Saturday, February 09, 2008

QAJAQ/KAYAK/SHIM (what's in a name?)
This story has nothing to do with paddling. It is Saturday, it's freezing outside, I haven't had a decent paddling outing in a I am entitled to muse. Actually, Kristin might find this interesting, or at least attest to its truth.
A number of years ago, I was in Australia (a suburb of New Zealand) to staff an event for an international men's organization. A small group of us were in the Gold Coast area (Miami Beach-like place) having breakfast at an out door cafe. It was a lovely setting with warm breezes and the ocean just across the street. Well, our table wobbled.
It seemed one leg was a bit shorter than the others or the ground under it dipped a might. In any event, when the waitress arrived I told her about this problem and asked, "Do you have a shim we could put under the table." That's when the mood got ugly. She looked at me with a look I presumed was native to down under's. My take was that it was not an approving look.
Meanwhile, next me sat one of the younger men, a fellow known to enjoy a good laugh. As put off as the waitress looked, he looked 14 times as amused as he broke into laughter. In fact, he was quickly in tears and was soon sliding to the ground in fits of laughter. It was then that the waitress stormed off leaving me to wonder if I should head for the airport (I always kkept my passport with me).
An older and more mature Aussie at the table said to me, "I'm a carpenter, and I know what you meant, but that word has another meaning here." Turns out that a shim is also a combo of she and him and means a transvestite, something I really didn't need under the table that early in the day.
Anyway, it is still Saturday, daughter #2 and her husband are here, more friends are coming over and we will be celebrating her birthday at dinner. Maybe the table we get at the resturant will wobble. Wouldn't that be a great chance to tell the story again?
Paddle safe...


Kristen said...

Okay, can't in some spheres admit I'm up with Ozzie humour, but you did have me wondering whether soemone was going to bounce you one on the noggin or just throw you out in the street on that one! When are you going to visit the real downunder, if you haven't already? There, a shim is a shim.

Silbs said...

Had I known I would have gone there first. Anyway, I did get to tell the story at dinner tonight.

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

ah, the land of OZ, and their crazy mixed up kids. just try asking an Ozzie where a "bubbler" is sometime.

steve said...

I like the picture of the SOF, is it yours and did you make it yourself, are those shims that you sit on ?

Silbs said...

Steve, yes, that is the sof I built. It is covered in canvas and painted with exterior oil based paint. I don't know if you are joking about the seat or not. Those aren't called shims. To me the term is used for a wedged shape piece of (usually) wood usded to push under and uneven structure so it stabilizes.

steve said...

yes I was just kidding about the shims.....I have also built a
sof but prefer my strip built kayak. have a nice trip to Arizona