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By William F. Buckley

Atlantic excessive: a party

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I told Bindy that honest injun, most people in America don’t talk that way, and took the book from her. There are acres and acres of the same kind of thing. The authors’ intention, clearly, is to persuade anyone who wants to scuba dive that he (or as they would put it: “he or she, as the case may be”) should spend dozens of hours and thousands of dollars in instructions. My very favorite passage deals with the rather simple question: Can you swim? “…failure of a swimming test may not demonstrate the student to be in poor physical condition, but only that the student lacks effective swimming skills.

Cancún is not easily visited by boats drawing six feet. It has the air of an island not quite ready to receive the hordes of pleasure-seekers. Two days later, while we were on the island of Cozumel fifty miles to the south. Henry Kissinger, decompressing from a state visit with President Echeverría, stopped over at Cancún for the weekend, and apparently recovered quite nicely. It is a pity, after five years of Echeverría, that all of Mexico couldn’t have had a weekend at Cancún. The passage to Cozumel was downwind, and we hoisted the gollywobbler for the occasion.

The broker says that he has a buyer who is extremely interested, but is willing to pay only X minus Y. You think a while, measure pride and obstinacy against prudence and convenience and, depending on the mood, tilt one way or the other. On this occasion I was taken up with so many preoccupations extrinsic to sailing or haggling that I said. Okay, I’ll go with X minus Y; but remember, I get to keep the radiotelephone (value $5,000). A few days later the purchaser is on the spot at the boatyard in Savannah, his surveyor poking his ice pick into my Cyrano’s bottom to confirm what I had always known, that no sounder ship had ever been crafted, and the broker advises me over the telephone to Connecticut that the purchaser insists on talking to me.

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