A Modest Proposal 4.7


Dan’s plan

“It’s an interesting confluence of events. A week ago it was raining hard, snowing at the same time, freezing and thawing. Generally not what most folks would consider prime boating weather. “

Getting to the bottom of things.

It’s an interesting confluence of events. A week ago it was raining hard, snowing at the same time, freezing and thawing. Generally not what most folks would consider prime boating weather. I had just discovered that Gypsy Wagon had a bunch of ice water sloshing around in her cabin. My first thought – well, after the more scatological ones – was that I needed to rig a pump. I also was at the end of my energy, from a really, really pernicious bout of the creeping crud. I came inside to take a break, and see what was the haps, on the Boat Porn Channel. What should pop up, but an ad for a manual “kayak pump?” This is a bit eerie, especially if you don’t believe in the legend of El ‘Weber and his gang of Texas Hill Country Desperadoes. I’ll save the more gruesome aspects of that legend for a campfire, sometime.

Basically, El ‘Weber lives a dual existence – much like his cousin, Zorro.

By night, he runs around the country planting evil thoughts in unsuspecting boatbuilders’ heads. Somehow, he can get just about anybody to wake up one morning, with a craving for sunstroke, snakebite, dehydration, and an insatiable need for Vienna sausage. Again. I’ll tell you more, at that campfire.

It’s the OTHER persona that I’m gonna’ tell y’alls about, now.

This will require an oath of secrecy. Even El ‘Weber has his secrets. The nighttime desperado morphs into a daytime man of the cloth – nobody has ever seen him sleep. He is known as Our Father Who Art in Harper. True acolytes and even agnostics can tell you about the wonders of this Sage. He seems to be everywhere, and he knows EVERYTHING.

Bare minutes had passed. I feverishly pounded the keys, and placed my order for this thing that promised to be a pump. Dunno how big or long it’s supposed to be. Just a pump, dammit. And the phone rang.

“Dan. This is Chuck. (He uses a cover alias, in case he’s being followed.) Did you just order a pump because your boat is sinking in the driveway?” Who, but Our Father, himself, would know such a thing?

I gulped with a mixture of panic and visions of Valhalla; and “Chuck” was obliged to let me settle into a growing puddle of despair. “Sorry. Dan. But Tom and all his buds at the post office are out celebrating Presidents’ Day today.” I know there was more. The soothing tones of Our Father would have to wait, to salve another hurt. I had to make contact with denizens of another stripe. From that netherworld that is not truly Texas, and not truly Louisiana. And, there could be no delaying for national holidays. This was an unfolding disaster. I needed help. And, I needed it RIGHT NOW!

I made contact with the Diddat clan. They live at the end of the road, in a place known on the sign, as “Barricade.” The actual zip code is somewhat dependent upon the state of the tide, and ambient moisture.” Anyhow.

My favorite member of that infamous boatbuilding clan answered immediately. It was good ol’ Ike. His business card reads, “Ike N. Diddat.” And, just a short talk with my buddy, Ike, has so often meant the difference between simply giving up, or forging ahead with indefatigable tenacity. And, about then, some of that ‘nacity was just what the doctor was ordering.

I put my wet gloves, and soggy coat back on, and headed out to the driveway. Right back to work. Good ol’ Ike.

I was kneeling in a few inches of ice water, trying to create a drain passage under the floor and into the aft section, where the drain plug is. I was chanting my friend, Ike’s, name. And. That’s when Riley showed up. Caught up in the moment, too, I suppose. Just the half-inch drill, Ike, Riley, and me. No doubt, El ‘Weber was dashing around in the background, too. Pretty crowded in there.

That was a few days ago. Today, I started getting calls from Ike’s older, crotchety, brother. Howcome U. Diddat. Frankly, I didn’t have a lot to say to him. Stuff happens.

And, now that most of the ice has melted, and much of the water has drained out that awkwardly-placed hole in the bottom of the boat, who should come driving up in his shining USPS carriage? Special DE-livery. A box from El ‘Weber.

I hope there’s some Vienna sausage in there, too.

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