Friday, April 1, 2016

Chapter 4 To Arms! To Arms! -- a follow up to today's marine meme

Today I posted this marine meme to Facebook.

It has gotten a very positive response. I talked about this subject in my book, Outside the Channel -- Just Hangin' Out, available on Amazon HERE.

Here is the chapter about it.

Chapter 4 To Arms! To Arms!

The enemy is upon us on every side. They are sinister, cunning, relentless, and yucky. And their legions are almost infinite in number. But we must still fight on to the bitter end.
And who is this dark force that is attacking us on every side? Bugs! Lots and lots of bugs!
It’s all out war and they’re in it to win it. Detente and negotiations are not options, so the only thing left for us to do is to arm ourselves and fight back. And what weapons do we all need to stave off our common enemy’s onslaught? Flyswatters! Yes, old fashioned flyswatters! Even in this world of foggers, sprays and grossly scented candles, the best defense against these vermin is a good trusty flyswatter.
There is nothing more assuring than wrapping your fingers around the stout handle of one of these bug-killing bad boys. With just a flick of the wrist or the mighty swing of your forearm, you can execute one of their dastardly legions. How important are these things? I'll tell you. At a boating convention that I attended there was a vendor that gave away flyswatters … and they were all gone by the end of the event. There are also some marinas that will give you free flyswatters when you check in. So I'm not the only one to realize this.
The rule of thumb we use on our boat is to have at least two flyswatters strategically placed in every cabin. We even have one on the fly bridge, though that strategy is dubious at best because of the enemy's obvious ability to call in buggy reinforcements. But don't mock having one up top. I have personally witnessed boaters going off course as they flailed away at the onslaught with anything handy such as a towel, a tee shirt, a chartbook, or their dinghy.
Moreover, it’s a good thing to have a variety of styles of flyswatters. There is the classic wound metal handle and shaft attached to an actual metal net, though they’re hard to come by, and they might scratch your teak. More often, there is that same metal armature with a plastic net— these have great torque, a splendid whipping action and they make a resounding thwack sound that is satisfying even when you miss. And there are now the all plastic models that can be effective in close quarters and they don't hurt as bad when you accidentally whack you wife in the nose.
Yes, in the hands of a Jedi Master, these are all good and they can be quite effective. My record kill was three Buick sized flies sent to hell with one strong swipe. Flyswatters can be fun too. Try gently swatting your wife in the stern and watch the hilarity ensue.
But sometimes you need more firepower. Sometimes the best weapon to bring to a knife fight is an AK-47 assault rifle. And in the world of fly-swatting that would be one of the electric flyswatters. I know you've seen them, and men, I know you secretly crave one. They look like a racquetball racquet, but with a battery compartment. You slip a couple of D cells into this monster, press the button and you have instantly turned the tides of war in your favor. There is a gruesomely satisfying feeling when you hear that "dzzzt" sound as another one of the enemy turns into a tiny fireball as it crashes down. And you don't even have to swing hard. You just have to make contact and the AK-47 does the rest. Flies are easily dispatched. And zapping a mosquito is absolute bliss with the way they shrivel up into a puff of smoke. Poof! No more bugs. So if you don't have one of these babies yet, you absolutely have to get one. But a few words of warning - don't accidentally hit your wife in the nose with it. And for God's sake, stay away from her stern!