When I was very small, going to Boston to ride in the Swan Boats was a thing.
The Swan Boats are these pontoon-type boats with big swans on the back, and in or around the swan (I can’t remember whether it is ‘in’ or ‘around’) sits a ‘driver’ who is really a ‘pedaler’, who pedals the boat around and steers it with ropes and I am not kidding.
The Swan Boats are still a thing for a lot of people, actually. It has been ‘a thing’, according to Wikipedia, since 1877.
Also, according to Wikipedia, you and I can still go to the Boston Public Garden and ride in a Swan Boat starting the second week in April. And – and this is pretty exciting – if we want to, we can keep getting back in line and ride as many times as we want to all the way until the third week of September.
Okay, I’ll meet you there the first week in April in case there is a line like at a Star Wars premier. You bring the tent.
But in the mean time, I have to share something very strange with you.
Well, strange to me.
Tonight, I settled my new and beautiful felt, enscarved donkey into the back of the Christmas Swan that sits on my kitchen table. The Christmas Swan sits on my kitchen table because it reminds me of the Swan Boats in the Boston Public Garden. The ones that I used to ride in.
Clearly this would have been, like, impossible because the Swan Boats don’t operate past the third week of September. Which makes sense because who wants to take a frigid ride in a pedaled paddle boat very close to January?
Not me that’s not who.
And also, the poor pedal boy.
Sorry, pedal person.
Because most likely?
Ice, that’s what.
So who wants to try to pedal a Swan Boat all the way around a pond in the Boston Public Garden when it is possibly frozen?
Sure, sure. You could sing the song from Frozen while you were trying to pedal and that would be fun, but c’mon, people would probably have to hop out and push the boat because the pedals wouldn’t work, making it a Swan Boat ‘slide’ vs. ‘ride’. Which, when you think about it, defeats the entire purpose of a relaxing pedal-pontoon boat ride around the pond in springtime.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t pay to push a pontoon boat with a swan on it around a pond in December.
And, honestly, now I don’t think I ever really did that.
But my memory said I did!
Like, I can remember being all cold and riding in a Swan Boat.
So, when I Wikipedia’d and found out it was all a lie, I was furious at my memory. Because, seriously, I thought we had an understanding.
My memory would never betray me, and I would let it live rent-free in my brain.
I feel like a slum lord because clearly my brain is a really messed up place to live.
So I called up another party living there (also rent-free), a more mature and trustworthy tenant.
Logic has indeed reported back, and tells me that I must have combined several memories, causing a synaptic misfire of such epic proportions so as to skip entire seasons. So my crippled memory has re-deposited the images of me happily riding in a water-fowl themed vehicle in the spring – my little face warmed by sunshine, eyes all squinty as it sparkles on the water – to me all bundled up in a winter coat, with my arms sticking straight out because I can’t lower them a-la-A Christmas Story. In addition, I remember being hot in my winter coat and being frightened by mannequins.
I just realized that also in Boston during Christmastime when I was little was the Jordan Marsh Enchanted Village. A magical village that, yes, had lights and good holiday stuff, but also had animatronic mannequins… which are always scary even at Disney World (especially in It’s a Small World, and especially in Holland (most likely because of those wooden shoes, I think)).
So let me google it and see if what I think I remember is…
Scary as all get out!
So Wikipedia says that The Jordan Marsh Enchanted Village ran in Boston from the 1960s through 1972 when it mysteriously caught fire during an exorcism.
It did run until 1972 though. And now it is all set up at a furniture store (not kidding) which, ironically, is named Jordan’s Furniture and the two brothers that started it are not related to Jordan or Marsh but it’s a wHierd coincidence anyway, don’t you think?
So I’m pretty sure that the Christmastime Swan Boat slides are a result of a mash-up of Boston memories from when I was little.
I was probably compensating.
Which means ‘to make up for (something unwanted or unpleasant) by exerting an opposite force or effect’.
So I think I was making up for the trauma induced by the Village by exerting the opposite force of the happy Swan Boats. And that’s how the Swan Boat rides got winterized in my memory!
Do you people see how powerful the Christmas force is within me?!
My own Christmas spirit absolutely crushed the memory of a horror-movie-inspiring mannequin fest dubbed ‘enchanted’, and replaced it with happily pedaled swans.
Ho. Ho. and Ho.
You guys, it occurs to me that my Christmas force is so strong that – if this was a Star Wars movie and I was a Jedi – I would have, like, a bazillion midichlorians cursing through my veins (instead of the mental-pausal hormones that are there today).
I’m just sayin’.
Thanks for readin’.
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