Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Skiff

Warning: Thanks to the plague a really bad cold, CBW presents a post loaded with far more ridiculosity* than usual. Please accept her sincerest apologies for the mental roller coaster ride that follows. Thank you, and come again soon.

The term "skiff" is loosely applied to all sorts of small boats but to me there's only one type of skiff, and it's pictured above.

Skiff is a funny word, don't you think? I mean really. Say it a few times. Skiff. Skiff. Skiff. It sounds like something is wrong or something is missing, no? Like there should be more to the word but somebody forgot a letter. Or something.

Our very first boats were wooden skiffs. One was a rowboat with oarlocks; the other was like the one above, which used to be pretty standard fare around here. My mother, who loved to crab, would stand on the bow and use the pole end of the crab net to push herself through the shallow areas of our cove. When she saw a crab she'd reach over and scoop him up with the net.

We never really did the whole "tie a chicken neck to a string" method of crabbing other than a few times, maybe. There were so many crabs, we could just sit and wait for them to jump right into the boat come near us and scoop them up without the need for bait. Plus, why go to all that trouble when you could just set pots?

The previous paragraph is sponsored by the same portion of a person's brain responsible for "fish tales" or stories about "the one that got away." It's quite probable possible that we did use bait more than a couple of times, but my brain only remembers waiting patiently for the crabs to come near the boat and scooping them up. Oh, also? I'm still sick and I think the sinus pressure has exacerbated my ADD is killing off the last few remaining brain cells that didn't kick the bucket a few weeks ago at Blog Fest.

But back to the topic at hand, which is not crabbing or sinus pressure or please get me some decongestant or fish tales or bait so happens to be skiffs.

The other day I was reading some entries in my childhood diary trying to discern where my life started to unravel and came upon this entry dated April 25, 1974:

Dear Diary,

Today is Thursday. I went to school. It was cold. We had a test. It was hard. I rode Thunder when I got home. I watched the Waltons on TV.

Age 9

This isn't the exact entry I wanted to show you, but this clearly demonstrates that my ability to construct complex sentences is no further developed at age 45 1/2 than it was at age 9. Seriously.

But once again we really must focus on return to the topic at hand, which is not my writing skills or lack thereof or the Waltons even is the silly sounding word "skiff."

April 26, 1974
Dear Diary,
Today I went to school. I came home and rode Thunder, my pony. It is hot! We went over Charlie's house and borrowed his skift (sic), which is a little boat. Daddy had to do something under the dock. I had chicken for supper.

Age 9

See? Even then I thought something was wrong with the word. Skift sounds more like a complete word, there's nothing missing. Skiff sort of leaves you hanging, wondering where the rest of the word is. It's like saying "adriff" instead of "adrift."

Or something.

The End.

p.s. Remember, the sinus pressure is limiting the amount of blood and oxygen flowing to my one and only brain cell. Please tune in tomorrow, when hopefully the Mucinex--or a sledge hammer--has released some of the death grip of pressure on my sinus cavities.

*Ridiculosity is definitely a word. You'll find it just before "skift" in any dictionary.


foolery said...

Wait, you're not 46. Because if you are, then I just turned 46, and that would be enough to throw me into a panic. Not because I would be 46, but because I would have been 45 for a year and not known it. So please consult your calculator because I'm starting to hyperventilate.
*skiff* *skiff* *skiff* (that's the sound of hyperventilation)

deborah said...

Oh, we call that a john boat here. Don't know why, but we do. Maybe someone named John had one once? Or maybe (this is more likely) John skiffted off with one and named it after himself.

Anyway, hoping your sinus pressure lets up right this very minute and you feel better!!

What has happened to Mathews Mark?

deborah said...

Nothing as glorious as crab here...when I was young, we used a skiff (John boat) to go frog gigging.

Annie said...

Well, here in Australia, we call them a "tinny" or "tinnys". Please don't ask me why. I presume that might be because they are made out of metal. Not that I know much about them. Just what we call them.

Hope you are feeling better very soon!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Foolery - Thank you for telling me my correct age. See what the sinus pressure is doing?

Actually, I've been saying I'm 46 all year and I do not know why. Maybe it's a practice run for next year, when I'll be 4 short years from 50.

Now I must cry.

Mrs F with 4 said...

Are you sure it's not 'sniff, sniff'?

I have no idea what the Quebecois term for a skiff is. Probably because we don't hunt moose from one.

WV: nessedu. Bless you.

Mental P Mama said...

I want more info on what CB Daddy was doing under the dock. Do I need to come down there and make some soup? Feel better;)

Trisha said...

Having never really thought about the word "skiff" before, your post really got me thinking.

Love those diary entries. You weren't one for elaboration, were you?

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Well now that you know how old you are that should make you feel better! I've done that twice in my life....made myself older than I am which now is dirt but anyway hope that mucinex kicks in soon!

Daryl said...

this city gal thinks of it as a row boat

Country Girl said...

I want to be 46 again!