Friday, August 12, 2011

4th and Long...Let's Go Punting!

Ron: "The man punted Baxter." 

Brian: "Calm down. Breathe, Ron. Breathe." 
Ron: "The man who loved the motorcycle." 
Brian: "What'd the bad man do, Ron?" 
Ron: "The motorcycle on the bridge. I hit him with a burrito." 
Brian: "Ron!" 
Ron: "And he took him with his foot and he kicked him! That's what he did." 
Brian: "Someone punted him?" 

Unfortunately...or fortunately....punting here in Cambridge does not refer to dismal 4th downs like in American football or punting dogs like in Anchorman. Punting here is a phenomenon like none I have ever seen before. From the moment you arrive in Cambridge, fairly good looking boys with fancy signs accost you with the opportunity of a lifetime, punting tours on the Cam. Or at least that's what they tell you. I can't count the number of times I have been asked "Would you like to go punting today" or "Have you already had your punting tour". My window looks out on the Cam and I listen all day as the river guides draw attention to Bodley's Court, Kings College accommodations (my housing) and proceed to spout off some ridiculous story that they probably made up on the spot. Excellent entertainment because it is different every time. The tourists in the boats even take pictures of me when I lean out my window! I guess now would be a good time to explain what exactly punting is. If you have ever seen pictures of the gondolas in Venice, you can get a pretty good picture; basically, it involves a boat full of friends and one lucky "driver", who gets to use the giant pole to push (and, if not too intoxicated, steer) the boat down the river. I waited until my mom came to visit and finally gave in to the incessant punting advertisers, and I must say, if you can get past the cooky river guides or rent a boat yourself, I think it is all it is cracked up to be!

  I decided to try my hand at it...and promptly ran us into a wall :)

Quintessential Cambridge: punting in the rain.

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