Generally speaking, a regatta is any kind of boat race, but along the Schuylkill River, regattas refer to crew races. Crew is a truly fascinating sport in which four or five skinny rich kids paddle their way through the water in a long, skinny penis. Meanwhile, a coach sits in the front of the boat with the incredibly important duty of weighing the whole thing down and telling the rowers when to put their paddles in the water, so obviously they would be completely lost without him. And honestly, choosing one of the myriad of awful jokes that come from the coach yelling "Stroke! Stroke!" is not worth the effort. I would be remiss, however, if I didn't point out that Wikipedia's page on crew features a section entitled "Anatomy of a Stroke."
But far be it from me to look down on people just because they enjoy watching other people race inefficient forms of transportation. In my spare time I've been known to read about movie plots online when I don't feel like actually seeing them, essentially spending large chunks of my life about three generations away from reality. So giving someone a hard time for going outside for a few hours by the river doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. What I cannot deal with, however, is the arrogance that leads people to close down a major city road in order to make way for a sport that takes place in the fucking WATER! I've seen some bad driving in my day but it would be rare even for a douche bag in a BMW to be in such a hurry that he would crash into something in the river. So why does the whole road need to be closed down? And don't tell me for parking. There are three large parking lots in a 1-2 mile stretch of Kelly Drive. If that's not enough space, too fucking bad. Take the bus, or better yet, take a boat.
Worst of all, they give drivers no warning that the road is closed and do absolutely nothing to redirect traffic. The first time I drove up to one of these road blocks I didn't even know I wasn't allowed through. All I see are police barricades veering one line of traffic to a detour and one another line of traffic that lead to Kelly Drive. But in between me an the road is an portly old woman with a money apron, who informs me rather shortly that I can't through because of their precious canoe race. Obviously, I'm the idiot. So, grinding my teeth down to the gums, I take the detour hoping to be able to quickly get back to where Kelly Drive isn't closed. But they don't have anyone directing traffic. They don't even have signs posted telling me where to go. All I get are groups of rowers enjoying their day and probably laughing at my pain:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
We're too busy paddling
To think up a rhyme
so fuck you and good luck finding your way home asshole!
Oh, wait, I'm wrong. I get more than a mocking tune from a pack of floating frat members. I also get to watch their middle-aged yuppie parents parading down the detour road on their way to the river with fanny packs and folding chairs. So apparently, the act of closing Kelly Drive wasn't just self-centered and asinine, but also ineffective! That's fantastic guys. I really hope you enjoy your regatta. I hope the races are all exciting but sportsmanlike. I hope the winners are humble and the losers are gracious. I hope the spectators get a healthy amount of sun and get to enjoy their picnics of portabello mushroom wraps and homemade garlic hummus. Oh, and I also hope the flash flood gives little to no warning, and that the destruction is total. Bunch of crotch stains.