Anarchistic musings from a SE Alaska harbor
By Ed Sasser

Noodlers Anonymous

Eddy's Chuck, Alaska*
Noodlers Anonymous isn't like Alcoholics Anonymous where one is required to completely stop an activity.  No, NA is MUCH harder than that.  NA seeks only to assist its members to curtail and control the excessive noodler activity.   This is decidedly more difficult since it involves limit-setting and defining boundaries.

I don't know who first coined the term "noodler".  I first heard it uttered by Weston Farmer when I was growing up back in Wisconsin; I'm not sure where he got it.   He meant it as a complementary term to describe that special breed of backyard boat builder.  But over the years the term has gone through permutations and now is indicative of one who engages in some rather obsessive boat building behaviors.  It took several years from my first hearing the term to admit: My name is Ed and I'm a Noodler.

So -- with some embarrassment -- I slithered into the room full of peers.  I was towed in by a fellow noodler (who shall remain anonymous) and sat in wait.

"We have a new member here tonight." Leon started.  "Ed is here for the first time."

"Hello," I proceeded cautiously.  "My name is Ed and I'm a Noodler."

All:  "Hello Ed."

Leon continued:  "Let's start as usual with the Noodlers' 'Remind Me Daily' (RMD) prayer, where we each add a behavior we recognize and ask the Higher Power to use gentle reminders regarding those behaviors."

Stan took over the lead:  "Higher Power, Remind Me Daily that I can't afford any more free boats."

Expectation proceeded around the table from Stan.

"RMD that I don't need to order any more plans 'til I launch something."

"RMD It's better to give than to receive-especially if what I'm giving is a gas can for a motor I no longer own."

"RMD that storage is limited."

"RMD that there are some folks who don't want to talk about epoxy, aluminum patterns or lofting."

"RMD that there is a limited market for used holding tanks."

"RMD that I shouldn't loft in church."

"RMD to spend time with the kids--besides playing 'statue' with them leaning against an outwale because I'm short of clamps."

"RMD that the quote 'there is nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats' is not a commandment."

"RMD that I shouldn't do materials lists during NA meetings...."

The room fell silent and all eyes glared at me as I quickly put down my pencil and looked sheepish.  All eyes dropped to the materials list in front of me. 

"Want to talk about that, Ed?" Leon began the meeting.

*Eddy's Chuck Alaska is a fictitious harbor populated by real Alaskan Noodlers

Copyright 2000 by Ed Sasser.  All rights reserved.


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