Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Last Wednesday I went out in the afternoon for my Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker 68th Sail of 2008. Thanks to the wonderful folk at Sharpie World HQ for their extremely generous sponsorship of this event.
And what a doozy it was. A brisk wind from the east blowing more or less perpendicular to the direction of the Sakonnet River meant that it was a total reach fest. I headed south, a direction that had me heading into the incoming swell, and concentrated on working fast through the waves. As I approached the Aquidneck shore I headed up and blasted out on a long port tack beat back towards the Little Compton shore.
After 45 minutes or so it was time to turn round and ride those waves back up to the north. What an experience! Lasering doesn't get any better than this. I sailed on a screaming planing reach right into Sandy Point and then did a bit of upwind work back across the river to Fogland, including a bit of that much-needed "spot the layline" practice.
So what has sailing to do with Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Markers? Good question.
I approached Sharpie for some sponsorship for my 68th sail after that inspiring moment in last week's presidential debate. Did you spot it? John McCain was doing his usual stump speech bit about the evils of earmarks when he pulled a Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker out of his pocket! And then he uttered those immortal words that will go down in history...
"I've got a pen."
And then looking somewhat curiously at his Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker, "This one's kind of old. I've got a pen, and I'm going to veto every single spending bill that comes across my desk."
Doesn't that just send chills down your spine?
No I don't mean his promise to veto "every single spending bill" that comes across his desk. I think that might be going a tad too far even for a maverick. I'm sure he doesn't really mean it. It's a metaphor. I think.
No, what thrilled me is that this guy owns an old Sharpie and he knows how to use it. I mean, his wife may be richer than Trump, and they own 13 houses and 8 cars (or is it the other way round), and they think that a private plane is the "only way" to get around in Arizona...
But he uses an old Sharpie. He's one of us. A regular guy.
John Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream."
John McCain said, "I have a pen."
"I have a pen." That was the point at which he won the election. Mark my words.
I have a pen too. I have an old Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker that like Senator McCain's pen (and its owner) is also "kind of old". I use it for marking the control lines on my Laser so I can immediately set them to my secret super-fast settings. Every Laser sailor should have one. I keep it in my sailing toolbox. I'm never going to get rid of my Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker, just in case I ever decide to run for president (of the Laser class).
I am Tillerman, and I approve this message.