I'm convinced that somewhere out there,
in the myriad of different cultures and languages,
there is a group of people who have been so remarkably astute
as to give the month of March or April a name that,
in their native language translates to "windy as Hell".
Maybe it's a different month where they live, but here in Newport
I'm thinking of launching a campaign to rename those two months.
Perhaps we could go with something more descriptive.
We could call March "What the heck is going on out there?",
and April could be "Holy mackerel it's windy!"
Sure, you probably think I'm ridiculous.
But right now there's a guy named "Vermin Supreme"
who's running for President.
I'll wait while you look him up - really, it's SO worth it.
Aw heck, here he is:
Yes, that IS a rubber boot on his head.
Compared to that guy, I look surprisingly normal.
some of his campaign promises include giving everyone a pony,
and defeating ISIS by using time travel.
Man, I could solve so many problems that way.
Ummm, I feel like maybe I'm getting off topic here.
Where was I?
Oh yeah, it's windy out there.
Always is this time of year.
In other news, there's this thing going on right now where all non-essential businesses have been summarily shut down. I understand why,
but I'm quite certain that the gondola business is among the most safe businesses out there right now as far as cross-contamination goes.
I mean if you really think about it, we're even safer than hot air balloons.
Firstly, you can't fall to your death from a Venetian gondola.
(NO, that was NOT a challenge, people. And YES, I'm sure there ARE some bizarre exceptions out there)
Secondly, we're away from everyone else.
There's no sick dude sneezing at the restaurant table right next to you.
It's my well-thought-out opinion that in this time of quarantine,
when folks are getting stir crazy in their homes, that if two people who already live under the same roof want to enjoy an open air cruise on a gondola with only the gondolier aboard
(and easily six feet away from them),
that they should be able to do so.
Sorry, I feel like I'm getting off track again here.
Oh yeah, "windy as heck", that's where I was.
So in this time of COVID 19 where everyone's cooped up, we have been encouraged to stay healthy and exercise, and the Governor of our state has told us we can go outside for that exercise.
With that in mind, I'm jumping on a gondola every day
and rowing my heart out.
All the while wearing a Row Venice shirt in solidarity
with those dear friends of mine in the Veneto
who can't row right now due to tighter restrictions in Italy.
And because we're currently in the heart of the month which shall heretofore be called "What the heck is going on out there?",
I've been getting a superb workout in this wind.
I am determined not to come out of this strange time in history as a prime candidate for a reality show about 600 pound people.
Drinking lots of coffee and rowing like a maniac seems to be a decent fitness program.
Blasting Rage Against the Machine also helps.
Today while I was out there dodging sailboats (which were racing each other at frightening speeds), I propped my phone up and set it to snap some photos on a delay.
A lot of pictures of me making weird faces and exposing a pair of legs that, really, the world would probably rather not see.
But hey, you work with what you've got.
And I've got chicken legs, a funny face, and enough grit and determination to fight those winds all the way to the other side of the harbor and back.
I don't normally row in shorts, but there's nobody on my boat to tell me otherwise (or witness the horror).
We all derive our energy from somewhere.
for me, when the caffeine kicks in, and it's still not enough,
I like to "make it personal".
I imagine that the wind is actually really out to get me.
Then my inner slam-dancing punk rocker takes over.
As if to intimidate the wind, certain faces are made.
Faces that might be seen in a haka war dance before a New Zealand rugby match, but it gets me going.
Some folks have a "game face", I've got a "wind face".
As we venture further into this strange time, I'm encouraging all of my gondoliers to take boats out for fitness purposes.
So if you see a gondola out in the coming weeks, we're not breaking the law, we're simply staying in shape in preparation for better days when this is all over.
And if you see a guy with chicken legs out there making strange faces in the wind, it's probably me.