'Tremendous Woody' Makes Contact
His email to me simply said, "Yes, it was me with the 'Tremendous Woody' on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I have pictures, too."
Last Saturday night I was the recipient of a seemingly salacious email. "Yes, it was me with the ‘Tremendous Woody’ on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I have pictures, too,” was all it said.
Normally, receiving a message so ribald would have alerted me to delete it as spam. But, since I had recently written a piece for Patch on funny boat names and had mentioned the sighting of a boat of the aforementioned name, on that very highway, in the article, there was a possibility that the person who had emailed me was legitimate.
I reread the message a couple of times, trying to deduce: Was this a “pull my finger” kind of ruse? Was I about to get Punk’d by some bored teens with nothing better to do on a Saturday night than to harass their local Patch columnist? Did I dare ask for the photos or would that just play into some deviant sexting trap?
Following some consideration (and after updating my anti-virus software), I replied back, mainly because after a Google search, the email address, and affiliated company, seemed to check out.
What a small world it was, I told the email's author, Mark, and how great it was to hear from him. I mentioned that I would like to have him forward the pictures, provided it was the boat we were indeed talking about! And I also asked him how he had heard about the story on Patch.
In true, earnest Midwestern fashion (meant as a compliment, considering I, myself, have Wisconsin origins), Mark emailed me back promptly that same night. He told me he lived in the Minneapolis area and he had hauled the boat to its new owner – Patrick Tisdale in Washington, D.C. – who had forwarded him the link to the Patch piece.
Mark emailed me, “I was just the hauler for hire. It was a fun load – the responses from people under way were constant and hilarious.” Mark cc’ed Patrick Tisdale in our correspondence, so I also had the opportunity to communicate with Patrick.
I asked Patrick where the boat was currently docked and if he had retained the same name for the, ahem, vessel (blush). He replied, “Woody has retained her name (yes, the contradiction of referring to boats in the feminine, even when they are named ‘Tremendous Woody’!). He further stated, “The boat is based in Washington, D.C. – we would be glad to swing by Mount Vernon or Old Town if you and the family would like to do a cruise on the Potomac.”
As for keeping the boat’s original name, he shared, “My daughter convinced me to keep the name – ‘It's bad luck to change the name, Dad; plus I want to hear it when you have to call a ‘mayday’ for help.’ ”
So, folks, be on the lookout for a Tremendous Woody floating down the Potomac, with me potentially on it. Oh dear, that didn’t sound quite right, I probably should rephrase that. Aw, forget it, you know what I mean. Plus, all the double entendre is what makes this story so darn entertaining in the first place.