November 2012 Issue
Two Ships Passing in the Night
As the end of the contentious 2012 election cycle appeared on the horizon, the PRACTICAL SAILOR bumped into the POLITICIAN, who was suffering from the worst case of maritime metaphor-itis that the PRACTICAL SAILOR had ever seen.
POL: I canít shake this sinking feeling that we wonít weather this crisis.
POL: Batten down the hatches! Find safe harbor! The nation is adrift.
PS: It does sorta feel like weíre in the doldrums. (The contagion had set in.)
POL: Weíre foundering in debt! The middle class is struggling to stay afloat. We need a steady hand at the helm, not another bailout.
PS: Now, donít go overboard. Canít we just try a different tack?
POL: Who is going to show us the ropes? Itís time to clear the decks, reef the sails, and man the pumps!
PS: Maybe if we were anchored to a higher cause? We just need to re-calibrate our moral compass, and follow it to the bitter end.
POL: We are loaded to the gunwales with good intentions. We must plot a new course. Curse this ship of fools! (He was quickly becoming unmoored.)
PS: Steady . . . steady . . .† Weíre not on the rocks just yet. Sure, the nation is awash with problems, but we still have some leeway. Maybe this will all blow over.
POL: We hit the high-water mark years ago. Look at us now! High and dry, in the eye of the hurricane!
PS: Hmm. I still think we need some latitude. What about a plan that lifts all boats?
POL: What? You think we can
afford to take on extra ballast . . . and then just sail away?
PS: We just need to get our
bearingsóand put you blowhards in our wake.
POL: So, Iím the fly in the ointment? Youíll have the devil to pay!
PS: Fly in the ointment?
POL: Iím sorry. Iím running short of sailing metaphors. You are stealing the wind from my sails.
PS: Better than missing the boat.
POL: What I meant was . . . Look, the tide was in our favor, and then WHAMMO! All hands on deck!
POL: We need someone who can navigate this mess, someone who can steer clear of lee shores.
PS: Someone with sea legs?
POL: Precisely. My plan can put us on an even keel and hold the rhumb line toward stability.
PS: (Under breath.) Great,
another loose cannon.
POL: What? (Taken aback.) Look, Iím not trying to rock the boat.
PS: Make it stop.
POL: We just need to fire a shot across the bow, stop trying to buck the tide . . .
PS: Make it stop . . . please.