Who Is This Eric Guy?

My brother Steve (Uncle Bumper to Koiya, though we liked the derivative “Uncle Bumpus” that Todd’s mom came up with!) emailed me recently and included this question: “Does that hippie Eric have a job, how long is he sailing with you guys?”

This made me realize that, while Eric and his exploits are infamous on Todd’s side of the family, my family and many of our friends are probably wondering why that shaggy guy keeps popping up in our photos. Well, if you want to learn about Eric in his own words, click here to check out his website. But if you want the scoop from a snarky blog mistress who sailed many a mile with the guy, read on!

Eric McCool is Todd’s cousin, born and raised in San Antonio TX, and I think he’s 26 years old. He’s sweet, funny, well-read, and adventurous. We all really enjoyed having him aboard, but for different reasons. Koiya liked him because he was her playmate, teaching her the card game “Nertz” and watching the Indiana Jones movies with her. Todd got a huge break when Eric was with us, as Eric always did the dishes- a job that would otherwise have fallen to Capn CampSuds. And I valued our time with Eric because I now have much more insight as to which of Todd’s traits come from the Huss side of the family, versus which are pure McCool. Below are my conclusions.

Laziness, in regards to Physical Work: Definitely a Huss trait. Whereas Todd whines for an hour if he has to raise the spinnaker, Eric is glad to burn some of his boundless energy on hard physical labor.

Tenacity: Also a Huss trait. At first this seems to run counter to the Laziness trait, but once working on something, Todd’s anxiety and obsessiveness motivate him to doggedly pursue a solution, whereas Eric will long since have cracked a beer and scrounged for a snack. This explains why Todd is so great at computer work and why Eric is… well, let’s just say “differently employed”.

Meticulousness in Hairstyle: Pure McCool. Of course, anyone who knows Grand Daddy McCool will tell you that man, in his late eighties, has the most fabulous head of hair, with barely a lick of gray. For his part, Eric is working on growing his hair long, in the hopes of having sufficient tresses to toss dramatically in the wind. And I don’t think anyone is unaware of Todd’s tub-a-month gel habit; on his driver’s license, his hair is listed as “crunchy”.

Lack of Meticulousness, in regards to Trash: Inconclusive. I have not been able to figure out why, after opening a beer bottle, these guys just drop the cap on the counter, instead of putting it in the trash! At first I thought their thirst for alcohol overrode the training their mothers no doubt tried to instill, but when the same thing happened with the tops of cereal bags and that tiny little foil piece from the juice carton, it became apparent that this trait has deeper roots. This may be a McCool gene, but my instincts tell me this trait is more generally common to straight males.

Difficulty in Keeping Track of Their Turn During Gameplay: McCool, all the way. This became woefully apparent when Todd, Eric and I tried to play a game of Sequence. I would take my turn, then they’d chatter for a while, then Todd would play, and I’d have to remove his piece and say, “No, it’s Eric’s turn.” Then Eric would be surprised, saying “Oh, is it my turn?” Further examination revealed that Todd never knows whose turn it is, so whenever there is a lull in the game, he figures it must be his turn, so he plays. This technique works fine when, for instance, we’re playing euchre with the Ledesmas; but when playing with Eric, who also never knows when it is his turn to play, it takes someone with the skills of an air traffic controller to keep the game going! Christ! The only reason I didn’t slap both of them is I couldn’t decide which one needed it more!

Anyway, to answer Uncle Bumper’s question, Eric’s job is being Eric, and that is enough for him right now. Five days ago he joined our buddy boat Imagine, to cross to mainland Mexico, and he might go with them to French Polynesia come March. We miss him, but we are also enjoying blaming him for everything that has gone wrong on the boat recently: the foot pump for our sink water is broken because Eric stepped too heavily, the head is not working exactly right because Eric pumped it too hard, there are crumbs on the floor because Eric made a mess, the deck leaks because Eric did yoga there, the wind is too weak/too strong because Eric messed up his Wind Dance, etc.

4 Responses to “Who Is This Eric Guy?”

  1. Todd Huss says:

    We miss you Eric, enjoy the mainland, and we’ll hope to catch up with you there again before you do the puddle jump to the Marquesas!

  2. Melissa Foster says:

    Your blogs are so entertaining, Cap’n witty and Cap’n Tequila! We miss you guys! We will also really miss our holiday tradition of going to the SF gay men’s chorus and our pancake/bloody mary fest on Xmas day. Love, Melissa, Dave and Ella

  3. Susan says:

    Hey Melissa, We are also thinking of the SFGMC and bloody marys! Miss you all!

    As a PS to this post: Right after I wrote it, I went to the galley and what did I find? A little foil strip from a juice carton! “What’s this?” I cried. “I *just* blogged about this very thing!”

    Todd was embarrassed to hear that this info had become public, and I thought that might mean an end to this annoying behavior. But no! An hour later, I found the top of a coffee bag! “How can this be?!” I cried. Todd laughed and said he’d start doing it just to annoy me. I growled and frothed at the lips, and his tone changed completely.

    Well, I’m happy to report that later that afternoon, Todd opened a beer, and clutched the bottle top as if it were made of gold. He very deliberately took the two steps to the trash and *threw it away*! Hallelujah!!!

    We’ll see if it keeps up!

  4. Hannah says:

    I had already explained to Billy who this Eric guy is. I think it was something like, “Oh, that’s Todd’s cousin. He doesn’t like to wear shirts.” Good enough for us.

    I’m very intrigued by the Huss/McCool analysis. And I have to agree with your conclusions about tiny bits left on countertops and elswhere: definitely a straight male thing. Must trace back to the whole hunter/gatherer deal.

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