Bourne Needs A Tugboat

Granted, there are more important issues in the world, and even in Bourne. However, the town made a critical error back in 2006, and the responsibility for fixing it falls on us.

Bourne used to have her own landmark, right on the Belmont Circle rotary. It wasn’t the Statue of Liberty or the Washington Monument. No, it was just humble little Tugboat, loved by all.

Somebody went out of business, someone put in a CVS… and our little tugboat was allowed to slip away. NY Central #16 (picture from the New York Times) went to the Great Canal In The Sky, and Belmont Circle has been whack ever since.

We need a new tugboat. We need to acquire it, transport it and plop that sucka right in the middle of the rotary island.

To say that a slump has hit Buzzards Bay (the Bourne village, not the body of water, which is doing fine) is being generous. Main Street has more shuttered businesses than, uhm, ah… well, let’s just say that business is not good there.

Pols and business leaders will offer explanations for this, many of which are correct. None of these explanations cover town spirit.

I am a certified expert in school spirit, as I won Most School Spirit during my high school days. Granted, I won this award because the gods blessed me with a big booming voice that can be heard over just about anything, but let’s not allow technicalities to cloud the argument or the achievement.

Buzzards Bay has no school spirit.

It is a malaise that eats to the center of the town. We are something that you drive past on your way to somewhere else.

A tugboat isn’t going to solve all of that, but it would help give us an identity, and that’s a start. We can’t recreate the old days, but we can take advantage of the fact that people grew up looking at the tugboat, and kind of miss it now that it isn’t here.

We have several options if we decide to press forward on this issue.

We could get a real tugboat. It doesn’t have to be seaworthy, or new… sh*t, it might look more authentic if it’s a bit rusty. Used ones are cheaper anyhow.

I saw one for $25K, but it actually floats and drives and all that unnecessary stuff that a rotary tugboat wouldn’t need.

There must be one sitting unused and unloved in New Bedford or Gloucester or Mystic that we could get our hands on for short green. Throw it on a flatbed, cut down a few trees and drop her right in the middle of the rotary.

I even read about a tugboat sitting in the Potomac River. It belongs to some business, and they use it for various projects involving the Pentagon. Thusly, it lives in semi-permanent anchorage in the Potomac River. The article was from 2010, so we may be too late as far as working on some sort of trade goes.

The name of the tugboat? Her name is the “Bourne.”

If that proves problematic, why not build a fake one? It’s not like she’s ever going to have to go into the water or anything, right? It would be a lot cheaper than buying or transporting the Bourne up to Bourne.

Also, building one allows us a certain creative freedom that we would not have if we needed to build the tugboat that would actually work. It can have two bows if we want, three sterns, or it could be the size of what you think of when you imagine what Noah’s Ark might have looked like. It should also have cannons, because reasons.

You could also build it without doors, so kids won’t be drinking in it and homeless people won’t be sleeping in it.

A new Tugboat would also give us an excuse to rename the high school sports teams mascot. “Canalmen” is so lame, it limps. “Canalwomen” is worse, neighboring on a metaphor for working girls. Many names would be better… among them, “Tugboats.” I’d hang that name on the Braves, too.

The bow, or one of the bows, should be aimed due East in a manner that gives it a Stonehenge effect when the sun rises on the day of the Summer Solstice. You could conceivably do the stern so the same effect is seen at the sunset of the day when the Autumn Equinox begins. That will at least get us attention.

Someone should already be working on this.



Bourne, In The Morning… But Not This Morning



Some mornings, I drive around seeking stories. Sometimes, you just have to walk a round town… or climb up on the roof of a defunct tavern, whatever works.



I was going for a nice red/white/blue moyif, but the power lines make it look like the houses were fighting Spider Man.



The upper northwest corner of Barnstable County.



You can’t see the beach, but is at the bottom of the stairs, trust me.


More tavern-scaling, to get the Bourne Bridge.


Cape Cod Summer Traffic Begins

The traffic doesn’t bother me as much as it did when I washed ashore (wrong term, I was far out on Duxbury Beach enough that a move to Cape Cod actually brought me inland some) here a dozen years ago. Part of that is me getting used to the traffic patterns. Part of it is me knowing when not to try the rotary. Part of it is the slow process of me becoming a full Cape Codder.

Either way, one thing that Cape Codders love to do is read comments on local Facebook pages on the Friday that kicks off Memorial Day weekend. You hear from everyone who got lulled into a sense of false security by the winter traffic, although that is somewhat muted this year after a lengthy Sagamore Bridge project snarled up the traffic in the spring. They try to go down to the Way Ho or to the Mezza Luna… and Whammo!


“I gave up and turned around and said “Screw it,'” from a girl who I know well enough to say that she was leaving Onset and going to Buzzards Bay House Of Pizza. The ride normally takes five minutes, but these are not normal times, player.

“Already over this f***ng traffic!!” from another Onset resident trying to cross one of the bridges. A quick look at her Facebook page shows, an hour earlier, a much happier post with little hearts that says “Spending this beautiful day with my family on the Cape!” 

My car crawled into work at 8, and the traffic hasn’t let up all day,” said a Christmas Tree Shoppe employee.

“I might cut off some motherf**ker’s head!” Oh wait, that was me. Ever since I got the Godzilla hood ornament, I drive angrier and often fantasize about stomping on Japanese port cities.


Bourne is a lovely town and Buzzards Bay or Sagamore are nice villages in that town. However, even nice things have flaws, and our flaw is traffic.

Both bridges cross the Canal in Bourne, and a few unfortunately-placed rotaries make it even worse. Buzzards Bay has almost 4000 souls on a good day, but they have Chicago-style traffic on bad day.

I’ll write at length about that traffic when I am angrier about it. For now, I like the traffic. It is a harbinger of future summer days. It is very much like the first snow of the year, in that I like it at first, then curse it after a few more times seeing it.

It’s a slow creep. Many June days, especially rainy ones, will have almost no traffic at all. But from this point on, any time that you try to cross one of the bridges… well, don’t say that we didn’t warn you.


Speaking of which…

The Massachusetts State Police are reminding you to not text and drive or maybe not drive drunk or maybe just to wear your seatbelts.

They did so with a display below, where a crash test dummy who apparently was updating his Facebook failed to see some obstacle and got his neck broken like he was Teddy Pendergrass.

Sucks to be him, huh?

Setting up a “WTF is that?” display right next to the entrance into a rotary (one stuffed today with many people from states which don’t have rotaries, I might add) isn’t the safest thing ever, but State Troopers know car accidents better than I do, so the risk must be relatively low.

33602785_10156289103627510_5384740635188133888_oHey, the car was moving, it was the best shot I could get!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

Voting In Bourne Today

Bourne is holding their Town elections today, and we strongly urge you to go downtoen to exercise your right to vote.

You can vote for Selectman (or woman), Board of Health people, Recreation committee people and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Polls opened at 7 AM, and will stay open until 8 PM. I voted, and the staff were very helpful when I didn’t turn up on the voter rolls due to me blowing off those census forms.

This column personally is representin’ hard for Precinct 1.


Defending Donald


Hurry down to Cumbys on Main Street in Buzzards Bay today before the deep state stormtroopers move along the LaRouche people.


You may remember them from a few years ago in the same spot, where they had a Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache poster.


The guy seemed nice enough, although he got told to f*ck off by a few passing cars. I don’t think anyone beat him up last time, so things should be A-OK down in Bee Bay.


Donald can’t do it alone, which is why God made Russia. It may have been the third Fatima Secret. Stacey is our only hardcore Catholic on the staff, so I took the liberty of leaving her contact information instead of mine. “I know a guy named Courtney,” said one of the guys sympathetically, as he checked my info and deduced that he was looking at a 6’5″ Stacey.


I don’t know what eastern Australia did to run afoul of the Larouche paradigm, but it must suck when Yemen gets invited to a party and you don’t.

My man breaks it down for you, below…



Scallop Festival Alternatives

Scallop Fest Logo_470504011

We recently heard the news that there will be no Scallop Festival in 2018. The threat of inclement weather is a disaster for the SF, which suffered mightily in attendance and may I dare say performance last year as a tropical storm lurked nearby. It is tough to postpone things involving pre-purchased mass scallop orders, and no one in their right mind would go to the Week Old Scallop Festival. It’s probably more than that, but it’s what I have as we go to press.

The Festival ditched Buzzards Bay, which had been a loving host with big crowds and awful infrastructure, going to the Cape Cod Fairgrounds on-Cape.

Even residents of Bourne who agreed with the Festival’s reason for leaving still viewed her departure as a slap in the face. Bourne has always been Cape Cod’s weak sister, and here was yet another indignity thrust upon us. “Oh, we’re not even good enough for the Scallop Festival?”

There was talk around Bourne of sabotaging the Scallop Festival once it left town. Schedule an OysterFest or Lobster Roll Championsip on the same day as the Scallop Fest, then purchase 20 junker cars and have them all break down on the bridges/at strategic rotaries during the time people would be heading on-Cape for scallops. Put up a sign reading “MASHPEE: 20 MILES, 475 MINUTES” right about on Routes 3 and 25 where a man could say “Eff Scallops,” and instead bring the famn damily to Buzzards Bay for the Million Clam March or whatever event that we had cobbled together.

Thankfully, it never came to that… but you can understand how a town that bears every other town’s summer traffic might want to roll dirty when they take our Scallops away.

No metaphor that I can come up with for this 2018 scallop void is pretty. The Festival is very much like a loose spouse, who left a perfectly good relationship in search of greener pastures. She’s a fortune hunter, and it’s tough not to enjoy a snicker when Spouse 2.0 kicks her to the curb with her hat in her greedy little hands.

Bourne, a cuckold of a town, would probably take her back. Not a lot of events are throwing themselves at the B, and at least she knows how we like our shellfish. We would never really forget that she left us, but she came back, so she must love us. Right?

Eff her, and eff scallops. Let her peddle her scamp ass to Barnstable or New Bedford. Nobody wants Sloppy Seconds, and this would actually be Sloppy Thirds. There would be little consolation to the fact that we had her first when someone else had her second. Scallops are dead to us.

However, there are many different sorts of festivals. Buzzards Bay has a nice park, and we can do what we can with our rotten Main Street business district. Here are a few ideas, some already mentioned in the previous paragraphs.



The Million Clam March
A cutesy play on the more serious Nation Of Islam protest march, we serve up steamers and chowder and quahogs and anything in a shell.

I don’t know what we would pull in attendance, but if we got half of the 50,000 people that the Scallop Festival drew, that would be like 40 clams per person to get the Million Clam mark.

I propose running the Million Clam March until one million clams are consumed, even if we have to run it until Wednesday.



This would be the same festival as the one with the scallops, just with a less popular bivalve.

Oysters do have a reputation as an aphrodisiac, and we shall play on that. The big deal here is that we tie it in with all of the hotels in the area, who would offer packages for couples. We have a big new hotel going in right near Buzzards Bay Park, and those rooms won’t fill themselves.

Properly done, Bourne could be the spot of conception for a million future children if the festival succeeds.



Lobster Fight Championships

I’m not sure if this is legal… but lobsters fight all the time in the tank, right? It’s not like we’re making them do it. Zoom a camera in, broadcast on a big screen, accept betting and drop two big hungry lobsters in one small tank. Two lobbies enter, one lobby leaves… the winner moves on, the loser goes in the lobster roll. The eventual tournament winner is released or sent to an aquarium as a celebrity, his choice.

I’m pretty sure this would get us some national media attention, although it may not all be favorable.

I realize that it’s January 14th, but honestly look me in the eye and tell me that you have something better to do next October 22nd or whenever.


Jump The Shark Festival

This also is most likely afoul of the law, as they say. It involves catching a Great White Shark in the Canal, luring him into an underwater pen, and then charging rich people piles of money to jump it on water skis off the back of a cigarette boat while we have a big party in the park.

I would not be above bringing ESPN in, and getting this set up as an event in the X Games. It would also give the band Great White something to do, as they have seemed a little down since that whole Station fiasco. I’m sure that whoever sings Mack The Knife could use a weekend’s pay by this point, too.

We should move on this fast, while Henry Winkler is still alive and can serve as Grand Marshall.

It’s not like we’re mistreating the shark, who would get to eat anyone who actually got into his pen and disturbed him… we’re just jumping him.


The Irish Riviera Festival

Bourne isn’t mentioned in most definitions of the Irish Riviera, as we are under the 30% Irish population levels that you see in the true Scituate/Weymouth parts of the Riviera. However, we have enough Irish to stake a claim, and none of the South Shore towns are having an Irish Riviera festival. Bourne would be 100% Irish Riviera if we hosted the Irish Riviera Festival every year.

This could very much turn Buzzards Bay into a battleground, as 50,000 Irish descend into the village for a weekend of power drinking.

That stuff we always joke about happening at the Cape Verdean Festival that actually doesn’t happen? It would actually happen at the Irish Riviera Festival.

This is also a reminder to the rest of the Cape that, should the disrespeck continue, we are perfectly capable of working with the South Shore.



Sled Mountain

Scusset Beach just sits there, useless, from October through May. Why not get it making us some money?

Dump 10 stories of sand in one end of the parking lot, buy a few snow guns, coat the hill with fake snow, and charge people to park/sled/rent sleds. We instantly become the region’s sledding Mecca. It’s what whoever owns Water Wizz should be doing, but that’s Wareham’s problem.

Every kid has a sled in the house somewhere. We don’t get snow all that often. When we do get it, it is often dangerous or uncomfortable to go out in it. Sleds are often wasted on southern New England kids, especially on the coast. That won’t be the case with Sled Mountain.

Why the hell not?

Best part? At the end of Sled Season, we push all the sand into the Canal and make it wash over to Sandwich, where it would fill in spots hurt by winter storm beach erosion. It would help make up for all the sand that the Scusset Beach jetty blocks from washing over there naturally.

Everybody wins, year-round.

Cape Cod Canal Shipping Through Sea Ice

The deep freeze we had made a lot of ice that eventually gets loose and flows through the Cape Cod Canal.

It makes for a cool show, and you can go see it this week before it all melts. The current gets cooking at times, and the ice moves as fast as the current does.

Ice doesn’t get the shipping guys out of work, however… they just sail right through it.


Dashing Through The Snow

Our coverage area finally got some snow worthy of a camera drive. 
It was no blizzard, just an inch or two…
We drove around quite a bit… the seagull picture is from New Bedford, the frozen cranberry bog is in Buzzards Bay, the Christmas Tree Shoppe is in Sagamore…
… and the Yuletide Yeti is in southern Plymouth. He knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.
Kid Transporting in New Beddy…
Duxbury didn’t have as much snow as the southern towns did, but they had more effeminate elves.
This is just outside Syracuse, NY, but why waste a good picture?
Bourne, facing Wareham.
The plows hadn’t made it into the Ponds Of Plymouth 7 hours after the snow started.
Fairhaven enjoyed a speedy commute.
Kingston’s snow slowed mall traffic considerably.
Turkeys who survive Thanksgiving tend to be a bit cocky in December.
Nothing like a partially-plowed road heading downhill into an ocean, eh?

Archives: Is It Possible To Jump The Cape Cod Canal In A Car?

The story of a man who drove his car into the Cape Cod Canal grabbed headlines this week. They say it was a suicide attempt, and they’re probably correct. However, what if it were a little bit more than a suicide attempt?

I may be 100% wrong, but I can’t shake the feeling that the man in the Ford Focus may have been trying to jump the Cape Cod Canal. I’m thinking of an effort akin to Evel Knievil’s attempt to jump a rocket over Idaho’s Snake River Canyon in 1974.

While suicide is a rotten option to choose, one must admire the man who tries to do it with Style. I’d bet that 100 people have jumped to their deaths into the Canal, but perhaps only one (I’m being told someone may have tried it in the 1940s) guy tried to kill himself while jumping over it.

There’s an All Or Nothing, Death or Glory sort of hardcore appeal to this act. If you’re going to push all of your chips onto the table and ask for the Eternal Answer, you may as well do so while crossing the most dangerous item off of your bucket list. When the one thing that you’re normally afraid of losing when pondering ridiculous stunts has no worth, stunt-planning moves along much more quickly.

The Canal is incidental to this story. If this guy lived in Buffalo, I’d imagine that he’d probably have gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel. If he lived in Rwanda, he’d have slapped a silverback in the face. If he lived in Pripyat, he’d run have around nude and drank from the streams.

The plan was flawed for many reasons, some of which were apparent immediately. Other flaws reveal themselves to the expert (or the guy who spent a morning researching Stunt Jumping) upon deeper examination.

For starters…. if you try to kill yourself and live, your plan had flaws. You become the Polish kamikaze pilot from the 1970s joke book.

If you assign the man a higher motivation than suicide, you must also point out more specific flaws. His jump across the Canal ended 40 feet away- an impressive jump, but not one that you’d need to clear the 450 foot wide Cape Cod Canal.

I was undersexed as a kid, and therefore spent most of my Physics classes staring at legs… but I did stay on-task long enough to pick up some vocabulary that will come in handy here. The plan had fatal flaws (fatal flaws in a suicide attempt produce a Bizzaro-style polar opposite effect where the jumper lives) in the areas of Speed, Mass, Acceleration, Incline, Resistance and Drag.

There was also a pine tree-sized hole in his Exit Strategy plan, but we’ll get to that later.

If you open Google Maps and look at the area at the end of Perry Avenue, it will help with comprehension. You’ll notice that Perry Avenue is a straight drag, and you’ll see an odd structure at the end of it. That’s Three Mile Look, which serves as a Canal observation point 99.99999% of the time and as a ramp .000001% of the time. It is the smaller of the two numbers that concerns us today.

Three Mile Look isn’t what a stunt man is looking for in a ramp. Other attempts to jump larger rivers involved an almost vertical climb. The other jumps also didn’t involve the driver smashing through wooden railings before takeoff.

Three Mile Look also is about 2 stories above the Canal, maybe 3. An object falls 9.8 meters a second for every second that it is in the air. the Canal is 450 feet wide, about 1.5 football fields.

There’s other math, but it confuses me. You could use Real Math, which means solving the  s=ut+½at² equation.Good luck with that.

I prefer to use Vin Diesel Math, which is where I find an article written in a science journal about a similar jump performed in one of those Fastest And Furiousest movies. I hope this math works for you, because we may also get into Burt Reynolds Math and Keannu Reeves Math if we tangent off into the Smokey And The Bandit or  Speed franchises.

Vin is in Dubai, way the hell up in the Etihad Tower Complex. The limey guy from The Transporter movie is chasing him with a rocket launcher. Even though he’s on the 45th floor of a skyscraper, there happens to be a $3 million Lykan HyperSport supercar all fueled up and ready to aid in Vin’s escape.

Vin gets it up to 100 mph in an apartment living room (the Lykan, of which only 7 were made, can reach that speed in 2.8 seconds)`and then jumps the car out of one building into one nearby, dropping a few stories in the process.

The buildings are 100 yards apart, a bit more narrow of a distance than the Canal, but my Math flaws will erase those distances.

The Lykan HyperSport has a top speed of 240 mph, considerably higher than even the best Ford Focus out there. They both weigh 3000 pounds or so. The guy jumping the Canal has one advantage over Diesel (two, if you count “isn’t that worried about dying”) in that he has all of Perry Avenue to use to build up what isn’t that difficult of a speed to obtain. Perry Avenue is about 50 feet longer than the distance he’d have to jump. He might need to be going 150 MPH, but we’ll worry about that later.

If you’re keeping score at home, he has a shot at going fast enough, but he doesn’t have enough ramp to get the necessary height with which he could drift a bit.

That height is important, because it will take him 3 seconds to get across the Canal at 100 mph, and he’ll be losing speed as he flies. Every second that he is falling, he loses about 30 feet of height. Granted, he’ll be going up for part of the flight, but 30 foot drops every second of descent aren’t what you’re looking for when your launch ramp is 30 feet high.

Acceleration at the point of launch is also important, as it is what keeps your nose from landing first. Speaking of landings, the Canal guy would have been in for a painful one had he gotten across the Canal. The only flat surface is the bike path, which is 30 feet across or so. It is bordered on either side by boulders and forest.

Ironically, he would have landed on Perry Avenue if he made the jump. I just noticed this now, but it appears that Perry Avenue was split in half by the construction of the Canal. He’d need a stout East wind, as the Cape side of Perry Avenue is to the west of where the mainland Perry Avenue ends. Fortunately, or perhaps after years of planning and waiting, the attempt to leap the Canal was performed during a Tropical Storm where Bourne was suffering stiff east winds.

It sounds so crazy, it has to be true. Cape Cod has a FTW-style Evel Knievil. He’s just not that swift. “A” for effort, though… maybe an “A+” for imagination.

How would a professional handle the same leap?

For starters, some trees would have to come down. Three Mile Look, for all of her flaws as a launching ramp, is better than the Three Hundred Trees any jumper would land into on the other side of the Canal. Three Mile Look would have to be rebuilt with greater incline. A lot of trees would have to come down on the Cape side.

He’d probably need a car that is much more modified than the Ford Focus. The speed needed to jump would be easy enough to attain with a modified vehicle. However, this is where I should point out that, for all of his broken bones, Evel Knievil was never injured during his jumps. He was injured by his landings. I don’t know how they modify cars to do stunt jumps, but they’d have to find out and do that.

Evel was jumping a river three times as wide as our Canal. He was also using a steam rocket. Vin Diesel did his jump in a car that can outrun a F-16 until takeoff. Burt Reynolds and Sally Fields only had to jump a stream.

Reynolds’ jump over a dismantled bridge was more in the range of what the Canal guy should have tried. That jump was made with a rocket similar to what Evel Knievil used for his Snake River jump, as a 1977 Trans-Am wasn’t powerful enough for the leap. It covered about the same 40 foot distance that the Canal jumper managed, and took off from a similar height. It was driven by a stuntman.

It also destroyed the car, which tells you all that you need to know about the feasibility of jumping a regular-person car across the Cape Cod Canal.