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FEB. 9–13

I just returned from a cruise, which is not exactly the best research into “the boating lifestyle” but is an excellent look at the “start drinking at 1 p.m., gradually immerse self into The Da Vinci Code–esque co-guest environment, unsuccessfully hit on Croatian waitress until it’s time to pass out in cabin, wake up at ass-crack of dawn with mind-bending hangover and start over” lifestyle. Nonetheless, I’m still excited about the 44th Annual Boats You’ll Never Be Able to Afford Show. When I’m living out my last days as an ex-cop, ex-FBI agent, and ex–private investigator under the alias “Scag Winesack”—a man who sometimes gets sucked into a case by staring too long at an ominous photograph, still values a quiet night with his saxophone and pet bird, and is perfectly happy with one hand wrapped around a Cape Codder and the other buried in a bowl of Beer Nuts—well, I’ll probably live on a boat. Make that a boat that was purchased at this show and later discarded in an alarming condition of disrepair. And who isn’t jazzed about coming face to face with the starlets of any nautical festivity, the cigarette boats? I can never shake the idea that the hulls are stuffed with exotic, endangered animals or kilos of cocaine. The coveting starts Wednesday, Feb. 9, and continues through Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW. Show hours are noon to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. $10. For tickets call (202) 397-7328. (Andrew Earles)