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Joe Money Lives

The pirate and his flying friend have news of their latest misadventures. This week’s take is all about teak. Keep tabs here.

June 14, 2007

I am appalled by the suggestion that we take all of America’s lawyers and cram them into a stadium filled with hungry pit bulls. It is beyond all forms of decency to even propose doing such a thing to dogs. You might say that we could fill the stadium with thousands of hungry wood-chippers. But be honest, what has a wood – chippper ever done to you?

No. I have another suggestion. Give the attorneys teak. Teak grabrails. Teak covering boards. Teak decks. And if no one is watching and we’re feeling particularly sadistic, how about a cabinet with teak louvers?

That ought to occupy them for a millennium or two. Or at least until Mike Jagger wears Totes. Or until Michael Jackson has plastic surgery to look like Jermaine and Tito, or until he stuffs a 12′ Achilles inflatable down the back of his pants so he looks like Janet.

If you’ve had teak you know what I mean.

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I’ve tried varnishing it. Varnish is a great way to preserve insect specimens for future generations, or to immortalize a few favorite bristles from your favorite brush, or to teach pre-schoolers the concept of “When Daddy says don’t touch, he means DON’T TOUCH!!!” But varnish doesn’t do much for the wood. No. I take that back. It does a lot for the wood. It protects it. Protects it against sanding, so that it becomes impossible to ever do anything to the wood but varnish it. And varnish it some more. And varnish it some more.

I’ve tried oiling it. Teak oil. Tung oil. Raspberry-scented oil…applied with smooooooth, slooooooow strokes, easing high up on the wood and then moving down in a gentle, luxurious motion while the candles flicker, a Luther Vandross album plays softly in the background and two glasses of champagne sit nearby. All it does is bring the grain up.

I’ve tried washing it. But the thumping in the dryer disturbs my fellow patrons at the laundromat.

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I’ve tried leaving it alone. But it gets disheveled looking, keeps its posssesions in shopping bags, shuffles around the marina asking for spare change and eats leftover scraps of chum. Sort of like divorced guys who get to keep only the boat.

Some pundits say that today’s boats need teak because it has always been with us and it is in the grand tradition of boating. I suspect these are the same pundits who thought that Michael Dukakis had a real chance of carrying a title more august than “Runty, Sour-Faced Geek.” Yes, teak has always been with us. But so have war, pestilence and the urge to pee as soon as the flight attendant blocks the aisle with the beverage cart. The solution, I believe, is to do away with teak. Treat it as we should treat sexism, racism and Warren Beatty movies. Replace it with fiberglass, plastic, Ziggy birthday wrapping paper from your local Hallmark store. Anything would be less work.

We should take all the teak and dump it into that lawyer-filled stadium.

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On second thought, teak isn’t that bad.

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