Skeeters and popcorn: A typical evening

What do three people, living on a transmissionless sailboat in an unimproved boatyard in the wasteland of an industrial neighborhood, do when they’re not working on the boat? I never thought you’d ask!

On a typical Cayenne evening, the sun drops low in the sky and the temperatures begin to drop with it. Mosquitoes come out of their daytime hiding places, looking for warm-blooded carbon-dioxide-emitting creatures to bite. Since the only other such creatures in the boatyard at this time of evening are a) Jim, who’s too ornery to bite and b) the skin-and-bones boatyard dogs, they often find their way to Cayenne and start sampling the captain and crew. At this point, we frantically scramble to close the hatches and portlights that have been wide open all day. If we miss one, Barry and I will spend the rest of the evening clapping and smacking furniture, bulkheads, and the captain, trying to obliterate the little suckers. (sh*t! there goes one, and I missed!)

Once we have the mosquitoes under control, it’s dinner time. Barry and I alternate cooking for 6 days. On his days, we eat things that have about 5 ingredients, involve plenty of cheese, and get rave reviews. On my days, we eat things that have about 20 ingredients, involve lots of vegetables, and get lukewarm reviews. On the 7th day, we rest (we got the idea from God). Then Brian steps in. So far, he hasn’t cooked anything other than brownies, but we’re not complaining. With his brownies and his ability to order pizzas, he has our two favorite food groups covered (sugar and grease!).

When the meal is served, we sit around holding our plates in our laps. I scoff my food in about 3 seconds because I don’t have any place to set my fork down between bites. Building a table is on the list of boat chores, but it’s down near the bottom, with other things that might be nice but don’t get me any closer to a bikini in the tropics.

Months ago, I ran unsuccessful Internet searches for a mounting bracket for the TV. When we arrived here, it still sat on the settee, propped against the cushions. One day, while Brian was driving all over New Orleans looking for a piece of aluminum to mount it with, Barry was poking in the weeds behind the boat (he obviously doesn’t have enough to do). When Brian returned, dejected and unsuccessful, Barry jubilantly told him he’d found a whole pile of discarded aluminum road signs. Some poor Louisiana road may be missing its truck load limit, but our TV is mounted now.

That was an aside…the point is, after we eat our dinner, we all fight over the best chair (with the flat screen, there are two OK seats and one really good one that Barry often hogs) to watch one of Brian’s large collection of movies on DVD. Some of the more memorable were Hook (popcorn), Pelican Brief (homemade egg nog), and Shakespeare in Love (brownies). The movies were good, too.

And then it’s 9 pm: Time for e-mail and website updates like this one!