Knocking The Wind Out Of Your Sails

| Right | August 9, 2014

(I work in a museum that focuses on the history of a particular ship. One day, a visitor approaches me and asks me this question:)

Visitor: “Excuse me, I have a question.”

Me: “Sure!”

Visitor: “When was the last time [Ship] had all of her sails out?”

Me: “The last time she sailed under her own power was in August 2012 on the 200th anniversary of her victory with—”

Visitor: “Yeah, but were ALL of her sails out?”

Me: “Well, no, only a few of the main ones necessary for—”

Visitor: “But I want to know when she had ALL her sails out like in this painting.” *gestures to nautical painting*

Me: “Ah! I see. Actually, artists painted ships with full sails to heighten the drama of the painting. There would be very few occasions when a ship would literally have all of her sails out at once because different sails are used in different situations and angles of wind and—”

Visitor: “Yeah, but WHEN was the LAST TIME she had ALL of her sails out?”

Me: *pause* “I guess I don’t know exactly.”

Visitor: *to his family* “Oh, she doesn’t know.”


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