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Black Sambuca Mullet

by John Curnow on 24 Oct 2016
Andre Agassi and that mullet!!! SW
Many an interesting soul is to be found at a yacht club. They are as colourful as the many seas and skies we sail on and under. As diverse as the species that swim in them or soar above. Quite possibly the term crusty sailor and all the images that conjures up, are what gave rise to some of the facets of Krusty the Clown.

Now before we end up talking about simple-minded souls wandering the streets with white faces, big red noses, chainsaws and a serious persuasion for scaring the bejesus out of innocent citizens, we will move on smartly.

One sailor I know reminds me very much of all the reasons we go for a yacht, and can also have me shaking my head in disbelief. He’s not a dinosaur, but definitely has some yesteryear in him. By way of example, in Summer he’ll be in a thread-bare singlet, getting more fried than some of your mamma’s best chicken. Later, he may even mention that his shoulders are stinging, and the fact that they resemble the burning orange and red band, just before the green flash of a setting sun, is kind of a giveaway.



He’ll also sit there and tell tales about the perfect storm and how the boat was going up, and up, and up, and was surely going to flip back over itself. He’ll almost have you choking on your beer when he tells you, “I’m so tough. Just wait until it is blowing five knots, then I’ll show you.” Don’t get me wrong now. He cracks me up. He’s a lovely guy. Generous, genuinely interested and ready to bet on virtually anything.

He barracks for a football team that is mostly lamentable and markets itself on a period of time that is closing in on a hundred years ago now. His delightful, understanding and must be incredibly caring wife often has to ban him from making more bets, for the number of cases of Crown Lager he loses a season can become a costly exercise.

So my curiosity was more than piqued when he told me he was growing a mullet as part of some bet with some younger guys at the club. Now a few of that generation did it a while ago as part of some 80’s throwback thing. It was a fad, just like the bushranger beard. The price of fashion, eh? Looking like a complete, well, just think of the signs about putting your rubbish in the bin and not on the ground.



Don’t get me wrong, I’m in for the laugh and even went to an 80’s party with a bleach-blond streak mullet wig, white suit with rolled up sleeves, ghastly über-bright pastel T-shirt and chains around my neck, to carry off a Warwick Capper/Rod Stewart/Don Johnson amalgam to, I’m happy to report, a few solid rounds of applause.

Anyway, as a decidedly middle-aged gent, who was very likely to have had his own mullet in the day, and therefore should be well happy to have it permanently consigned to history, what could possibly have been his motivation to have one again now? I went to investigate on board after they had finished racing early, and may well have found the route evil. It was a tall, skinny and ever-diminishing radii bottle containing; you guessed it, black sambucca. It’s almost as much of throw back to the 80’s as the mullet itself, but certainly way more palatable than those evil concoctions called snakebites. Yuck.



In finishing, I merely raise a toast, in a shot glass of course, to all the many and varied characters that our sport is so lucky to have as sailors or volunteers. Cin. Cin.

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