Sounds like a bad psychology textbook or potty euphemism.
Actually, it is more about hanging out on the end of the dock between boats, waiting for the next one to chug around Trader Sam.
You and a partner have either the front or rear unload position.
I preferred working unload at the rear position, because you could stand along the easternmost edge of the dock on one leg, balancing precariously over the murky Jungle river water.
Just for the heck of it.
You get to tease the incoming skipper and vice versa.
Face it, the skipper has a live microphone, a P.A. system and a captive audience who has just been forced to spend 9-12 minutes with him, puttering through the wild.
You are slightly outgunned.
Still, the banter is usually worth every moment --- with the proper Skipper/Unloader combination.
Both, for instance, must have a sense of humor.
Both must have impeccable timing.
At least one must have incredibly thick skin and/or little sense of personal dignity or outrage (usually, this is the Unloader's role).
Ah. To be the butt of the joke.
The straight man.
The fall guy.
The one who stands ready to help each guest out...
by the rear...
Of the BOAT that is!
(One of the oldest Jungle lines in the spiel).
We had many routines of skipper-unload interplay:
- "You'll be helped out of the boat today by the Lee brothers...Ug Lee and Home Lee! (Ug is on the left)."
- "And ahead there along the dock are two prime examples of why some animals in the jungle eat their young at birth. Don't stare, folks! They might become aggressive and start touching your elbows as you exit!"
- "Assisting you from the boat today are two of the largest hairless African Albino pygmy gorillas in captivity --- they are on loan to us here from the Zambezi Zoo. Aren't they adorable?"
- "Ooh, LOOK! Boat unloaders! Two of the most feared animals in the jungle! You know folks, each of them weighs over 800 pounds! They can leap over 20 feet! And..they...eat...small....children. (some of my favorite animals).
- And ahead, on the dock to our right---two living and extreme examples of why it is SO important for you young folks to stay in school!
You get the picture. I could go for some "dock abuse" right about now, actually.
Happy Thursday, 101-ers!