Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

digressions about the parrafin oil, the men's packing, Uncle Podger, and the weather man.

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The friends discuss what they will need for cooking. Although paraffin oil stoves are more common, they decide to bring a methylated spirit stove, remembering how the paraffin oil had oozed everywhere on a previous boat trip.


J. volunteers to pack the clothes, believing himself an exceptionally efficient packer. However, he keeps forgetting items, and then has to unpack in order to fit them in. To the reader, he expounds briefly on his habit of losing his toothbrush when traveling.

Harris and George watch J. pack with great amusement, and volunteer to pack the food when J. finally finishes. They are no better at it – they constantly forget items, and Harris steps in the butter. Throughout it all, they keep tripping over Montmorency.


Uncle Podger was unable (or unwilling) to tackle a task alone. He would send everyone off to do his bidding, make a mess of things, and blame it on everyone else. Then it would start all over again, with everyone at his back and call. This would go on for quite awhile, and each time there would be a mistake, and each time someone else would step up to help. In the end, Uncle Podger would cite how easily things were done, and his wife would comment that she'd stay with her mother during the next project..... a comedy of errors.


The weather forecast is a swindle because it is NEVER accurate.

"I do think that, of all the silly, irritating tomfoolishness by which we are plagued, this “weather-forecast” fraud is about the most aggravating. It “forecasts” precisely what happened yesterday or a the day before, and precisely the opposite of what is going to happen to-day."



Three Men In A Boat