The Look

I was the subject of that stare again. It was the same my father used. It said, “don’t even think about giving me any guff about this.” I was a bit gobsmacked; how it came about, I had no idea. But Old Seaman – merchant mariners, Navy men, and Coasties, all seem to develop it sometime after making Able-bodied Seaman, Petty Officer or such. The ability to foresee the slacking off in the normal tribe of seamen.
I was about to enjoy an afternoon siesta, a slight snooze, on the foredeck of the handsome little schooner that stood on stands in the back of the yard.
A loud harrumph alerted me that I was not alone. Spinney, the mercurial boatyard owner, stood there, thumbs tucked into his belt., hollering at me not to go comatose on his dollar and that I should get my tail over to the Marshall Catboat that needed centerboard work.
On my way to the Marshall, I asked Spinney about “The Look.” He stopped, looked at me, and said, “watch.” He adopted a wide stance, arms casually held behind him, belly slightly out, and right foot forward. He lowered his head and slightly cocked it at an angle; changing stance slightly, he hooked his thumbs in his belt and seemed to examine my very pores disdainfully.
“now practice that for about twenty years, and you should be able to get it down pat.”

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