Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pre- and Post-digestion


Boat cuisine is what you make of it. Sometimes it’s sandwiches; sometimes it’s a slow-roasted whole chicken stuffed with onions and peppers that just falls apart on the fork.

Sometimes it’s microwaved burritos or a quick bowl of cereal.

On this boat, we get $375 every week to purchase food, drinks and some of our cleaning supplies. Some companies offer more, some less. One company I worked for gave us $250 (also for four people) every week, which meant a lot of white and blue Great Value packaging.

This week I did the grocery shopping. As I was mulling the meat choices, the butcher walked out and said: “Baby, what you looking for?”

“Steaks for the boat,” I replied.

“You want steaks, don’t look out here, just tell me what you want and I’ll cut them for you.”

Well, damn.

Lip-on ribeyes were on sale, so I got four, inch-thick slabs of beef for $24 or thereabouts.

We grilled them on the back deck today and served them up with baked potatoes and a cucumber-onion-tomato salad.

Last week, in a fit of self-indulgence, I inhaled three bowls of Captain Crunch “All Berries” cereal. Don’t know if you’re familiar with this stuff, but basically it’s sugar and corn-product puffed into garish red and blue balls. They tear up my palate (the physical structure on the roof of my mouth, not my refined taste).

Turns out they do something else.

For three days I sh*t green. Not baby-poop green, but a bright, neon green not found in nature.

C’mon, I know I’m not the only person who looks at his crap.

So I’ll tell on myself.

At about 0300 one morning this past week, three things were happening simultaneously: I had an actual interwebs connection (on our customer’s guest router, from the very, very back of our deck), the wind shifted and the boat was swinging in toward the platform we were tied-off to, and I really, really had to take a Pelosi.

It wasn’t exactly a bridge resource management moment (or maybe it was), but it was a good example of three, very important, competing priorities.

I had just pulled-up email, and the National Hurricane Center site (long enough to see that the next one is called Ernesto, and should be in the Yucatan Channel Tuesday), when it became clear I was only a couple of minutes from smacking the platform, and maybe less than that from crapping my pants.

I abandoned the laptop where it was sitting, dashed to the wheelhouse and fired-up the engines. Our newest (of four, in the past three weeks) deckhand asked what was going on.

“We have to move the boat, but I really have to sh*t. Get the pump and blowers on and get that line off as quick as you can!”

As soon as we were clear, I goosed the boat away from the platform, did a quick scan of the radar plot, put the engines in neutral and hopped, cross-legged, down the stairs to the nearest head.

I didn’t quite make it.

And I wasn’t sh*tting solid, either.

I won’t go into the details of the cleanup, except to say that should any of my Texas friends find a pair of size 32 boxer briefs, gray, on the beach – those are mine.

Okay, I’m kidding. You thought that was for real?! Ha!

They’re really size 36.


  1. Ha. The need for a final punchline forced you to out yourself. Now I won't have to hear you brag about your imaginary 32" waistline anymore.

    Funny stuff...

  2. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that has experienced shit like that...

  3. I don't laugh out loud very often, but you got me.
    I always pack a few Imodium, and pop one at the first indication of a 'potty emergency'. No point in spending any more time than necessary in the smallest compartment on the boat.

    1. Thanks for letting me know! Yeah, it was a conundrum, then it was an emergency, then it was just an embarrassment.