A Matter of Building

…but they CAN walk underwater…just saying…

145 Days left until the Zombie Apocalypse…

I’m on a bit of a boat kick lately.  Not sure why.  I think it’s just that I have a ton of really weird and fun stories that involve boats.  Whatever.  Like the sign says, zombies can’t swim.  We all have to have at least a little bit of respect for boats.  They can take us to islands after all.  While the zombies will still eventually get there, it will take them a LOT longer to do so.  Boats can easily buy us enough time to build up defenses and plant all kinds of booby traps against the undead.  So yeah, I really kind of love them.  One of the best parts is that you can pretty much build them out of just about anything.  So, for today’s edition of the “30 Things I’ve Done Before the Age of 30”, I’ve decided to tell you about a really awesome boat that I helped build…In high school, I took a physics class with my friend Anneliese.  It was one of the coolest classes I’ve ever taken.  Our teacher totally understood the things that appeal to teenagers.  He would make up these crazy scenarios for the math portions of the class.  He was ask us things like the velocity of a squirrel shot out of a cannon.  Anyway, it was just a really cool class taught by a really cool teacher.  It was an excellent combination.  For our final project, he told us we had to build boats.  We could only use cardboard and duct tape as our materials.  The boats had to be able to carry one person safely across the school’s pool and back without sinking or falling apart.  Naturally, Anneliese and I decided to work together.

Both of us were…a little bit…well.  Okay, we were completely morbid.  We wrote about death on all of our French assignments.  Horror movie villains were our heroes.  We were definitely avid readers of horror and gothic fantasy novels.  Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles was one of our favorite series.  Obviously, our boat had to be a coffin.  There was no other option…

The SS Anne Rice

So we found this big appliance box.  I think it was from a refrigerator.  Anyway, the cardboard was really thick and heavy so we knew that it would be pretty reliable as the “wood” for our boat…and, more importantly, once we added a nice pointed tip, it would be the perfect shape for a coffin.  We wanted our boat to be completely waterproof so we covered every inch in duct tape.  It wasn’t enough though.  Our boat had to be a coffin.  Period.  We didn’t want anyone to have any doubts about that.  So we bought black and red spray paint.  We covered the boat entirely in black.  Then we added red blotches because no coffin-boat could ever be complete without blood.  We christened her the SS Anne Rice in homage of our hero.  Our boat was savage!!!

I think the “bloody” oar that Anneliese is holding may have been one of my favorite parts hahaha

We quickly decided that Anneliese would be the one to race her across the pool.  She was definitely the more athletic of the two of us.  I have never had so much as a single bit of arm strength, so there was no way I was going to be able to row even a regular, reliable boat across the pool and back.  I was certainly not going to be able to do it with a cardboard boat and cardboard oars!  She was definitely our best shot.  She had always been the one to compete with the boys–and to beat them most of the time too.  I could tell you about this one time in PE…but I won’t.  It’s too much of a tangent.  Best to save it for another time…

Anyway, where was I?….

Oh yeah.  So, Anneliese would be the one to row the boat…

PJ’s and coffins go so well together…especially the Mr. Bubbles ones that my sister and I wore… 😉

Regardless of the fact that she would be the only one actually in the boat, we still wanted to have it be known that our team of two was definitely a team.  So, to show our teamwork and solidarity, we also decided to dress up.  We didn’t choose dresses or fancy clothes or anything like that–because we were never that normal or predictable.  Instead, we wore pajamas to school that day to further set ourselves apart from the other racers–we even got my sister to join in with us.  We got all kind of interesting looks from our fellow classmates when we unveiled the SS Anne Rice for all to behold.  I considered this to be a big success since the kinds of teenagers who willingly take physics aren’t exactly “normal” to begin with…

There were some pretty epic battles on the seas that day!! If you look behind the SS Anne Rice, you can see the attack against our teacher’s formidable Dragon Boat. You can also see a number of shipwrecks…AWESOME!!

Then it was time to test our boat across the roaring seas…or across the school pool in any case.  As a bystander, I got to enjoy watching the drama that unfolded.  There were a number of boats that did not do well.  The captains of these ships did not just accept defeat when their boats sunk though!!  Instead, they began to attack other vessels.  Their favorite was the teacher’s ship, the Dragon Boat.  I think everyone wanted to see him end up with a sunken ship–even if it meant that they had to put him there themselves.  It was pretty fantastic!  It was also really lucky for us.  With so many other people busy trying to bring him down, no one really noticed Anneliese.  She was able to row to safety with no opposition–and without our boat sinking!

Some people weren’t quite as lucky…

Don’t get me wrong, we did have some…slight…problems with the SS Anne Rice.  You see, we both had always been procrastinators of the worst sort.  In any case, we did not really give the boat adequate time to dry after painting it.  As a result, the paint began to come off in the water.  There were streaks of black paint everywhere in the pool!  Of course, this only served to make us even more pleased with ourselves.  It was always a real treat to find new ways to irritate the staff at our high school without looking like it was intentional.  Cleaning up the paint from that pool would definitely have qualified–I’m sure it made all kinds of people mad.  Don’t frown at me like that.  It wasn’t at all malicious…it was more like an intellectual exercise of sorts.  What good is it to be smart, if you can’t learn ways to use that intelligence in creative, nefarious ways.  We were most certainly creative…and only slightly nefarious.  So it worked out doubly well for us.  It was definitely one of those class exercises that you never forget.  To quote and corrupt what Ralph Ellison said, “Education is all a matter of building bridges [boats]”.

Sincerely Yours,

The Butcher of the Bard

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This entry was posted in 30 Things I've Done Before the Age of 30, Countdown to the Zombie Apocalypse, Day to Day Circumstances, Down the Rabbit Hole, My Bucket List and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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