back in '92 (before the turn of the century) john and del were snooping around a chart of the st. johns (http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/11487.shtml) and found rat island. nearby, of course, was polly island which served as a useful euphemism for the gold sailing jewelry motif and white captain outfit approach to boats. john and del let me in on their little club when I handed over beer and agreed to be admiral, commodore, gofer, and bilge boy... and agreed that there could never be any other members. well, you see, john was trying to sell his sailboat to me, so he had to make some concessions. there _was_ the initiation ceremony which required new members to drink a pitcher of beer poured down the ass crack of the current admiral(s) and/or commodore(s). unfortunately, both non-members of the RIYC were admiral(s) or commodore(s) depending on their mood and state of cleanliness. oh, man. must be why i've moved from beer to the wine that's been lurking in the fridge for a month or two. as i recall, herschel was the 4th confirmed non-member. i sense in the making a re-convergence... a re-alignment... a cooler full of beer. at least some sailing and some lying.
as all good yacht clubs do, we had races. mostly beating cheaks down the dock to get more beer, but races nonetheless. cheating in any observable manner was highly encouraged. points were awarded for ramming other boats, insulting the skippers, stealing their beer, and stealing their women. note that this was before women were allowed into the club (or would accept an invitation or offer a beer). holing other boats raised the points algorithmically. sinking other boats and drowning their skippers (much to their chagrin) was the stuff for which songs were written in the RIYC verbal history. tussling with non-non-members seemed to happen fairly often, and was a source of great anticipation, joy, and entertainment. tussling with non-members was not out of the question, either. we had to change the points accumulation rules on a daily basis, and immediately lost track of who was ahead. good thing beer was available. the first and only behavioural rule, to which we all were required to sign affidavits (or maybe not) was, "there shall be no rules." time passed, and folks got wind of the RIYC. i remember having to deny the existence of the RIYC and my involvement in it when the Palatka Yacht clubbers started inquiring as to how to join. why do people like to join groups? is it the cool factor? is it an acquisition - a collection - a be here now thang? maybe it's just the chance to drink a beer together. that's alright.
that was back in the day.
this is now. i have paid membership dues and received a license tag, a momentus event in the history of the RIYC, surely! things have changed. my vehicle has intermittent wipers, windows that roll all the way up, and a/c. it claims "no trouble codes found" on a regular basis. absolute luxuries. the state of florida has heard of the RIYC. i seem to recall that RIYC was told to cease and desist with the "RIYC" thing - a proper throwback to the good old days. i heard the letter threatened something about tarnishing a motif of boat jewelry and white captains' outfits. so now there's a modicum of respectability about the whole venture, if not a website (http://ratisland.com). and rules. oh, the rules. and the insurance! if insurance is not of satan, it is satan itself (you know that satan is "shaitan" which simply means "against, adversary, opponent, etc. " don't you?). so now i have to buy insurance to park my boat. this i will do because it's a rule. the cost of entry to the boat game these days.
well, you see the state of the wine glass and the recently enshrined RIYC license tag, don't you? you will surmise what you may surmise. until later, chica says, "don't gleek the cat!"
ps - if you haven't done it already, go see Slumdog Millionaire at the movies.