Better-late-than-never Port Townsend film treat | Mann Overboard

Posted 3/2/23

On vacation while in sunny California this month, we were looking for a PT fix. And we found a great one: “The Race to Alaska,” Zach Carver’s funny and exciting 2020 documentary. …

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Better-late-than-never Port Townsend film treat | Mann Overboard


On vacation while in sunny California this month, we were looking for a PT fix. And we found a great one: “The Race to Alaska,” Zach Carver’s funny and exciting 2020 documentary. Considering how good it is, it was amazing my wife and I somehow hadn’t seen it.

“Race” is on Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms. 

Rent or buy it; you won’t be sorry. The critics unanimously loved it. It’s not my normal kind of movie, but I enjoyed every minute of this humor-filled film. 

It’s got big waves. Big sea mammals (whales) and big land animals (bears). And it’s got physical daring, ingenuity, and humor in equal measures during this five-race compilation. 

I’m not a sailor. My nautical experience doesn’t go much beyond riding the Coupe De Ville ferry. 

The daunting 750-mile race, you probably know, begins here in PT and finishes in gritty Ketchikan, Alaska. First prize is $10,000 and second prize is, yes … a set of steak knives. 

Maybe they’re GREAT steak knives.

There’s an old saying, “If your life bores you, risk it.” Not sure these racers are bored, but the risk part definitely applies here. These motorless mariners cheat death every day amidst stunning scenery. 

Carver’s use of drone and helicopter shots, plus cameras on many of the boats, make a film that isn’t boring for even a minute. So, come aboard! 

— Speaking of cheating the reaper, “Cheating Death “ was the name of an always-funny segment on Stephen Colbert’s old show, “The Colbert Report,” on Comedy Central. The bit featured a regular, hilarious segment spotlighting Colbert’s faux sponsor, Prescott Pharmaceuticals. I haven’t run a list of side effects of Prescott products in awhile, and some readers have asked for more. So here are a few of them like those you see in the small print and sotto voce disclaimers on TV pharma ads. Ask YOUR doctor about these: 

— Arby’s Mouth; Rocky Mountain Oysterism; Spontaneous, Uncontrollable Gum Growth; Testicular Myopia; Mild Kidney Explosions; Involuntary Blowhole; Honey Nut Areolas; Hairy Uvula; Abdominal Migration; Capillary Yogurt; Hungry Hungry Hipbones; Knee Transference; Monkeylung; Lou Ferrignose; Rectal Dyslexia; Massive Weight Gain; REO Speedlung; Pituitary Ferns; Late Onset Albinism; Inability to Breathe on Weekends; Bonesporking. 

Colbert’s intro to the segment: “The last word in medicine, because Prescott is often, literally, our patients’ last word.” 

Bring on The Funny: Word is that three comedians are trying out currently to permanently replace Noah Griffin on his Comedy Central show: Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, and Al Franken. 

Handler is too snarky, but Silverman has had some very funny monologues lately. But my pick is Franken, whose podcast I’ve enjoyed and whose sense of humor is dearly missed in the Senate.  

I like Noah’s personality, but rarely watched his late-night show because the writing and Noah’s sidekicks were second-rate. Same deal with the far more talented Colbert currently: His show’s comedy writing is noticeably inferior to that of his NBC rival, Seth Meyers. 

Thus spake this long-time newspaper TV critic.

That Sinking Feeling: More nautica. I am reminded of meeting an elderly man here in Northern California a while back, the grandfather of a female friend. This Bulgarian native passed just before his 100th birthday.

Vladimir had a remarkable story to tell. First, he actually had a ticket on the Titanic. Amazing. But it was a ticket in steerage, and he was bumped for someone paying a higher fare. This probably saved his life, of course.

So he returned to Bulgaria, and years later, he immigrated to Mexico. He claimed he introduced a Bulgarian import there: Yogurt. 

So this guy not only escaped the Titanic sinking but later debuted yogurt (probably not Greek) in Mexico. 

More nautica:  A few years ago, my wife and I visited the impressive, large maritime museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax is where the Titanic survivors and dead were offloaded. 

The most noteworthy exhibit there? An actual deck chair from the Titanic. 

Oy: Barnacles to the producers of “Jeopardy !” For not giving any advance warning that the preternaturally annoying Mayim Bialik will be hosting the show for three long weeks. We miss you, Ken Jennings. 

Former GOP strategist, the very funny Rick Wilson: “If the MAGA Republicans were in the White House, we’d have Putin’s tanks in Kyiv and Trump building a hotel there as his payoff for ignoring the invasion.” 

(Contact PT humorist Bill Mann at