
Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief. It was comin’ back, from the island of Tinian to Laytee, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know how you know that when you’re in the water, chief? You tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail.
What we didn’t know… was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Huh huh. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week.
Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin’. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it’s… kinda like ol’ squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he’d start poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he’s got…lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin’ and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’ they all come in and rip you to pieces.
Y’know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men! I don’t know how many sharks, maybe a thousand! I don’t know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin’ chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, boson’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. He’d been bitten in half below the waist.
Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us. He’s a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper, anyway he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again.
So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29, 1945.
Anyway, we delivered the bomb.
And I can’t beat that writing, so I won’t try.