Desdemona's rocketship to the stars
June 20, 2010 8:29 AM   Subscribe

The Cosmic Muffin is a boat that was once a 1939 Boeing 307 Stratoliner airplane that belonged to Howard Hughes.

"What’s up with her name? Singer/songwriter/seaplane pilot Jimmy Buffett wrote the plane-boat into his first novel Where is Joe Merchant?, as the Cosmic Muffin, Desdemona’s rocketship to the stars. Buffett later wrote a song entitled “Desdemona’s Building a Rocketship,” in which he also references Cosmic Muffin."

Ergo, previously on MeFi.
posted by bwg (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
super-interesting. I would not like to live aboard it, however. The photos of the interior made me instantly claustrophobic.
posted by naplesyellow at 8:51 AM on June 20, 2010

Someone was tripping on something when they decided to do this.
posted by delmoi at 9:05 AM on June 20, 2010

delmoi: "Someone was tripping on something when they decided to do this."

Indeed. I can't decide if it's cool or ugly.
posted by bwg at 9:14 AM on June 20, 2010

... and named by Frank Zappa.

True story!
posted by clvrmnky at 9:22 AM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Cosmic Muffin" should be a hippie bakery. That said, it's probably one of the more adorable boats I have seen in my time.

All I regret is that it doesn't looks like it has a great place to sit and enjoy the sun. That's gotta be the best thing about partying on my friend's grandpa's boat. If I were rich and nuts, I'd probably trim off the back of it, and make a good deck for sunning.

Also, I have not made any Lady Gaga puns, despite the article having something like 27 mentions of the word "muffin." I think I deserve a Scooby snack or something.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:26 AM on June 20, 2010

Repurposed aircraft is totally great. Repurposed rare aircraft is even better. I'm thinking that taking this boat for a spin up the Hudson would be met with an odd mix of reactions, and I can't really advise it.
posted by heyho at 9:43 AM on June 20, 2010

Living in Fort L, I remember when the guy was building this thing. I was so intrigued I went over and checked it out and the dude gave me a little tour of his work in progress. At the time, I didn't believe the Howard Hughes origin story he told me and I remember thinking it was a funky boat for sure, but that it would have been much better staying an airplane.
posted by bonefish at 11:06 AM on June 20, 2010

I would love to go on this. Into space.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:12 AM on June 20, 2010

"Cosmic muffin" is a reference to the deity, from a 1972 National Lampoon song,"Deteriorata", by Tony Hendra, not by Jimmy Buffet:


Go placidly amid the noise and the waste and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

Avoid quiet and passive persons unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires. Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself and heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys; know what to kiss and when.

Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do. Wherever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance. Remember the Pueblo. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.

Know yourself; if you need help, call the FBI. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, especially with those persons closest to you -- that lemon on your left, for instance. Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love therefore; it will stick to your face.

Gracefully surrender the things of youth, birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan; and let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people with hooks. For a good time, call 555-4311; ask for Ken. Take heart amid the deepening gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese; and reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Milwaukee.

You are a fluke of the universe; you have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back.

Therefore make peace with your God whatever you conceive Him to be -- Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin.

With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. Give up.

by Tony Hendra
performed by National Lampoon
on National Lampoon Radio Dinner LP
(1972 Blue Thumb Records)

//"Cosmic Muffin" was also the radio nickname of former Boston (WBCN) astrologer Darrell Martinie who was a fixture for many years on Charles Laquidera's Big Mattress. Sadly, Martinie passed away in 2006.
posted by notmtwain at 1:10 PM on June 20, 2010

I'd probably trim off the back of it, and make a good deck for sunning.

That's what I was thinking.

It looks like this should be a hovercraft and travel at, like, VROOOM kinda speeds.

(also convert to a submarine)
posted by Trochanter at 3:48 PM on June 20, 2010

« Older Peoria 2010 Old-Time Piano Weekend   |   However, nobody quite remembers how they decided... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments