Changing Names, Episode 3, Odysseys in Paradise

The next day turned out to be somewhat surprising for the waters off the coast of Chile. The sun shone on full display with no clouds anywhere. Warm air slithered in from the northwest. The seas became relatively calm.

Rich climbed out on deck with Zeke at heel. Rich gave the sails a good look and sat at the helm checking the heading. “Steady as she goes.” Zeke jumped onto the bench across from him

“Zeke” Rich said and Zeke lifted his head and his ears perked. “How would you feel if all the sudden I changed my name to Lester? I know that’s not the best choice, but stay with me on this I’m trying to illustrate a point.”

“What’s does illustrate mean? It’s normally a simple example of something to make a difficult concept easy to understand.”

“Did you say, give me an example?”

“Oh, that was a joke.”

“You’re catching on. In a year, I’ll have you using the sextant.”

“No! It has nothing to do with sex.”

“Remember Lester?”

“Lester, the illustration.”

“Yeah, that Lester, the thing I made up to illustrate a larger and more complex point.”

“The point is, it would throw things into confusion, especially you. You are limited.”

“Let’s go a step further. Suppose I change your name. Now I really have your attention, don’t I?”

“No, I’m not. This is still an illustration.”

“No, I’m not explaining illustration to you again.”

“What if all the sudden I started calling you Roy?”

“You would prefer Lester. Okay, you take Lester and I’ll take Roy.”

“The point is this; no matter what I call you, you will always be Zeke. It’s your given name. Now here is something I’ve never told you. Wipe the confused look on your face, this is a time to be somber. The Beyond’s real name is The Odyssey.”

“The guys that gave me to you thought it would be a good idea.”

“It’s too much to explain, but they thought if the name of my boat changed that might confuse the men who are looking for me, but they found me anyway.”

“So here’s the deal; I want you to watch the helm (just kidding) and I’m going the change the name of this boat back to The Odyssey. I got some white paint and black. So I’m going to be aft leaning over the transom.”

“Did I ever tell you about the time Salty changed the name of this boat to Cody Boy? It’s a great story.”

“I told you about Salty, you just don’t remember. Which sort of illustrates a point; names, let alone name changes are pretty much meaningless to you. You just wouldn’t understand.”

“I’m sorry, Zeke, I just can’t illustrate it to a dog. Your world is literal—all the time.”

Rich found two small cans of paint tucked in a forward cabinet. He used sandpaper to remove The Beyond from the transom. He added a thick coat of white paint. Toward evening he painstakingly lettered The Odyssey on the transom.

“That is your name,” Rich said. “Do you feel better now? I sure do. Frankly, my dear lady, The Odyssey has always been on my lips.”



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