“What About Bob? I’m Sailing.”
I’ve written about sailing movies before, and few of them are any good. Many of them bombed at the box office as well. That’s strange since sailing would seem to lend itself to an intense, beautiful script.
Just the opposite happened with “What About Bob?” a black comedy that debuted in 1991 starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. Murray is his usual cultish self, as honed in “Ground Hog Day.” He is one-dimensional, boorish and to my mind unfunny. He plays a psychiatric patient who trolls his psychiatrist (Dreyfuss) who’s trying to enjoy his family vacation.
At one point Bob goes sailing, if you can call it that. He’s lashed to the mast with coils of line while wearing a life preserver. This is quintessential Bill Murray—stupid, rambling, bumbling. And yet, the film did well at the box office and is ranked inexplicably No. 43 on Bravo’s 100 Funniest Movies. Go figure.
The reason I bring all this up is that “What about Bob? I’m sailing?” is a frequent question on the internet. Storybase.com is a respected site that helps writers, bloggers, agencies and other “content providers” relevant content based on complex data the site has mined. In this case, storyboard lists the question “What about Bob? I’m sailing” as second among 236 related questions on the word “sailing” asked 48,600 times last year in the United States.
Top sailboat questions
In a related list, here are the top 13 questions asked on storybase.com about the related term “sailboat.” (I offer short answers in parenthesis.) These are the highest 13 questions among 47 assembled. Another 6,732 phrases are assembled, in which phrase is defined as two or more words, ie. Sailboats for sale.
How do sailboats work? (They power off the wind.)
Most cruising sailboats and trawlers have what type of hull? (Sloop)
How [do] sailboats work? (See No. 1.)
What do small sailboats have a tendency to do? (Tip to one side.)
How much are sailboats? (It depends on age and length.)
How much do sailboats cost? (See No. 5.)
How do sailboats sail into the wind? (Bernoulli Principle)
How fast do sailboats go? (55 mph in America’s Cup)
The wages of employees who build the sailboats? (Low)
What kind of hulls do most sailboats have? (Fiberglas)
How to make paper sailboats? (See here.)
What kind of hulls do sailboats have? (See No. 10.)
How fast are sailboats? (See No. 8.)
How to draw sailboats? (Take a class.)
Let’s Go Sail, without Bob
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