When we last saw our hero he was ranting venomously about feng shui, saying that it was a lot of "pseudo-mystical horse hooey." Unenlightened fool that I was in those dark days, I could not understand the great source of energy and life-giving . . . um, energy that flows around us all the time. And I didn't know that I was about to be struck down by what seemed like the flu, but what I now know was a vicious whammy put on me by the feng shui gods.
So now I am very, very sorry about what I said. In fact, to make amends, I have decided to devote myself to spreading the feng shui gospel, because (a) I have to get the feng shui gods off my back, (b) some feng shui consultants make a ton of money and (c) nobody, as far as I know, has ever considered feng shui for boats. We're talking virgin territory here, baby!
Allow me to introduce my new consulting firm, Cha-Ching, and my new line of marine feng shui products, the Yin Yang Chandlery.
Okay, here's how it works. You have a boat, right? And you spend a lot of money on maintenance and repairs, right? Well, the problem isn't the boat; it's negative chi, see. It's what we feng shui masters like to call "sha chi," otherwise known as bad vibes, and I can fix it. For a fee, of course-a hefty fee, but not nearly as much as you're paying your mechanic. Chances are, the solution will be as simple as installing one of my patented gimbaled goldfish bowls in the relationship area of your boat-but, of course, only if you are an east-oriented person. Then again, if it's a particularly large boat I may need to take it away for weeks at a time in order to zero in on the problem. Sha chi can be a very slippery thing.
But enough theorizing. Here are a few very valuable things I can pass on to you right now-maritime feng shui principles that everyone can use.
* If your birth year ends in an odd number-say, 1951-your "lucky direction" is starboard. Never turn your boat to port. Vice versa if your birth year ends in an even number.
* Somewhere at the helm of your boat there should be a circular or bubble-like instrument with the markings N, S, E and W. I have no idea what this is.
* If your lucky direction is starboard, your boat should be bright yellow. If your lucky direction is port, your boat should also be bright yellow. That's right, all boats should be bright yellow.
* Feng shui is all about curing irregular shapes. If you're having serious problems, just make your boat square. Masts are probably not a good idea either, shape-wise.
* Put mirrors everywhere, because there's something about poison arrows and it's really scary.
* Avoid incense that is based on dung. . . . I don't know, I just read that somewhere, and it sounded like a good idea.
Okay, so maybe I shouldn't give away the store here. This is my future we're talking about: Cha-Ching, Inc.
Look for me soon at www.cha-ching.tim