Saturday, July 6, 2019

Goozled Again

Goozlers at Lock 2-3 on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. Please don't a) spit, b) drop your cigarette butt, c) drop your water bottle!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that wherever Dragonfly docks, her extreme cuteness attracts gongoozlers—a term that author Terry Darlington, author of the inimitable “Narrowdog” canal boat books, defines as “people who stare at boats.”  

When we docked Thursday evening in Clyde, NY, a gaggle of gongoozlers was there to greet us. A posse of preteen girls clad in crop tops and flip-flops swarmed down to the dock like sleek otters down a mudbank and proceeded to peer unashamedly and energetically through the open side hatch.

Their leader, a confident girl with hair dyed the color of cotton candy, turned to confront me where I was working (sweat profusely in the heat), to secure the lines. She had a few questions, and she wanted answers NOW.

“Is this YOUR boat?
“You OWN it?
“Do you LIVE on it?
“ALL SUMMER, you live on it?
“Where did you come from? 
“Where are you going?
“Is that a BICYCLE? Do you ride it?
“Is that a STOVE? 
“Do you have a fridge? Do you cook food ON THE BOAT?
“Is that a BED?
“It’s really little. Do you BOTH sleep in it?
“Really? You both fit in there?
“Can we come on board and look around?”

By now, I was frantically scanning the little waterfront, looking for parental units who could call off the assault.  

A likely looking young couple was ambling our way.  I made eye contact, gestured to the little pack of pre-teens, and made the universal parental face that means, "Please take over here!"

“Is this YOUR boat?” asked the man. “Do you LIVE on it?” the woman chimed in. 

Curiosity satisfied, they smiled and walked on. No relation to Miss Pink and her crewe.

And she wasn't quite done with me. She was looking me up and down, scanning my face carefully, as if she might have met me before. 

Finally, she blurted out her final question. “Are you FAMOUS?” she wanted to know.

“Well, no . . . “ I demurred.

She gave me and the boat one more once-over.  I could almost see the gears turning. 

Like flipping a switch, her attention shifted to the other boat on the dock, a shiny plastic live-aboard houseboat in nautical white and blue.

“Yup! THAT’s more like a boat a famous person would live on,” she said with some satisfaction. And trotted off, entourage in tow.

No comments:

Post a Comment