I’ll start off by admitting that I hadn’t an earthly clue what to title this post. I usually like for my titles to be poignant, attention grabbing or at the very least annoyingly pun-filled. But since I sat down here knowing only that I was going to do free-writing and that the free-writing wasn’t going to be the grouchily introspective thing that we ended up with yesterday…well, we are stuck with that up there.
I mentioned last week on Facebook that my stupidest and most lame peeve is when the word “boatswain” is spelled phonetically. Any more it’s not uncommon to read books where the “bosun” does something. And every time that word “bosun” comes up I get snooty. Honestly it’s probably because I know, like, five things about boats, one of those being that “bosun” is spelled b o a t s w a i n. And I’m such a geek for those spellings that contain whole realms of history crammed into the seemingly extra letters. Yes, “enough” is spelled strangely to our modern eye, but when you start to dig into why you learn all kinds of fun facts about the world. That place where words intersect with history is one of my favourite realms to hang about.
Fortunately for you I’m not going to go into the other four things I know about boats. Because I’m just not really THAT into boats, and I don’t think I could bear writing about them. I used to be very enthralled by stories set on ships. I’d like to thank the Whale Ship Essex for changing THAT forever. Actually it wasn’t the Whaler Essex who was really at fault, but rather Edgar Allen Poe whose fascination with that story led him to write The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket. I eagerly dove into that story when I was about twelve, which is also when I was most enthralled with stories set on ships AND stories by Edgar Allen Poe. But I have this thing about cannibalism. I can’t contemplate it without going into a cold sweat and having nightmares and just generally spending a lot of time troubled. There’s cannibalism in Pym because it’s based on the story of the Whaler Essex and it’s by Edgar Allen Poe who has a fascination with the horrible things people do. (On balance I think I generally prefer my fascination with arcane spellings. It gives me a much happier, much less cousin-boinking life.) So that was the last book set on a boat that I read eagerly. Even reading Hunt For Red October after I saw the movie I was just sure the Russians were going to start eating each other out of boredom.
Seventeen years ago I decided to use immersion therapy to get over my cannibalism thing so I read a bunch of books about the Donner Party. It worked enough that I can now blog about Pym without getting all hypervental but it also resulted in my knowing that the guy who ate the most people ended up opening a restaurant. Which…yuck. Who would eat there? Apparently some people must have. I guess they had dares in the nineteenth century too.
Wow. Look at that. I did my 500 words easily today, and with no maudlin whinging! Perhaps I’ll be able to return to this without wanting to smack myself after all. I really do love blogging. Now if you’ll excuse me I am going to go look up some other things about boats.