August 5, 2012 in Features

The Slice: All we expected was a three-hour tour

By The Spokesman-Review

Inland Northwest residents fortunate enough to be invited to go sailing with boat-owning friends inevitably face a daunting challenge.

How do you adequately thank your hosts?

Some of us are understated people and effusiveness does not come naturally. But you don’t want to risk having your hosts think you had a ho-hum time. What to do?

Send a card? Present a bottle of wine?

Nah. Just fill out The Slice’s Sailboat Guest Satisfaction Survey and hand it to the folks who own the vessel when you get back on land.

Here’s one you can clip out.

Did your sailing experience fulfill your expectations? A) Well, I didn’t drown. B) No one ever yelled “Ramming speed!” C) I thought we were going to talk like pirates the whole time but that did not happen. D) Yes, it was really great.

Did your hosts answer all of your questions? A) Well, they couldn’t really explain why so many people of certain income levels are easily duped into voting against their own interests just because politicians wave a few bogus social-divider issues in front of their noses. B) “Bowsprit” still sounds R-rated to me. C) They talked a lot about different kinds of knots. D) Yes, absolutely. They could not have been more responsive or obliging.

Was your lake outing completed in the time frame promised? A) I dropped my watch in the water. B) I’m not sure. I sort of lost track when the host started talking about the fate of the USS Indianapolis. C) No, but the après lunch mutiny sort of threw everything off schedule. D) Yes, but I wish we could have stayed out twice as long.

Would you bring any future sailing needs to the boat owners in question? A) Maybe, if they quit referring to me as “ballast.” B) Perhaps, after I get over my scurvy. C) Only if he promises not to show us that one tattoo again. D) Ready when they are.

Can you think of anything your sailing hosts could have done to improve your experience? A) Ignoring that alleged white whale might have been the way to go. B) More generous rum rations. C) Maybe a little less yelling “Avast!” D) Not a thing. It was a perfect day.

Today’s Slice question: Are there any Americans over the age of 80 who think the U.S. should not have dropped the atomic bombs in August 1945?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Steve Martin was once the warm-up act for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in Spokane.

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