Thursday, June 6, 2013

#141: Knots

"DAAAAAAAAD!!!! I forgot how to tie my shoes agaiinnnnnnn." Dad just taught you again how to do the loop, swoop, and pull (or Bunny Ears, whichever tactic) and here you sit with laces all tangled into the most complicated slip knot since Houdini's coffin. Dad comes over, kneels down, and magic happens. Those calloused, hairy hands (Dad's always grow hair in weird places)  have the magic touch and create a perfectly symmetrical loop-swoop-pull knot that would keep your shoes on in a hurricane. How does he do it?

Dads grew up before there was cable TV, video games, the KFC Double Down, and cartoons on demand. That meant Dad actually played outside for most of his youth and in so doing he learned a variety of knots to tie up kites, raise clubhouse flags, and all that other stuff you see on Leave it To Beaver reruns. As he grew up Dad graduated to sailboats and Boy Scouts where they are taught that everything in the world can be solved with an intricate knot. Clove hitch, Double Fisherman's, Slippery Eight Loop, Carrick Bend, even the barely useful yet awesome Monkey's Fist, Dad can do it all. When the family goes camping Dad's tent construction is supported only by knots but a Japanese Tsunami would not knock that tent over. It is indestructible.

If you have ever been on a sailboat with Dad, you can see in his eyes the excitement he has for tying knots. He gets to use his whole repertoire and does not hesitate to use the EXACT knot for its EXACT job, even though another knot will do just fine. "That's not the right knot!! Use a Buntline Hitch if you're gonna attach the spinnaker to the halliard rope!!!!" Okay Dad, I just want to pretend I am a pirate...You don't complain because you know Dad is right. That boat could be a 6ft Sunfish or it would be the Titanic, it WILL have proper knots.

So when Dad is fumbling around with the rope swing

or trying to tie together some fishing line, be sure to pay attention. You might actually learn a thing or two about the amazing world of knots.

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