Saturday, July 25, 2009

Anchors Aweigh

Several months ago, Amy and I went out to dinner with another couple, Jamie and John. It's rare that we actually go out with somebody else. It was a very pleasant evening, filled with good conversation.

At one point, John leaned across the table and, looking me in the eyes, asked, "Can I ask you a question?" My breath caught as I wondered what was going to come next? Was he going to ask my advice about some pressing problem? Was he going to pitch Amway? Was he going to ask me to reveal something deeply personal?

I forget how I answered, but I gave him the go-ahead. He could ask his question.

"Is it true that you have an anchor in your backyard." My breath released as I smiled, laughed, and answered in the affirmative.

Back when my wife was my fiance, my future father-in-law was a machine trades teacher at the Joint Vocational School. I was a midshipman in the Navy ROTC, to be commissioned as a naval officer shortly before our planned marriage. My father-in-law-to-be figured that every Navy man needed an anchor, so he made me one. I had the pleasure of carrying it around with me throughout my bachelor party. It remains with me to this day.

If asked about it, the maker of the anchor will claim that it is symbolic. "Have you figured out what it means?" he'll ask in his typically loud voice. Yeah, I have a pretty good idea of what it could mean, although I think he made it mainly because he could, and he thought it would be neat. The anchor, though, is not the only thing that this machine trades instructor made for me. He also made me a cannon that is supposed to be capable of firing one-inch slugs.

I haven't figured out yet what the meaning of the cannon is.


Amy said...

So my dear...what's the meaning of the anchor?

Kurt H said...

Didn't the U.S. Supreme Court rule that we all have the right to conjure our own meaning? I'll share with you my conjuration if you can help me figure out the cannon.