Thicker than Thieves

του sir Taki Theodoracopulos

A biographer of F. Scott Fitzgerald named David Brown refers to the promotion of deviance in the US as (in my words) “the great start to materialism after Appomattox (the defeat of the South in the American Civil War in 1865)”. I liked that line and was thinking about it as I left the boat early in the morning and entered a near-perfect Greek village square for a coffee. There were a few Frenchmen chattering with their usual gestures, Greeks discussing politics with great intensity, and then a couple of Americans, both quite attractive, each with a Mac in front of them and completely impervious to anyone or anything in their immediate vicinity. Talk about a launch into materialism. These two never looked up from their screens, remained completely glued and expressionless to that demonic plastic or whatever the screens are made of, and failed to look up even when a Greek woman was yelling at an Austrian woman who had taken her chair . In the meantime they had caught a table at the cafe, which would have changed customers about three times if it weren’t for these two extremely annoying Americans. The owner of the cafe shrugged his shoulders when I told him to ask them to vacate the premises.

Now, I know it’s none of my business, but this was hardly a launch into materialism. It was more like a storm, a hurricane of blind greed. Mind you, could they have been writing the great American novel? I doubt it and I’m willing to bet the boat I’m on that it was all about money and nothing more. It was, at the very least, non-human. Two tables away from them were three old Greeks, with their white moustaches and caps, as if they were leaning on their canes. They each spoke in turn, with silences in between. Small children ran between the tables, the black-clad women passed by without a glance, the French and Italians continued their singing. I just looked at the Americans, wondering what had happened to turn people like these two into lifeless automatons. Was it arrogance, importance to their egos, or lack of understanding of our European culture? And then I thought of her sister Yomi du Roi.

Yomi was my wife’s childhood and best friend until her recent death. She came from an extremely large and good family and was also very wealthy. Her sister, the Princess de Merode, had the misfortune to be the target of some hooded men who broke into her apartment in Paris. They tied her up and asked her where the jewels were. They addressed her with the informal “you”. Her response was short and to the point: “First of all it is ‘you’ followed by ‘madame’ “. And the villains followed her instructions, addressed her with the formal “you” and made off with all the loot after untying it. Now, that’s what I call following protocol despite the inconvenience.

What does this have to do with this defiant display of nationality by two Americans clicking their damn machines in the middle of a beautiful square, ignoring everything but the mouse? Nothing, I suppose, because the past means nothing to them, while the Parisian hooded men stole but respected the power the princess was conveying.

And now to naval matters. If God granted one wish of mine, it would be to ban the most useless object in the world, the Jet Ski. People with lower IQs than their age dominate the device on the first try. All it does is pollute and annoy with its noise, and also kills swimmers and fish alike. Horrible super yachts carry them, and even more horrible people use them non-stop. No bay is safe from these parasites and the idiots who use them. Please, God, accept my blessing before I shoot one of these parasites and end up in jail.

Sailing from the top of the Christian world which is Patmos and heading west, we ran into very strong winds and extreme sea turbulence. My son, a great sailor, and crew put on a storm jib and sail and battled angry waves all day. I watched the sea bursting at the bow, like something only Neptune would allow. Come to think of it, I haven’t crossed such a storm since I crossed the Strait of Messina in 1971 in my first Bushido. It was 51 years ago, and we had a knockdown (when the mast touches the water) and a sailor went through the skylight while at the same time, from a Soviet warship passing by, whistles could be heard from the blonde who was panicking in our boat. This time it was all family , settled and I had to drink a bottle of white wine and half a bottle of vodka to finally get some satisfaction. A wife, granddaughter and son on board does not make for a tension filled cruise. Eventually we passed through the center of the storm and continued on to Schinoussa, a charming little island inhabited by about 200 people, a taxi, some lovely taverns and a very pretty Albanian waitress who played the part of a Greek woman and who immediately piqued the interest of my “Roman” son. There were a few freaks anchored in the bay, three-storey super yachts that looked like refrigerators, probably heading for Mykonos and taking refuge. I left early and headed for Paros, Kea and then Koroni. We have survived winds that would blow the horns off a cuckold (French expression), and we are in a very good mood because “Romeo” failed with “Juliet”, so he will remain on board.