Monday 26 January 2015

The Awkward Constant Cruiser.

There is one waterway association whose members are also cheerfully known as the Grey Granddads. Some of them seem to have a real downer on constant cruisers. It's their opinion that the so called constant cruisers should also pay for a mooring, even if they never intend to use it. They also believe that CCers never move, and if they do, its only to occupy their favourite mooring spaces along the canal. So with eagle eye the Grey Granddads patrol the towpath as 'CaRT's Towpath Rangers' and spying on everyone.

In all fairness the constant cruisers also hold some similar views about the shiny boat greybacks! Does the poem hold a scintilla of truth of their nefarious lifestyles or is it apocryphal, only time will tell. Of one thing I'm sure - both sides will never be able to agree, even to disagree. So the alternate verses in my little poem are intended to give a little insight to the perspective from each side. 

Both sides hold prejudiced views about each other. While the vast majority of boaters are quite ambivalent to the whole charade that is playing out. Looking on with bemused indifference as they get on with life.  We see the occasional reports in the waterways press which just highlight the latest round in their antics. However, there is also a third party, and one who brings a sting in this tale!

The Awkward Constant Cruiser.

I am the jolly boatman, the tyro of the cut;
proud as a peacock, as up and down I strut;
the waterways rules, don't apply to me;
I just ignore them, as you will plainly see.

I am a shiny shiny boater, I wear a captains hat;
with jaundiced opinions, brought up to be a brat;
so I interfere in things, that are nought to do with me;
I also like to strut my stuff, up and down the quay.

I am a constant cruiser and by choice, I don't move much;
ignoring all the licence rules, I'm completely out of touch;
I bath just once each summer, whether I need to bathe or not;
as I slowly crawl from bridge to bridge, I just don't give a jot. 

For I am both old and grey, and my time has almost come;
will he still be mooring here, when I have long been gone;
for its his bohemian style of life, to which I don't aspire;
a life which I could never enjoy, until the day that I expire.

Move along - who me, why should I jig to your song;
If you don't like it then, why don't you just move along;
for I am doing what I like, for a mooring I shall never pay;
I'm a free loading scrounger, and agree with all you say.

All my life I have been working, while on benefits he lives;
for he believes it's better to receive, than too ever give;
I always pay my way, and the boat is my comfort and joy;
a precious polished painted thing, and his a rusting toy. 

You say that I complain loudly, each time that I'm found out;
good at blaming someone else, as my spleen I start to spout;
the only rule a CCer will obey, are the ones I make my own;
as far from this water point, I don't intend to roam.

Responsibilities all my life, have dogged me in every way;  
life seems to be so unfair, as his bills are also mine to pay;
always pay my dues and taxes, my way I will never shirk;
constant cruiser thinks that I'm a fool, and that I am a jerk.

My children now need a school, I don't want to be a weight;
if we are made homeless, we become a burden on the state;
for me its a principal point, for why I will not pay your price;
as for the enforcement team, its such good fun to them entice.  

I don't understand your way of life, to me you are not right;
why you ignore all the rules, and do it with all your might;
your boat stacked high with logs, you look a dreadful mess;
persisting in this pointless, bridge hopping game of chess.

My noisy generator I keep running, all the hours that I could want;
its just another stupid rule, with impunity that I choose to flaunt;
a rusty hull and care worn paint, it is our personal choice to make;
if you object as far as I'm concerned, you can just duck off mate!

But there is something else, one player it seems that you forgot;
the granddads are not alone, there's one more to enter in this plot;
we are the navigation authority, and all the rules are ours to make;
you're dealing with the big boys now, anchored CCers are all fakes.

We could care less what your name is, or just who you think you are;
your playing in the top league now,  and we will decide how far;
you have to do as you agreed, or a price you will have to pay;
until enough of this tiresome game, in the courts we get our way.

Short shrift is the name of our game, and you now have to leave;
rules are rules and will be applied, you have no case to plead;
you are free to lead the life style, one that you have chose;
 just obey the waterways rules, we're fed up of all your woes.

Constant moorers are now sorted, our attention can stray once more;
we can look at the others,  from their pockets much money could pour;
boat licence fees doubled, moorings fees trebled an all time high;
angst and the pointing of fingers, but everyone knows the answer why.

The Epilogue

So now they side stand together, but divided; 
their need of each other, they can't comprehend;
the future of the waterways, spirals ever downward, 
heading towards, an inauspicious dead end;

Issues only molehills, and of no consequence;
to the sacrifice of, the canal camaraderie;
but foolish pride, had now been pricked;
for childish attitudes, that only divide and constrict.

The Alternative Canal Laureate

Evan Keel.
"The events depicted in this poem are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. No person should without the prior permission of the author assume the identity of any character. These poems are a story that could be based on actual events. In certain cases incidents, characters and time lines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be accidental composites, or entirely fictitious. I was helped in my creative endeavour by my friend's telepathic cat named Huxley. Huxley assumes all responsibility for any mistakes and errors."

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