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Sailmaker Stories


Sailmaker Stories

From the pen of “Le Renard Subtil” on the hilarious “Sailmaker stories” thread.  Add yours.

I used to work for this sailmaker who would always come up with some frantic, ill-considered project that absolutely needed to be done by 5:00 on Wednesday and was never even discussed with me til 4:45 on Wednesday. Well, one fine day I saw this sailmaker (let’s call him Adipose McPlod) approaching my desk. He had that look on his face that presaged such behavior- deep down he knew he was screwing me, but……ahead he plodded. I had an epiphany, a flash of righteous anger, like Rosa Parks did, maybe, and so i grabbed the first thing that came into my hand- a can of spray glue. My brothers, Billy the Kid was as a tortoise walking uphill on a piece of glass compared with the lightning quickness of my draw. Stay back! I said, as Adipose tried to cautiously approach. I know how to use this thing! The late afternoon sun slanted through the windows, dust motes filled the air, people outside hurried about the happy business of going sailing that fine Wednesday afternoon of early summer, not knowing that inside the doors of that inconspicuous building on Severn Ave there was occurring the first Mexican standoff to occur on the old colonial streets of Annapolis.

Adipose held the file of the customer who demanded that his sail be delivered that instant- a Cal 25 on the Middle River (this is an hour drive.) Down the street, under its cover, my Etchells waited. In my hand, the spray glue was a comforting heft- full.

Like the bloodbath at the OK Corral, it was the villain of the piece who made the first move. He lifted the folder, and started to say something. His words are lost to history, however, because i doused him with the entire can of spray glue. This took a while, and while it was happening we ran in circles around the loft, me either running backwards or shooting nifty hip and over the shoulder shots, while Adipose blindly plowed ahead, bouncing off and overturning the sewing machines, running full speed into columns, and having every loose thing that the loft contained stick to him- rulers, push pins, awls, pairs of scissors, scraps of cloth, cut sheets, sail numbers, cockroaches, and finally another disgruntled employee, this last when he plowed into one of the sewing machine holes like an enraged mammoth into the La Brea Tar pits sometime in the late Pleistocene and landed on the nice lady who did our canvas sewing. As they struggled up from the pit, an obscene 8 limbed beast mewing and howling like something from the Island of Dr. Moreau, I made good my escape. Or so I thought.