The Ignorant Traveler   



Advocates “Hardbody” Watercraft;

Decries Inflatables

Jersey City, NJ, April 2003 - A disparate confederation of annual Delaware River canooists today formalized their affiliation through the founding of the American Canoo Alliance (ACA). The Jersey City-based ACA will promote the use of hard-shell, or “hardbody” watercraft for river passages, strongly disdaining inflatable “waphts,” “wubber tubies,” or other vessels that do not conform to the traditional 2-man canoo standard. The Alliance also strenuously enforces a strict Moral Coda on all members or perspective members. Citing ongoing debate surrounding this Coda, the Alliance did not immediately release details.

 The Great Schism

“Given the ever-widening canoo/wapht schism, and bogus claims on watercraft superiority from non-canooists, this is an incredibly exhilarating and uplifting day; one, frankly, I never imagined,” proclaimed the ACA’s first-appointed Public Affairs Commissar (PAC), Dick ”Richard Dinkie Dink Lieberman Sheppard Laresch Abrahamowitz.” Acorn. He admits to some regret with the Alliance’s organizational put-in. “While we are gratified to persevere in creating this important Alliance, we’re saddened that we could not have a larger canoo membership due to the faulty watercraft selection of some former canooists. We earnestly hope this might change down the road, given the long history of bonhomie on the Delaware. We also recognize that having been shoehorned into a fast decision by bullying waphters, several of the non-canoo waphties are expressing regrets.” Checking his watch, Acorn queried, “Do you know if the liquor store opened yet?” 

On returning from a “quick run to Central Liquors,” and pressed on the origins of the schism, Acorn chooses his words carefully, “okay, you have a happy band of canooers, fine canooers, capable canooers. But then there’s a bad trip here, an unfinished trip there, more incomplete trips, dissension on certain boats, and finally a recognition by some that they just don’t ‘have what it takes’ anymore.

Canoos #1

It got so bad, some canooists were tossing their oars into the canoo and placing themselves at the mercy of the river gods while entering dangerous whitewater. Moreover, several canoo defectors, known only by their nom-de-Delly nicknames ‘Albg,’ ‘CJ,’ and ‘Gibba’ are the fundamental culprits. They’ve had the full gamut of catastrophes on the river, especially not completing trips, thereby scaring otherwise solid canooers into waphts.” Shaking his head, he finishes. “There’s one person the Alliance will never forgo, he will always be an ‘honorary’ canooist no matter what watercraft he selects, and that is ‘Sweet’ Mikey-Mike O’Keeffe, who we consider a hostage to the waphties because of his previous canooing partnership with failed canooer, Albg. We adore Mike and wish him well, and our hearts break to see this rugged fellow in the wubber tubie with the footsie men. Say my good man, may you grab me that Coors Lite sitting over there, please, along with that shot glass?”

Each year since 1979, this happy and fun-loving band of Jersey City Heights friends has journeyed to the picturesque region where New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York form a tri-state border at Point Jarvis, New York. The group skipped a few years during the mid-90s but otherwise they’re scheduled to celebrate their 25th year on the Delaware in May 2004. “It’s a bonding event,” explains Acorn, an earnest, blustery sort who denies a drinking problem despite numerous empty beer, wine and liquor bottles scattered about his person. “Pals canooing, reaffirming friendships, letting their hair down, drinking, and getting arrested. A fraternal, ‘getaway’ experience is encouraged and always achieved even through forced hilarity. Hey, do me a favor, right behind you there’s a frosty mug of vodka – see it? Yeah that one!  Send it this way please?”

ACA President and “Delaware Commander” (DelCom)-designate Robert “President Pimpski” Zachows provides additional, inside Alliance-founding, details. “We’ve been up at the Delly for years and years, each and every year counting the days down to Canoo Weekend like rabid dogs waiting to bite children. And every year, the entire group excitedly wonders, ‘how’s the river going to be this year, high? Low?’ Because, okay, part of the reasons for the trip are bonding, the drinking, haunting the meat palaces, and law enforcement intervention.” Zachows affects a pained expression over the concept of waphtying and continues, “but part of it is what I like to call, ‘strapping on a pair of balls.’ The idea that you want to escape life’s everyday tiresome grind and really experience life, challenge the river on its own wily terms. Lately, some of the annual Point Jarvis group have decided to forgo this ‘test of manlihood’ and have taken a puzzling broad-like decision to wapht.

Canoos and wahpts coming together during last year's expedition.

They claim ‘laziness’, a desire ‘not to have to work’ on the river. Most would recognize the real reasons, which are bald fear of the whitewater and loss of confidence in their canoo skills. We’d love them to reconsider, but recognize the genuine terror in their hearts. We wish them well, but they obviously cannot be members of the Alliance. Thus this canoo/waphty schism and the need for canooists to proclaim watercraft ascendancy.”  

“Freedom’s Flotilla” Underway on Full Steam

Acorn’s final assertion highlighted the organization’s highest founding principles and ideals. “In order to recognize the blessings of American liberty and the sacrifices of America’s troops around the world, the ACA – the Alliance - the American Canoo Alliance - has proposed and enacted the group’s trademarked motto: ‘Freedom’s Flotilla.’ Do you see that beer near that tabletop over yonder? Be a dude and reach over and hand it too me? Much obliged!”

Other founding ACA members include Ed(headcase) Gaguski, DelCom Commander Zachow’s “Polish Navy” frontman; “Deadman Dave” DiPietro, who despite a rough 2002 river excursion with PAC Acorn is staunchly and eternally sworn pro-canoo. Deadman will again frontseat the harrowing “Dick ‘n Deadman Snapper Special,” as part if their “Dink and the Deadman: Dink in the Drink”-themed trip; Bob “Para-Canoo Pro” Scura; and Juan “Maybe/Maybe not” Mayor fill out the Alliance’s impressively canoo-capable roster.


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As a newcomer to your site and a former Tufftown resident, I am pleased with the content I've perused thus far.  As a longtime friend/nemesis of one Dick Acorn, I have enjoyed a sense of nostalgia on this, my first virtual visit with The Ignorant Traveler.  My only problem (so far) is with Dick's piece on the founding of the American Canoo Alliance (ACA).

The last line of paragraph five mentions a "frosty mug of vodka" as if that frosty mug of vodka, or FMOV as I lovingly term them, is an everyday ordinary libation, as casually ordered and imbibed as a short beer or a Harvey Wallbanger might be.  Not so!  As memory tends towards the fuzzy, I am relying on Dick's sense of propriety (not to mention his adherence to the ACA's Moral Coda) and ask whether he remembers being present when the term was coined.  I am only certain of the fact that I came up with the moniker for the Holy Grail of alcoholic beverages in the presence the dear departed JT Burner, God rest his fun lovin' soul.

If Dick was there, I want credit for coming up with the idea of the ultimate refresher, the glistening, frozen delight that is the FMOV.  If he wasn't then, alas, Jimbo may have been my only witness.  The FMOV is the only, I say ONLY drink that has the ability, nay the allure, to bring me out of my self-imposed drinking retirement.  I imparted as much to Mr. Turner, and I now remember that Mr. Acorn was indeed there, pestering me about whether I would never again have "not even just ONE
beer, man" with my old pals.  My answer was that he'd need to stick around all night and most of the next day and continue feeding me drinks until I was no longer capable of even the simplest of motor functions.

That's just how The Bo-Man drinks, baby.  After pondering such a debaucherously wonderful spree, I determined that the most effective way to ensure such a spiritual jaunt, would obviously begin and end at the altar of the fabled FMOV.  Clear. Cold. High Octane.  God's gift to the reticent relapser.  Actually, it was a no-brainer.  For better or worse though, I've yet to swill one o' them bad boys myself -- but it's a comfort to know that when I'm ready they're just waiting there for me like an old friend.  An old friend who likes to punch you in the head every now and then, but like I said, that's just me.

Hey, I also plan to visit frequently so get some new stuff up pronto, Laresch. 
Thomas P. Drennan
(aka the Eggless Boodles Bay Bo-Man)