While at art school in Halifax, Nova Scotia, my American friends Paul and Eugene and I lived in a rented seaside house in a nearby fishing village. The day we moved in to our house in Shad Bay we found a framed map of our cove, and it showed a little island across the water from us marked ‘Treasure Island.’ For the next year we tried to get hold of a boat to get over there. I posted a note on the village store’s bulletin board asking to rent someone’s dinghy by the month. When there was no response we put up a new, supposedly more persuasive poster, but it didn’t produce results either. We replaced that with a series of increasingly insistent, ever more absurd signs until it became a standing joke. Over two years we never got a single offer, even though there was an unused dory sitting in almost every driveway. They probably thought it was a joke, and obviously no one who fishes for a living is going to rent a perfectly good boat to art students. Above is the last poster I made. That one probably never made it to the general store. I’ve had it on my wall for years.

We had a tame seagull living on our property. He had tag around his leg, so he must have been part of some sort of study. I wanted to contact the researchers and tell them where he was. Eventually he became accustomed to me and he’d come sit on my leg. When I was finally able to read his tag, it just read “Chatterbox.”

The Remedies for Boredom below is by Eugene Pope and dates from the same period. I am not sure how these things survived 11 subsequent moves.

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One Response to “GIVE US YOUR BOAT”

  1. Sarah Says:

    This is hilarious! I always find weird stuff like this when I’m packing or unpacking. My personal favorite.

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