Total Pageviews

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Picnic Table Moment at Boot Key Harbor Marina...

Just up the road from Boot Key Harbor is a Chevron station where inexpensive tall beers in metal cans can be purchased at a reasonable price.

I purchase a tank of gas as well as an inexpensive four-pack, not that I have any intention of drinking more than two that evening. I'll figure out how to chill down the other two cans for consumption some other time.

It is somewhat around six in the evening when I head on back to the marina and elect to be sociable for a change and join up with my fellow boaters. I find a seat at one of the sheltered picnic tables and am soon chatting it up with other boaters who in turn have also brought a few cold beverages of their own to sip on.

Soon enough we are all engaged in talking about boating and where we'll all eventually be heading off to. We're chatting about Cuba and of its government bureaucracy and of its excessive boating fees and of US Customs regulations and sailing bullsh*t in general.

Not long thereafter, another fellow boater at my table sees a fellow seated all by himself at another table and jovially chastises him for not being sociable and for not having already joined our table and proceeds to invite him on over.

The fellow has a hard and somewhat downtrodden look about him yet readily joins our table. Soon enough the fellow is disclosing that no, he's not on a boat nor has ever even been on a boat before but is assuring all of us at that table that once he earns another paycheck or two he will soon be able to afford to purchase a boat of his own.

The downtrodden looking fellow then follows up that statement with a long tale of woe and of how his family is loaded with money and how he stands to inherit a gawd awful sum of money at some point and that he is too prideful to ask for any handouts from any of his family members.

A pall has suddenly descended upon that table. The jovial and insightful conversation about sailing to Cuba is but ancient history. There is an awkward silence as another boater and I exchange knowing glances across the table... a social blunder has occurred and it is too late to be rectified.

I later observe an impassive facial expression descend upon the boater who extended the invitation to the fore lorn fellow. He crosses his arms and in a direct no-nonsense tone proceeds to inform the downtrowden fellow... "As of now, our conversation has concluded. I am not in a position to help you. You are no longer invited to our table. I am asking you to leave."

The hurt feelings are quite palpable from where I am seated and after an awkward moment of silence I then chime up and inform the hurt and still seated fellow that he had been invited to our table under the assumption that he too was on a boat at the marina.

As a conciliatory gesture, I pull out one of my tall yet still chilled Budweiser beers out from its plastic convenience store bag and offer it to him. He had still yet to budge from his seat when I felt compelled to explain to him that the offer of the beverage was not good for consumption at the table but only good elsewhere.

Eventually the forlorn fellow abruptly gets up and strides off with his beer in hand. The other fellow boater at the table later complements me for my handling of the situation. Somehow that situation didn't come across as one of my finer moments.

In any event, any further jovial conversations about sailing have been completely stilted so I soon there after gather my bag, say goodnight to all and head off to the dinghy docks and later back to my boat.

No comments:

Post a Comment