December 15, 2009

Yes, Joe, There Is A Tillerman!


Time for an update on the Tillerman Painkiller Challenge.

You may recall that I challenged readers to predict the total number of Painkillers Tillerman would consume on his BVI vacation. After advance reports of Tillerman sitings from our London bureau, there is now a confirming homecoming post at Proper Course, so it is time to wrap up the Tillerman challenge. I'll summarize the entries received so far:

Boat de Jour: 56

Carol Anne: 42

Pat: 1

Escape Velocity: 14

Joe: X + Y(2XY)/39243X = ? (which I believe is a quadratic equation, and thus ineligible)

Breezetrees: some undecipherable formula whose variables he will need to fill in before Tillerman supplies an actual answer (I refuse to do any math)

JP: A very impressive analysis with lists, categories, spreadsheets, and a Powerpoint presentation, prepared at a great expenditure of time by a professional consultant, but, as is common with the work of professional consultants, containing no useful answer unless I fork over some big bucks and send JP on a cushy development trip to the BVI. This is still a possible winner, though, if there's a big enough bribe in it for me.

As Tillerman is home, entries are now officially closed, although I'll allow Breezetrees to supply a numerical answer until we get an actual number from Tillerman.

On that note, I must address a skeptical question from Joe, who wonders how we will ever learn just how many Painkillers and rum drinks Tillerman drank while on holiday.

To question this is to question the very existence of Tillerman himself, for Tillerman is a just and honorable fellow, dedicated in his soul to the happy conclusion of blogging challenges, no matter where they originate.

Yes, Joe, there is a Tillerman. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas, how dreary would be the world if there were no Tillerman! It would be as dreary as if there were no Joe. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which blogging fills the world would be extinguished.

Nobody sees Tillerman, but that is no sign that there is no Tillerman. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see Tiverton kids dancing on Tillerman's lawn? Of course not, he's an old, crotchety man who chases them away, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

No Tillerman! Thank God, he lives, and thanks to Blogger's archives, he lives forever! A thousand years from now, Joe, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of the blogosphere.



  1. If you define a Painkiller as the actual cocktail by that name, the one which was born at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke and which features dark rum over shaved ice, frothed with orange and pineapple juice along with some sweetened coconut cream, topped with a shaving of nutmeg... then Pat wins with the exact answer.

    If you define it as any alcoholic beverage then Boat de Jour's guess is probably nearer the mark.

  2. I guess there was no tea for the Tillerman in the BVI. A true sailor, he drank more than he could count.