Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to Andrew - Prime Candidate for "The Most Interesting Gondolier in the World"

Mingling with the guests at one of Sunset Gondola's get-togethers is always fun. And for the longest time I've said that "there's no such thing as a boring gondolier", at least not that I've had occasion to meet. 
Yes, gondolier's are interesting people, no doubt about that, but some are more interesting than others. 
Taking my cue from one of my favorite ad campaigns, (Dos Equis Beer's "Most Interesting Man in the World"), I've got to conclude that the man pictured above holding a snail is most certainly in the running for the prize as the "Most Interesting Gondolier in the World".

Here are some of my reasons:
- He's hunted snails.
- He has a keen appreciation for grappa.
- He's from New Zealand - if that doesn't make you interesting in the US, then there's something wrong with you. 
- His Kiwi accent is such an unusual one that he manages to get away with just about anything.  Let's say, just hypthetically, that one night Andrew was rowing a big caorlina cruise, and one of the passengers had an attitude.
And let's say, that hypothetically, Andrew had had enough of the guy's rude comments, and delivered some sort of response along the lines of:
"how about I just come down there and punch you in the mouth?"
Normal outcome of such an exchange might be violent or unpleasant for all involved, but with that Kiwi accent, the guests would likely break out in laughter, as if he'd just delivered the punch line of the most hilarious joke.
- Andrew has rowed in several different locations,in fact he's probably one of the most well-traveled gondoliers in the US.
- He knows stuff about rugby, and is a fan of the All Blacks.
- It seems like anyone who's ever met the man remembers him, and I've yet to meet someone who didn't like him.
In fact it seems as though Andrew can "couch surf" anywhere he wants, taking the whole artform to a new level. 
"I'm thinking I'll be in town for the weekend"
is greeted with:
"Hey, we'll give you the guest house, bring some friends, stay for a month". 
- On his last trip to Venice, a friend decided to just spontaneously embark on a sailing trip through the Greek Isles with Andrew and a friend. 
I'm certain that it was the "Andrew Mchardy effect".
- He is heir to a farm back home in New Zealand, and when the time comes, he may move back to a place where you grow your own vegetables, shear your own sheep, watch "Lord of the Rings" movies being filmed in your backyard.
- He was part of the team that discovered possibly the largest forcola ever carved.
- He can pick up a guitar and play just about anything, as if he wrote it himself, probably having not practiced it or played it for years.
A sampling of this can be heard on this post.

These are just a handfull of the the reasons why I think Andrew McHardy is a great candidate for the title of "Most Interesting Gondolier in the World".

Walk around at a Sunset Gondola function and you'll meet several other candidates for the title, each worthy of making the top ten list, but today,
on his birthday, I thought it fitting to shine the spotlight on Andrew.

I encourage everyone to leave a comment here for Andrew.
Happy birthday amico.


Unknown said...

Pa & Nana said...

Happy Birthday Andrew,Have never seen you in the Gondola but the singing at family parties is legendry

Pa & Nana said...

This and previous comment from John Mchardy (Uncle)

Il Paradosso said...

Great post. Even greater man.