Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Zebra

My father left home to work on cargo ships when he was 16 years old. I can honestly say that, even though my dad passed away at the age of 65, he had an incredibly full life. How many people can say that they got to travel around the world and get paid really well to do so at the age of 16.

Now you can imagine, that, getting a bunch of sailors together can create some interesting circumstances and situations. My father has shared some of these with me, mostly the G rated ones, but I'm sure it was just the tip of the iceberg, especially the not so G rated ones.

When you're out on a ship for one or two months at a time you get a little restless. So when you finally drop anchor you have to release some of this energy.

Well... They found themselves in Mexico after a long journey and they all decided to spend some time out at the beach. You'd think they would want to be out of the sun after a month at sea close to the equator. So after a few hours on the beach and not so few "beverages" they noticed that there were horses being riden by the tourists in the area. Somebody then got a bright idea. They went over to the owner giving out rides and asked to take a beautiful white one out for a ride. Seeing nothing wrong with this proposition the horse owner gladly agreed.

While one of them was out for a ride with this white horse, my dad had someone get paint from a nearby store. They ended up painting the horse with black stripes to make it look like a zebra. Would you expect anything less from a bunch of drunk sailors? Let's just say the owner of the horse wasn't too pleased. Luckily, when you work on a ship, you don't really have many opportunities to spend money at sea. So they had enough cash to compensate him accordingly and not bring in the police.

Back in the 60's I'm sure this was a fairly original idea. It looks like it's been done a few times recently too as you can see by the picture at the beginning of the story. The picture is from Moscow where they were trying to bring attention to using the crosswalks.

 I think I have a picture or video of this that I'll try to convert and upload eventually.

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