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Bubba Peeved at Lack of Review


hey do this feature, this review, every month in the magazine,” Bubba Whartz was saying to Doobie at The Blue Moon Bar, “and yet they have never done a review on a ferro-cement sailboat. I think it’s a conspiracy of sorts, their leaving out ferro-cement.” Neither Bubba nor Doobie had seen me quietly slip into the bar. It was a badly overcast day, so my opening the bar door and closing it quietly did not change the light levels inside the bar. Bubba was intent on the points he was trying to make to Doobie, the bartenderette, attired this day in black, skin-tight leather trousers. I noticed that as I slipped onto a barstool a long way from Bubba and held my index finger to my lips as Doobie looked my way. I wanted to hear what the live-alone, live-aboard sailor had to say. Bubba didn’t see me as he had his head back, draining a beer. He belched once and said, “Doobie, gimme one more.” As Doobie moved away from him he followed her every move. From where I was sitting, it was interesting to watch Bubba drool slightly. When Doobie returned with Bubba’s beer, he could look at the beer and also take in the front view of Doobie, which was just as good as the rear. She was never brazen about how she dressed. The T-shirts she often wore let the observer know there were lovely things underneath, but shirts were loose enough so some mystery remained. When she had set his fresh beer in front of him, he continued his train of thought. “I think every boat I have ever seen reviewed in SOUTHWINDS has been made of plastic. You know, they make Clorox bottles out of plastic, too.” “What have you done about it so far, Bubba?” Doobie asked him. “I’ve written letters to both the editor and the publisher of the magazine.” Doobie hopped on that one. “Bubba, I have seen you at this very bar writing letters to the people you mention, but you have been writing on ruled, yellow paper with a pencil.”


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“Is there something wrong with that?” “No, my friend, there is nothing wrong with that,” replied Doobie, “but the recipient might think that you are living in a place where one is not allowed sharp instruments. And did you know that the editor and publisher of SOUTHWINDS are the same person?” Bubba was amazed. “No, I didn’t know that!” he squeaked. “Is it a man or a woman? Probably a woman. They have taken over the entire communication business. Maybe the only magazines that don’t have a woman editorially in charge are Sports Illustrated and Hustler.” “The editor and publisher of SOUTHWINDS is a man,” Doobie explained with slightly strained patience. “That means that I have been writing the same letter twice to the same person, then,” Bubba deduced. “I’ve been doing twice as much work as I need to. I am opposed to that.” “Yes,” Doobie agreed. “I know. And if you want to get noticed, write your letters on good paper and type them. Do you have a computer and a printer?” “No,” said Bubba. “I have a Royal portable typewriter that used to belong to my mom’s sister, but she passed away in the late 1950s.” “Use that then,” Doobie suggested. “Put a new ribbon, if you can find one, in the typewriter. Check your spelling.” “I know how to spell,” Bubba said truculently. “Regardless, Bubba, I have been on Right Guard any number of times. The boat could use some cleaning up,” Doobie warned. Offended, Bubba asked, “Such as?” “Such as getting rid of the 100 or so empty beer cans in the V-berth. Such as cleaning up the dirty pots of baked beans in the galley. Such as removing the condom dispensing machine from the head. Such as cleaning the toilet bowl with bleach, lots of bleach. Such as washing that sleeping bag you have used for a couple of years now. I remember when you got it from Goodwill. My guess is that you have never washed it. Such as getting rid of the cockroaches. No one will want to take pictures of the inside of your boat with a bunch of cockroaches running around. Such as replacing the burned-out bulbs in the boat’s main cabin; it’s dingy in there. Get rid of the mold and mildew. Wash the windows, inside and out,” Doobie instructed. “That will take a lot of time, Doobie,” Bubba said in a quiet voice. I knew for a fact, though, that it was not a matter of time that was bugging Bubba. It was the amount of work involved in making Right Guard fit for photos. Captain Whartz has always been a tad chary about putting out a great deal of effort to make Right Guard presentable. “Well, you have a lot of time. You are not—to my knowledge—planning any voyages anytime soon, are