Book of the Day / A Proposed Patron Saint for FailCamp

by Joey deVilla on September 9, 2009

Cover of the book "How to Avoid Huge Ships", featuring a picture of a huge ship

The reviews of the book How to Avoid Huge Ships on Amazon UK won’t tell you very much about the actual content within its 122 pages, but they are quite amusing. For example, here’s J. Courtney’s review:

Instead of falling into the same trap that other authors of this subject fall in to, such as "stay on land" or "move out of the way", John Trimmer offers thought provoking, deep insight into the complexities of Huge Ship avoidance.

If you or anyone you love plans on setting out to sea any time soon, and are worried about encountering a huge ship – then I cannot encourage you enough to read this book.

Here’s another review, this one by Gordon Hawk:

Trimmer’s book is deceptively simple, take his opening passage for example:

"when walking down a local thoroughfare, or perhaps on a day out to your local dock, and suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, a 40ft metallic compound hull emerges in your line of sight, it is most likely, if not definitely, going to be – a huge ship"

It’s theoretical groundwork like this which lacks from today’s ‘pick and choose’ postmodern discourse. Trimmer unleashes this devastating examination with relative ease; most interestingly with chapters such as "Avoiding the ship itself: Moving Left or Right?" which comes up with a flurried and meticulous deconstruction of ethics and theoretical obstacles, for instance "is there anything on either side of the huge ship? – if so, and there is, it is probably, if not definitely, going to be – difficult to move round to that side of the huge ship".

A must for those with an eye for Naval pragmatism and/or a small ship.

Jessica Watson aboard her boat

I was led to the book by a comment from a wag about the snag in Australian teenager Jessica Watson’s attempt to become the youngest person to sail around the world. Less than 24 hours into her journey, she collided with a bulk cargo ship, snapping the ship’s mast and damaging the deck. She is unharmed, the ship is getting repaired and she still intends to go through with the trip. That’s very good news, considering how many people I’ve seen give up on something after the most minor of inconveniences, snags and bumps in the road.

Jessica, I salute you with a filet mignon on a flaming sword, and nominate you for patron saint of FailCamp!

(And yes, plans are in the works to have another FailCamp. Watch this space!)

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