On Friday it was the D-Day anniversary. We indulged in our personal tradition of Six June, which consists of watching the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan with the sound all the way up. This is pretty much the closest we can get to understanding the unimaginable sacrifices those guys made in the name of Liberty during the Second World War.
This year was somewhat different – before we popped the DVD in, we had heard NPR talking about Uber boats. For those of you who don’t know, Uber is the car service that is the greatest invention since online liquor delivery. It is designed to be better than having to take cabs. The bane of working and/or living in an urban setting is the taxicab. They are notoriously crappy (except in Japan where the drivers are ninja-intense, wear white gloves and spray air freshener in the back seat before you get in and there are doilies everywhere. Japan is weird). Cabs always seem to smell like a pile of discarded jock straps, are driven by dudes talking intermittently to you and random other people on their Bluetooth headsets so you can’t tell who they’re addressing at any given time and sort of maybe show up when you call them, but probably don’t because rando sorority girls waved money outside a bar.
Uber changes all that. Uber isjust dudes with their own nice limo-type black cars and SUVs who show up when you push a button on your app and then charge the credit card you registered with them, and it’s sometimes not even more expensive than a cab. The cars are always clean, the drivers are more in the Japan-style of things and it’s all very simple and nice and of course the cab drivers hate it and want to make it illegal because everyone should have to smell jockstraps when they are trying to go out to dinner with a client.
But Uber Boats? What the frick is that? We didn’t get to hear the whole story because children were whining, but apparently they are going to do the same thing with boats in Boston Harbor as a water taxi service. This changes everything.
Think about it, Gloucester. It’s Saturday afternoon and you’re out in East Gloucester where you live and you find yourself having to drive your daughter to the soccer team volleyball game at Stage Fort. Yes, you are as confused about this as we are, but we have learned to just roll with it. This means you have to navigate epic traffic just to get yourself to Rogers Street, not to mention the likelihood that the bridge will be just about to go up as you are behind a car with Rhode Island license plates slowing down to take an iPad video of The Man at The Wheel. But Uber Boat Gloucester would change all that.
Now, we fully expect to get comments telling us that there is already a water taxi. THANKS PEOPLE FOND OF POINTING OUT OBVIOUS THINGS ON THE INTERNET! We know that. It’s pretty awesome. But the drawback the water taxi is that once you get there you have to walk, so it’s great if I want to say go from one seaside restaurant to another, but it’s not very fucking useful in getting me to The Basket is it, now? We want Gloucester UberBoat to be comprised of LSTs.
Back to Saving Private Ryan- remember those blocky boats they landed on the beaches of Normandy with? The ones with the big fold-down front door? They are called “Landing Ship Tanks” or LSTs. That’s what we want. Where are there a bunch of those the military wants to sell cheap? You just drive your car up in there and they take you by sea right around the clot of minivans with little families stenciled on the back windshield.
Think of how awesome this would be. We’re buzzing down E. Main and see Sayward is backed up. We hit the Uber Boat button and right at Cripple Cove comes an LST (we’d have to build a ramp). I drive my Subaru up in there and the driver buzzes us over to the Stage Fort. We drop the girl off, then over to Dun Fudgin he yells, ‘God be with you’ (he would be required to be dressed in WW II battle regalia at all times) and we’re off to face my personal Normandy of trying to get cold cuts at The Basket on a weekend.
And think of how this would change going to the beach. Instead of cramming everything into the car only to unload it .3 miles later, you load the kids, the coolers, the chairs and all that and just have them drive straight up onto Good Harbor, drop the door and yell “Go! Go! Go!” as you drag all your crap up onto the sand. How awesome would this be?
We, for one, can see ourselves doing it in highly-dramatic slow-mo, realizing we’ve left a man (or nine year old boy) behind, bogged down by the weight of his equipment (lawn chairs mostly) and unable to continue, and having to carry him across the beach to safety, dodging seagull feces-missiles.
Anyway, if anyone has access to one of those LST deals and wants to start an Uber service in Gloucester, please contact us care of this webzone. We also have a plan for getting past Fiesta using dirigibles, but we’ll save that for another post.