Modifying history

During my lunch hour, I took the ferry over to Halifax, joined aboard ship by, among many others, a young man dressed in tricorn, short pants and jerkin: an 18th century historical interpreter on his way to work.  I’ve seen the same fellow trucking along Ochterloney, his kit bag tucked neatly behind.  In line at the ferry terminal, I discovered he has a bright and beatific smile–and wears Reeboks.

After work, Bob wanted to meet at the new “gastropub” just south of Salty’s, on the Halifax waterfront.  The Hart and Thistle replaces a former low profile indoor/outdoor drinkery with something a bit more upscale and sporting a food menu that seems to be indecisive about the demarcation between “gastro” and “pub.”  We ate outside, in full shade but right on the water.

And the water was awash in pretend pirate ships, some apparently under sail and some not even bothering to raise cloth on their masts because all were chugging under engine power.  One boldly “shot” its cannons at the restaurant, although the three or four puffs of smoke preceded the booms by enough seconds that onlookers had no doubt the shot was playacting.

The other, under the command of a covey of “pirates” who sported wrap around sunglasses with their kerchiefs and blouses, seems to have made a schtick of having tourist/passengers swing out on a rope over the harbour either before or after the “sail.”  I couldn’t look when the large, miniskirted woman first hoisted herself up on the gunwale, but she had to be hauled down, in the end, without taking her spin out over the water.

So that’s history as it’s writ for the cruise crowd today.  And they seemed happy with it.  The book was better.


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