Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm On a M-Effin' Boat

There are certain events that absolutely require my attendance. The list is pretty simple really. Take Wimbledon, for example. If the Grand Slam tennis tournament ever comes to the Dallas-area — or any city in Texas for that matter — I will be there. No doubt. Another item on the list is a Glen Campbell concert. The next time the Rhinestone Cowboy comes to town, expect me to be in the front row (or the back row, depending on ticket prices).

For me, the Dallas Boat Show is also another must-see attraction. Whenever the big boat show hits the DFW area, I am there. Last Sunday, the boat show closed out for another year, but not before I got the chance to visit.
This year the show had a venue change. After many years at the Market Hall in Dallas, this year’s show was actually held under seven massive tents at The Ballpark in Arlington, home to the Texas Rangers (the baseball team, not the law enforcement agency headed by Chuck Norris).
I was a little afraid the venue change would cause the show to suffer, but I was fearful for no reason. It was bigger and better than ever. Actually, the crowds were down a little this year, but there was a lot of stuff to look at. I like to look at stuff. My senior year in high school I was voted Most Likely To Look at Stuff. Boats and boat accessories are just fun to look at.

Humans have been infatuated with boats since Noah built the first luxury cruise liner. Depending on who you ask, Noah took anywhere from two to 120 years to build the ark. Also, depending on who you ask, Noah had two of every creature, including dinosaurs and Kardashians, on the ark.

Humans have a love affair with boats and the water. Our affinity for water is in our DNA. There is a reason why water and water elements bring us so much comfort and relaxation. We were born in water. Our mothers carried us around for nine or so months in a nice little sack of water. Then, depending on who you ask, the stork takes that sack of water to a local hospital and we are born.

We love water. You might say it’s in our blood.

I didn’t grow up on boats, however. My love affair for boats and water recreation began a couple of years ago, when I started working for a lake magazine. My very first story was about a sailboat race on Lake Texoma. The sailboats intrigued me because of the power and grace they show as they glide across the water with the help of nothing but wind and, in the case of this race, frosty margaritas.

Almost immediately I wanted to learn to sail. I started hanging out with people that loved to sail. I read books about sailing. I started sailing a little myself. My wife and I decided we wanted to retire, buy a boat and sail the world, all the while living off our lottery winnings. It’s a lofty goal, but it could happen.

Since then, we have developed friendships with many people who own boats. We have been on small boats, big boats, power boats, sailboats and boats that probably shouldn’t actually be allowed on the water. What’s our favorite thing to do on the water? Float and party, of course, or as some people call it Beer Bobbin’.

Depending on who you ask, boats were made for throwing parties. I’m sure Noah had a party or two on his vessel. I bet there was a huge party on that boat Jonah hitched a ride on before, you know, they had to throw him into the sea.

Boats are perfect party vessels, no matter the size. Little Big Town made that obvious with their Grammy-award-winning song “Pontoon.” The song is about partying on a regular old aluminum-sided pontoon boat.

Here’s a little sample: 

“Who said anything about skiing? Floating is all I want to do. You can climb the ladder, just don’t rock the boat while I barbecue.” And this mind-blowing line: “Reach your hand down into the cooler. Don’t drink it if the mountains aren’t blue. Try to keep it steady as you recline on your black inner tube.”

Now, if that don’t light your fire, your wood is wet.

But, alas, we didn’t buy our dream boat this year. The winning lottery ticket still eludes us. But the boat show got us in a summer mindset. We are now more ready than ever to get out there on the water, reach down into that cooler, pop a top on a cold one and party like a Kardashian. 

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