Monday, February 28, 2011

"This is a Weapon"

Charleston is lovely this time of year--
unless you're spending your days
 in the engine room

We're back in Charleston, and our airport trip brought up this memory.

When our son Ben was two, we wanted to place him in a local daycare center.  As part of the admissions process, the director came to our home, to observe us interacting with him.

It was a warm day and we were in the back yard.  With his blond curls and blue eyes, Ben looked angelic, the model child.  We figured we had a place in the school all wrapped up.

Ben dug round in the sandbox and pulled out a twig. Then he toddled over to our lawn chairs, twisted his sweet little face into an approximation of a grimace, and  pointed the stick straight at the director. "THIS is a weapon!" he exclaimed. (This from a child who had never seen a TV show or a toy gun.)

Amazingly, Ben was admitted to the school.  And the expression, "THIS . . .  is a weapon!" entered our storehouse of  family catchphrases.

We thought of that phrase on Saturday, as we tried to get through security at the Syracuse airport, headed back to Charleston and the boat.  We'd had no trouble getting our flex coupler (a ten-pound hunk of bronze that looks like an oversized hockey puck and reeks faintly of oil and diesel fumes) through security on the way north. But now, on the return trip, the trim blonde agent waved us out of line.

She shook her head. "Sorry, we don't allow any one item heavier than five pounds in carry-on.  It could be used as a weapon."

So Cap got out of line to check the bag.  Meanwhile my six-pound, metal-encased, shock-resistant MacBook was waved on through, even though, if you ask me, it would make a far more convenient bludgeon.

Cap's down in the engine room today, exercising his vocabulary words.  Stay tuned!

SlowBoat will be in Charleston all week for engine repairs plus a floating-boating-science-education mini-conference.  Meanwhile the SlowBoat blog will still be open for business. We're taking questions: Anything you'd like to know about the trip so far that the blog has not revealed? Questions about solar technologies? Favorite boating recipes?  And if you're in the area, come say hi!


  1. I'd love to know what have been your top five favorite places so far and why? How has the trip differed from what you expected?

  2. What are your favorite boating recipes? The special limitations of your boat and shopping opportunities must result in some interesting adaptations.