This is not a particularly controversial topic (I hope!), but I may as well start with the low-hanging fruit. I have recently been on a skiing holiday, and returned to the UK yesterday only to find that it is snowing here (again!). During these freak weather events, there is a type of person who shows up on local news or on a youtube video. It is inevitable that next time the country is gripped by heavy rain and flooding, someone will be filmed paddling down the “road” in a canoe, and I am asking you nicely, don’t be that guy.
We get it, you own a canoe. Why you do so is entirely up to you. Maybe you belong to a kayaking club, or it’s a drunk ebay purchase that has been gathering dust in the shed, we don’t care. It is perfectly clear that you didn’t buy a canoe in case your road flooded, and you paddling around with a smug grin plastered on your face is doing you no favours at all. While your neighbours survey enormous amounts of damage to their homes and businesses, you are seeking 15 minutes of internet fame (the lowest kind of fame perhaps excluding blog fame). You aren’t even going anywhere! By definition, anywhere that you are trying to get to in your canoe is also flooded, and I doubt that the Co-op will be open under 3 feet of water. Believe me when I tell you that 100% of all people watching you are pleading with god/fate/forces of nature for you to capsize and contract Weil’s disease.
The same is true of the guy who owns skis, and at the first sight of snow, can be found “skiing” down their local high street. Such fun! That 0.5% gradient must be really challenging, and let’s not forget that there’s no ski lift in Swindon, so you’ll be carrying those planks home, assuming you don’t run into a lynch mob (which ideally you will). I really want you to catch an edge on a concealed kerbstone and just eat total shit in a gravel pit or something. Not because it would be funny to watch (although, trust me, it would be richly comical), I want you to get injured and end up in hospital, because no one can deliver a withering glare quite like an NHS triage nurse, who will let you know that you are a total fucking moron without once opening his or her mouth. If you gouge the freshly waxed surface of your expensive skis, then so much the better. Skiing is a hobby that I enjoy as much as you, but there’s a time and place for everything. Please write that down.
By the way, if you are navigating a flood in a motorised boat of some sort and doing something useful like helping elderly residents escape the raging torrents, then you are rightfully exempt from this. You are doing something good, and please carry on.
If you are doing the same in a sailing boat, or indeed anything in a sailing boat, just stop. Sailing is a lot like jogging backwards. It’s slow, difficult and almost never the best choice you could have made. Don’t be that guy.