Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sounding Statues, Retired Speedos, and, Oh No!, Reruns

My wife and I have started packing for our 10-day Caribbean cruise. I have two medium size suitcases ready for all my needs. My wife will use the largest suitcase in the house as her carry-on. Beyond that she has decided that she may need to rent a 26-foot U-Haul truck.

Among my paltry requirements are three swimming trunks. Two of these are the baggy jams-style variety that I swore I would never wear. Even so, I will be packing my “007“ shorts, as I like to call them (after the one Sean Connery wore in Goldfinger). Unfortunately, I’ve had to retire my Speedo.

Back in Antler River, we had a house with a swimming pool and a hot tub. There isn’t room for any such extravagance in Minikin. Anyway, I used to always wear a Speedo in the pool or tub (if I wore anything at all). I have worn those baggy swim trunks in a hot tub. When the jets are on you get a bubble in your shorts that is so big it lifts your ass off the seat! Then you must push down on this gigantic mound of air and out it comes, “BALOOOP” as it breaks to the surface. Others who might be in the tub give you an annoyed look.

You explain, “It was just some air in my shorts.”
“Yeah, "air".That’s what we thought it was”, they complain.

Beans beans are good, say reports
Beans beans put "air" in your shorts
The more you "air", the better you feel
So eat beans at every meal.

As I was saying, I always wore a Speedo in our swimming pool. The first summer that we were able to enjoy our new home, we decided to see how deep the pool was. I volunteered to be the measuring stick, and so I submerged, clad in only a speedo and swim goggles, to the bottom of the pool. While standing in the deepest part, with my hand raised as high as I could get it, I couldn’t touch the surface of the water. I needed something else to extend my reach. We decided to try it again with the leaf skimmer (minus the pole). That did the trick as the skimmer broke the surface by a couple of inches. So now we just needed to measure this length.

As I stood on the surface, dripping wet, in my speedo, and with my goggles still on, I held the leaf skimmer up high and struck a Statue of Liberty-like pose. My wife now had the task of measuring me from toe to skimmer. She got to her knees with a tape measure. Just at that precise moment, the hydro meter-reader walked through the back yard gate. Unfazed, he just said hello, read the meter, and left.

It’s likely that he sees all kinds of things on his job. For all I know I may have been the third or fourth speedo-wearing, begoggled, Statue-of-Liberty-posing, leaf-skimmer-bearing, wife-on-her-knees-measuring man he had seen so far that day.

Incidentally, I believe that France initially used the Statue of Liberty as a sounding instrument to determine water depth in the Mediterranean. Once it became outdated for use in such measurements, it was given to the United States as a gift. The Americans decided to use it as a statue.

              A sounding device for very deep swimming pools

My days of donning a Speedo are done. So are my days of wondering how deep a swimming pool is. The other travelers on our cruise ship can thus relax.

I really am looking forward to this cruise. We’ve never been on one before and by all accounts we should enjoy it — especially the food.

Not that I am any kind of connoisseur. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been gobbling down dinner or lunch when I suddenly look over at my wife who’s picking away at her food.

“What’s the matter?” I’ll ask.
“Don’t you think it tastes and smells kind of funny?” she says.

At this point I’m usually halfway through the meal and am stuck with the dilemma of finishing it and risking a stomach ailment, or just cutting my losses and throwing the rest of it in the garbage (I usually just finish it).

Our dog ate very much like me. She would woof down her food so fast that she couldn't have tasted it. Quite often she’d choke on it.

I remember one instance when an insurance agent called our house around dinner time. I’d already started eating and so had our dog Jessie. Jessie was really going at it as my wife answered the phone (which was in the kitchen directly over the dog’s dinner bowl).

As the insurance agent was asking my wife if I was available, Jessie was making a god-awful racket with her meal; “CHOMP CHOMP... SMACK CHOKE CHOMP... HACK HOCK... CHOMP SNARF.... COUGH... SMACK SNORF... CHOKE HORK HOCK.... CAAWWWW... CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP... HACK...”

“I’m sorry”, says my wife to the insurance agent, “He can’t come to the phone right now. He’s eating his dinner.”

I think the fellow hung up in horror. I had to set up an appointment with him sometime, but I didn’t think I was going to get him to agree to a dinner meeting.

And speaking of insurance, I think it would be a prudential choice for me to check my wife’s reactions to the food on the cruise before I dig in.


The writing, editing, and research team here at Snow Shoveling In Canada will be away for the next 4 to 5 weeks for some much needed time off to recreate. And since we won't have an opportunity to compose any new legendary blog posts until after the vacation, we urge you to peruse once again these SSIC tours de force (or is it tour de forces? tour des force? whatever):

If you're interested in healthy food choices (and who isn't?), you might enjoy this post about the benefits of fruit in your diet.

Perhaps you're hoping to be a reporter for National Geographic. Then you might want to have a look at this post about a land mass peculiarity.

Oh, so you're a sports enthusiast! Read this post to learn about the latest college football bowl games.

Are you into travel? This post will help you get the most out of your next vacation to a warmer climate.

Here is a post for those who love the world of advertising and self-promotion.

Finally, for the science fiction fans there is this post about the potential dangers of a far too technologically advanced society.

Hopefully we'll have something new and fresh for you on our return (not that we've ever had anything new and fresh before. But we can always hope).


  1. Mr. Boston. You are so darn funny. You're killing me! I would like to put a link on my blog to yours if that's okay. If you need to run that by the board of directors I understand.

    1. Dear Pam,
      We put it to a vote and you may link to us if you wish. Your rewards may be great since a link to Snow Shoveling In Canada is like a statement saying, “I have a link to Snow Shoveling In Canada”.