Friday, February 15, 2008

Not On My Lake You Don't

Many years ago we were in The Bahamas on a cruise paid for by the ad sales department of a Dallas radio station. (I had a big ad budget back then-- but it was nothing compared to what would come later. Some days I miss the 80's and 90's.) But, I digress.

We went on a cruise to The Bahamas. In Nassau we did the touristy thing: a guided trip in a glass-bottom boat. That diversion is now remembered mainly for the guide, a robust local chap, who would tell everyone as we gazed down through the glass, "All is nature. Nature is all." That was pretty much the extent of his snappy patter. I don't remember any of the fish, shells, or anything else except that we passed over an empty Bud can at one point as he was saying, "Nature is all." Ain't it funny what you remember.

In the news today I see we're taking the glass-bottom boat in a new direction and making a sports car with no roof that drives straight into the lake or ocean and turns into a submarine with no roof. Sure, everybody wants one of those. It's the Swiss-made sQuba by Rinspeed. (pictured above if the photo loads properly) Ever driven a Swiss-made car? I didn't think so. There's a reason for that you know.

At least the fella in charge of Rinspeed admits to what inspired him: "The Spy Who Loved Me" starring Roger Moore as the daring secret agent, Zer0-Zer0-7even. I admit, I've seen the movie despite the fact that I never bought Moore as James Bond. Not for a minute. Not even close. The Lotus Esprit Bond drives that turns into a mini-sub is a far better actor than Roger Moore and more memorable too. And, this is important for our discussion here, IT WAS A FAKE.
Barbara Bach is the Bond girl in this one. She can't act either, but Ringo didn't seem to care so why should I. That big character actor, Richard Kiel, gets fitted with "steel teeth" so he can play a bad guy named Jaws. Clever. Almost as clever as the Swiss guy naming his submarine car sQuba. "The Spy Who Loved Me" is one of those Roger Moore/ Bond films that causes you to say to yourself, "This would have been pretty good with Sean Connery in it." Other Roger Moore/ Bond films make you say, "That was really awful." (see: "The Man With The Golden Gun") So, hey, that's something.

Back to the sQuba. Here's the problem I have with this car/sub thing. I like cars. I like boats a little bit too and I think personal subs are really cool. We live on a lake. So, when you think about it, I just could be the market for this sQuba. But, our big ol' lake was made by damming a river that flows from the mountains of North Carolina. As this river flows through the Piedmont and on into South Carolina it gets dammed several times to make lakes. Ours is but one. Now, let's add in that the ground here is red clay. Very red. Red, red, red dirt. We're famous for our red dirt.
Slow water + red dirt= 1 muddy lake.
I'm tellin' ya, this sQuba thing could be sitting ten feet off the end of the docks down at T-Bones and, if it was covered by as little as 6 inches of water, you would never know it was there.
If you want to sell a car/boat thingy around here, Mr. Swiss fella, make sure it floats and that there is plenty of room for fishing rods, tackle boxes, and a large ice chest. And put a removable top on that thing-- it gets hot out there on the lake.